June 25, 2004

The Lower Gunnison River/ Dominguez Canyon

We just enjoyed three days of hot desert rafting. The Lower Gunnison is a non-permitted class I-II stretch. What does a professional class V guide do for fun?.....class I!- ba-dum-pa. What a fabulous time. The only other river traffic was a commercial canoeing trip, they were our neighbors the first night. Their guide, Stan, showed us the lay of the land and was a big help since this was our first time there. Along with a desire to have an engineering degree - cartography would have been a good trade for one of us-(not super encouraging for two folks about to hit the road for a year). Stan also coined the phrase “refocusing” as opposed to retiring. I’ll have to use that.

The canyons were majestic, the weather perfect and the mosquitoes were hardly a nuisance since the biting flies distracted you from them. Dan had a momentary lapse into “Full Metal Jacket” mode where, I am sorry to report, an untimely death came to about 50 biting deer flies. After his a carnal man v. beast display, the smell of death seemed to scare the other bugs away. Who needs Deet- I’ve got Dan.

Tonight we are attending the bachelor/ bachelorette parties of our friends whose wedding is this weekend. Sunday (assuming we didn’t partake too much in the open bar) we are on the road. Six weeks of “refocusing” before our Grand Canyon trip.

Note to readers: When we are on the road I often read our emails on our phone- this makes replying a bit tricky- you know hit the #7 four times to get “s” and so on. If you get a reply from us that is both short and fraught with lines like: thx- and- u r great 2, then you may assume I am trying to conquer technology, and I rarely win in those battles. If you are willing to accept that our replies may not reflect the same writing style we try and showcase here- then email away- we always try and reply.

Now here's the pictures.


Dan bridge jumping.


Somehow I don't look quite as cool- could it be because I am very afraid of heights???


Our boat. The biminy is a new addition and this was its first test run. It will be a fabulous thing to have on the Grand in August.


Rachel rowing.


Dang rowing(by the way Daniel Goddard is called Dang by most everyone)


The view from Dominguez Canyon.


Another Dominguez Canyon view.


Our first night's camp.


Last shot from the rio. Us under the man-made water fall/ shower on Dominguez Creek

Now for some pictures from the Red Bull Divide and Conquer race we worked last weekend...


This is the view from the put-in. We had to put on at 6:30 am to beat the racers to our check point- BURRRRRR!


This is Dan running No Name rapid, a class V. We were hired to provide safety through this rapid for the race. As it turned out this was the only rapid on the whole 27 mile stretch where anyone swam. And swim they did.


This guy tried SO hard to will his boat back to shore, but he had to wait until all the competitors had passed our check point for us to pull his boat off that rock for him. Then, in last place, he still paddled the remaining 20 miles and his team finished the race.


The adventure race was a four-man relay race. The first team member ran 7 miles up Kendall Mtn. from Silverton. He then passed off a silver nugget to a paraglider who dropped off the mountain as fast as he could to the river put-in. Then the kayaker raced down 27 miles of solid class IV-V rapids. Finally a mtn. biker road 27 miles of gruling terrain to the finish at Durango Mountain Resort. This was billed as the hardest race ever in N.A. and was styled after the Dolamite Race.



Racers


This is the Rockwood Gorge, the last set of rapids before the end of the kayaking leg.


And Finally a photo from Dusty and Lauren's wedding- what a wonderful spot to get hitched :)

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