With the fine fall weather and wanting a river trip, Joan and I went on for what we now think of as our classic “triangle” packrafting trip.
This means we go down a canyon, float along the river, and exit out another canyon to finish the trip.
Altogether, we did roughly thirty miles, with each leg about equal length.
We immensely enjoy these trips as they let us see the landscape differently and connect the area in a way that “just” hiking or “just” rafting does not necessarily do. We feel immersed in the place we call home.
After camping out the first night, the river greeted us with that fabled smooth-as-glass look and with a water level much lower than when I floated back in May on an extended trip.
The approach to our put-in gave us a dry area with little mud and a sandy beach.
About the perfect conditions for rafting with little wind, warm temps, and gorgeous scenery.
We meandered down the river and enjoyed it with its red rocks, cliffs, solitude, and the relaxing pace for the mileage we wanted to cover.
We even took a side trip to see a Pueblo structure and the images they left behind on the path we traveled.
We enjoyed another beach while eating our lunch while continuing to watch the river flow.
We continued down the river to our take-out with plenty of time before the sunset.
We enjoyed the light show of the late autumn night.
We hiked out via a low-angle break in the cliffs that led us to our initial road walk to make our way back to the canyon rim.
We walked along the quiet road with expansive views of the canyon bottom.
We soon reached the start of the climb up to the canyon rim via an old sheepherder trail.
We enjoyed more magnificent views as we went closer to the rim.
The final push made for less of a trail and more of a vertical boulder hop.
Just before the rim, we saw one last Pueblo structure before heading back to the truck, enjoying some drinks from the cooler, and continuing to enjoy the place we call home.