Another My Summer Vacation Trip Report part 1

The 2021 version- 34 days, 24 total paddling days in TN, AR, OK, NM, CO

My first stop was a 2 day instructor clinic update/upgrade with Scott Fisher and Robin Pope on the lower Nolichucky in TN. Once again, we established I have no real form, and am a float and brace kind of guy. The most grueling part of the process was walking out onto a sharp ledge (I was suffering from plantar fascitis). Fortunately, being able to walk wasn’t a required skill for the upgrade. I always like Scott’s positive vibe and Robin was key for improving my form.

Took a break from driving and paddled a random creek in Arkansas- hurricane creek in a wildlife management area. I managed about 1.5 miles before being blocked by wood.

A couple of days on the Mulberry River, AR. It was low and we passed on the Buffalo, wanting to do the upper reaches. We boated during the week, found the ATVers in the campground (Byrd’s)to be respectful, and survived a couple of encounters with youth groups on the water.

showing off my rec boater form

part 2 Oklahoma…we were knocking off a few “new to me” paddling states
Washita River- getting in was a challenge- layers of silt lining the shore- ended up wading a creek to gain entry- passed the takeout because the side channel where the car was park was inaccessible to the main flow, some hitchhiking, some carrying and dragging boats up to the road- not fun with the plantar fascitis

part 3 New Mexico
racecourse section (downstream of Taos) of the Rio Grande- again low flow, keyed off the rafts for finding initial lines, we liked this section with its easy shuttle- ran this 4x

orilla float trip above the race course

Nice update and photos!

However, really questionable rec boater form. Actually wearing a PFD?? And, where is your beer cooler/open container? -S-

part 3.5, more of new mexico
the “lost” Rio Chama-paddled a stretch of river that would be underwater if it weren’t for a drought and low lake conditions- water very cold- we were underdressed, finished with a lake paddle in stormy conditions

notice the water line from the lake

Rio Chama Chavez Canyon to Big Eddy

part 4 Animas town run in Durango CO, we shared the river with commercial rafts, the highlight being the park rapid, took out at the purple cliffs

San Juan Town Run (pagosa springs) shared the river with tubers

the last part, 4.5
ran 1 mile of the lake fork of the gunnison CO (no photos)

Headwaters run (Boxcanyon section) on the Rio Grande in CO

Arkansas River (Salida CO) 4 different sections- Big Horn Canyon, Town Run, Brown’s Canyon

1 Like

What a great trip! Thanks for the photos and sharing your vacation.

Great trip and great country to paddle in. Hunted north of Pagosa a number of times, but have never paddled out west. Been through Durango and Gunnison, and hunted the head waters of the Rio Grande. New Mexico is beautiful. Thanks for all the photos.