Day 13: A river runs through it

110 miles
$85.75: KOA (Moab, UT )

It was still sprinkling when I awoke this morning on the Colorado National Monument. But it was cool, and time for a morning walk on the rim.

It’s a magical time of day, and the view is spectacular. Just outside the Monument, you can see Fruita, and a bit of Grand Junction, CO.

Note to those (like me) who wear progressive lenses: take them off before you walk the rim trail.

The birds and I-70 were fighting for aural dominance, and the birds won.

Sometimes I see things in rock formations. Do you? Separated at birth?

My favorite way to get to Moab from the East is via Cisco, UT on State Route 128. It’s a little bumpy, and under construction, but it takes me back in time. And I don’t care if the next services are in 54 miles – I’m towing my own bathroom.

When I get to the river, I take the drone out for some fun. What a view!

I stop at “Hittle Bottom” to try the kayak in the Colorado River.

Most folks float down river, and have someone pick them up. I don’t have that luxury (yet), so I just put it, and pedal furiously up-river.

That gets me around a few turns, but a little ways up, the current is just too much for me. I head back, and put the kayak back atop the car.

I notice a tour group from Wild West Voyages out of Moab, setting out down the river.

I ask the driver of the van towing the boat trailer what they have to offer. Turns out, she’s the co-owner of the outfit, and since she has some time to kill before she needs to pick up this group, offers to take my kayak 6 miles upriver on her flatbed trailer. I’m exhausted from car-topping the kayak after my jaunt, but how can I pass this up? Yes, please!

I race back to the trailer to un-cartop the kayak, spray on some sunscreen, and gather some water and snacks. This stretch of the Colorado river is one of the most breathtaking stretched of river scenery, and I can’t wait to experience it from the comfort of my own kayak.

As Kathryn and I talk en route, her love and respect for the river is tangible. I’ll bet their excursions are top-notch, and I vow to come back to experience one.

The Hobie’s kayak’s “Mirage Drive” is really overkill (an inner tube might do) but it instills confidence when navigating swirling eddies. I’m careful about depth, since the drive system juts down quite a bit under the kayak, and I can’t see submerged rock formations below the water’s surface. The river is fairly swollen.

I’ve talked about my hair-trigger crying reflex when confronted with natural beauty, and this stretch of the Colorado River is full of triggers. It’s hard to believe a place like this really exists. The rock formations are massive and stretch into the sky, dwarfing any river-goers. The quiet of the water is only occasionally interrupted by a car along Rt. 128. But even then, some passengers wave. We’re all here to enjoy the river, aren’t we?

At one point, I see a rickety ladder scaling the side for the canyon. Perhaps a prospector erected in the 1890s. There must be a story there.

Those of you who have been following this blog for a long time may remember a trip-ending incident in 2015 when my awning was blown off the trailer by a monsoon as my brother and I enjoyed Canyonlands. One of my goals on this stretch of the trip was to erase that bad mojo, and NOT have an awning ripped off on this stretch. I found the exact campsite, and pulled in.

Compare to 2015.

(And the night shot I took)

Mission accomplished. I moved on.

My visit to the KOA in Moab is really just a way to stall for time until I get my one coveted night to camp in Arches. But it really is a beautiful site, nonetheless.

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