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Meander Canyon - Colorado River/Canyonlands Nat. Park

Just got back from another great trip. Colorado River, Meander Canyon. Potash to Spanish Bottom. Gorgeous red rock canyon scenery & some great side canyon hikes. We sure lucked out on weather. Warm but overcast for 2 days, hot with clear blue skies for 3 days, and very windy for about half a day. Fortunately, we only had to paddle in the wind for a couple hours since it was our last paddle day. We braved the winds in camp at Spanish Bottom for the rest of the day. The wind was still howling pretty good the next morning when the jet boat picked us up, so we were happy that we weren't still on the river. As usual, the best plan was to be on the water early & in a camp by mid day. We did 50-ish miles in 5 paddle days. Leisurely pace with lots of time for side hiking. We had 2 SOT kayaks, 1 inflatable kayak, and one 14 foot canoe (paddled with double blade). We easily carried all our water & didn't have to do the alum & filter thing. The water level was lower than I've done before & sand bars were definitely an issue. We all got stuck at least once every day. Thank goodness for my SOT, so I could either hop out & drag, or do the "crab crawl" with legs over the side & scooting off the sand bar. Once again, Tex's Riverways did a stellar job with our shuttle & jet boat pick-up. This is my second season with my Eddyline Caribbean 14 SOT, and I can't say enough good things about this kayak. My trip partners were amazed at the amount of gear it can carry. Sure glad I opted for a rudder on the windy paddle day. I'll post some pics soon. Got to sort & clean gear today & give the kayak a good bath......red mud & dirt everywhere!

Comments

  • Very nice, thanks for sharing. I hope to get out there again in a few years!

  • looking forward to the pics

  • you got that tributary duck loaded down., I'm not sure i trust mine for overnights away from a road. Replaced two bladders on mine so far.

  • The person paddling the Tributary Ducky was carrying a lot of gear, but did pretty well. Even on the afternoon with some strong wind, she did ok. She's had that boat for several years I believe, with no bladder issues that I know of. Bummer that you've had to replace 2 bladders. I have a 20 year old Outcast mini-cataract (made by Aire) and have had 2 repairs in the last 2 years.....replaced a valve & patched a pin hole leak in one bladder. Two small repairs in 20 years is not bad.

    I had my Watershed Yukon dry bag in my tankwell, and my rain gear in a small dry bag on the outside tackle box area (just behind the bow hatch), otherwise all my gear for a 5 day trip was inside my kayak.....including my water. I discovered the Hydrapak soft water containers at REI. I use the 3 liter model. It's long and skinny, so it fits in the 6 inch round hatch that's right behind my seat. I carried 5 Hydrapaks, and 2 of the REI rectangular nalgene containers for a total of about 18 liters of water (4.75 gallons). The Hydrapaks go inside and are positioned right under/behind the seat area to keep the weight low & centered. The nalgene containers go towards the bow. I work from the nalgenes & refill them from the hydrapaks, which are kind of a bugger to pour from. The decreasing weight of the Hydrapaks/water, as the trip goes along is offset by the "used" wag bags for poo containment that go in a dedicated dry bag that gets strapped as far back in the stern tankwell as possible.

    My paddle companions are always amazed at how much gear I can pack inside my SOT kayak. I carry a tent, a Travelchair Joey chair, 2 of the GSI compact little tables, food, water, cooking gear, Turbo Toilet & wag bags, personal gear, and my ukulele. Most of that is inside the kayak.

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