Ray’s Tavern Neon Sign Glows Brightly
If you have ever been to Green River, Utah and not eaten at Ray’s Tavern consider yourself deprived. Ray’s is famous for their hamburgers and home cut fries. They also have a great selection of other grilled foods including Chicken and Pork Chops. In the Colorado River & Trail Expeditions family it is customary to stop at Ray’s after our rafting trips and whenever we have a large contingent in Green River. Usually the place is packed with over 100 people in the small inside dining room and the outside picnic benches. It has been in Green River since 1946.
If you are coming on a Desolation Canyon river trip or Westwater Canyon Trip make sure to plan on a night at Ray’s before or after your river adventure. You won’t be disappointed. Rays is located at 25 Broadway.
Another great time to visit Green River and Ray’s Tavern is during Melon Days. One year the CRATE crew was around town after a fall Cataract Canyon. We hand carved a Melon Helmet and headed to the celebration. It was a fun night and the Melon helmet was a hit. Everyone in Ray’s wanted a chance to wear it.
Via, the magazine of AAA recently did a rafting trip with Colorado River and Trail Expeditions on the 1-day section of Gray Canyon. The river trip was in conjunction with a weekender article about heading to Green River, Utah and exploring the area. Other attractions listed in the article included the “Good Water Rim Trial”, “Crystal Geyser”, the “John Wesley Powell River History Museum,” and “Goblin Valley State Park.”
The trip leader on the trip was Alex Jensen and is quoted in the article calling Green River and Gray Canyon “a special place that no one knows about.” We think Alex’s description of the area is right on. Green River is a special place that is often less crowded and overlooked due to the popularity of nearby Moab. The area has a remote beauty to it and the Green River 1-day section is as good of a river trip as the Colorado River 1-Day section above Moab.
Colorado River & Trail Expeditions generally meets our guests in Green River, Utah for their trips on the Green River as well as many of our Westwater Canyon river trips on the Colorado River.
Colorado River & Trail Expeditions has been running a photo contest this entire year. The photo contest has three categories: people, scenery, and river. The winners of the photo contest are chosen based upon their popularity on social media. The winner of each category will receive a multi-day rafting expedition on through one of Utah’s Desolation, Cataract, or Westwater Canyons. The Grand Prize winner will receive a river rafting trip through the Grand Canyon in 2014 with acclaimed photographer Tom Till.
The contest will end at midnight on November 30, 2013 and the winners will be announced shortly after. If you have a photo in the contest be sure to promote your chances of winning by getting everyone you know to vote for your photo. If you don’t have any photos in the contest make sure to go to the Colorado River & Trail Expeditions website and browse the incredible artwork on display and be sure to vote for your favorites.
Backbend by Marsha Gale
Rafting by definition is “the sport or pastime of traveling down a river on a raft.” Rafting to us is much more. It is the thrill and excitement of rapids. It is the great bonds you make with fellow river rats. It is the journey to discover nature and get back to your roots of wildness. It is the beauty of side canyons and the sounds of wildlife. It is more than one could ever put into words.
A multi-day rafting trip is the ultimate getaway. Not only do you have a chance to disconnect from the strains of modern technology, but you also get to relax and bond with friends, family, strangers, and yourself. If you have been thinking about doing a rafting trip this is the year. Colorado River & Trail Expeditions has some great trips planned in 2014 including an archaeological based rafting trip through Desolation Canyon. We are also planning on heading north to Alaska to run the Alsek and Tatshenshini rivers.
River trips are nice because once you arrive at the meeting point for a trip you don’t have to worry about anything until the trip ends. All of your food, and sleeping accomodations are taken care of. Your only requirement is to sit back and enjoy the place.
The Department of the interior will conduct a high flow experimental release next week from Glen Canyon Dam. This is consistent with the High-Flow Protocol and is related to the sediment input that has occurred below Glen Canyon Dam. Those on our “Epic” September rowing trip through the Grand Canyon know the area received an incredible amount of precipitation with the Paria River and Little Colorado River bringing over 5000 cfs each into the system at one time during September. Supposedly there is about three times more sediment in the system this time compared to the last high flow experiment in 2012.
Water released for high flow experiment in 2012 from the Bureau of Reclamation
This management of the Dam is done to restore the beaches and habitat in the Grand Canyon. The idea is to bring sediment up from the bottom of the river and deposit it on the sides in the form of beaches. Before Glen Canyon Dam the Colorado River would flood every spring and leave behind huge amounts of sand as the water receded into summer and fall. This would clear off the vegetation below the high water line and clean the sand on the beaches. The hope of these high flow experiments is to recreate these conditions. These conditions still happen naturally above Glen Canyon Dam in Canyonlands National Park and Cataract Canyon.
The real difference between the historic floods and these man made floods is the volume of water and length of time of the flood. A natural spring flow in the Grand Canyon would regularly bring 80,000 to 125,000 cfs while the scheduled man made flood this time around is expected to peak at 37,200 cfs and last about 96 hours. Another thing that puts a big damper on beach building is the loss of sediment in the Colorado River due to Glen Canyon Dam. As Lake Powell slows the water of the Colorado River the sediment all drops out. This is why below Glen Canyon Dam the water comes out clear and cold..,,
Our experience on the river has been incredibly beautiful beaches immediately after one of these flooding events. Unfortunately as the season goes on the beaches tend to return to their original size or even smaller due to the fluctuating dam flows, monsoons, and natural weather conditions. This loss of sediment is a huge problem and we commend those who have worked so hard to get this adaptive management in place. As the population continues to rise in the southwest the demand on the water is increased every year we hope new solutions will continue to arise and the Grand Canyon as a resource will always be protected.
After the Grand Canyon rafting season ends it is time to start preparing for next April. One of the projects that we undertake is the maintenance on our side tubes. This entails fixing any problems and painting the tubes. We do this work In Fredonia, AZ aka the “Center of the Universe.”
The Side Tubes for Grand Canyon Rafting
The first step is to take the tubes out of the warehouse and inflate them outside of our building. Once the tubes are inflated we check to see if any of the tubes are leaking air or need rubber work. Then we fix any and all problems by sanding and glueing patches back onto the tubes. It is amazing how well these tubes hold up. They are built incredibly well. Most of our sidetubes were built by the Uniroyal Tire company. The biggest problem this year seemed to be the grommet patch on the front of the nose of the tube that we lace to our raft and use as a step for our whitewater rafting guests. Some of the grommets had been pulled out by the incredible force that is placed on these grommets as large waves hit and try to separate the sidetube from the raft.
After the patching and glueing was done it was time to start sanding the old loose paint off of the tubes. This is a time consuming task but sometimes it is nice to do a project that you don’t have to think about too much and can just let your mind wander. Once the tubes are sanded down we have to mask them so we don’t get paint on the places we don’t want. Then it is time for the painting. This is the best part of the project.
Painting the side tubes goes quickly and it is great to see how good the tubes look.
The last couple of days we have been at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for our annual Grand Canyon National Park Concession meetings. It was good to see all of our fellow river outfitters and National Park personnel. Time was spent reviewing our past season and what to expect for next year. We always feel lucky to travel to the South Rim and peer down into the abyss of the Grand Canyon. It is a spiritual experience and it reminds us of the exciting and fun times rafting along the Colorado River.
At the head of the Bright Angel Trail there is a new, very nice area complete with bathrooms to wait for fellow hikers. The Kolb studio was showcasing some amazing paintings of the Grand Canyon many of which were for sale. If you get to the rim definitely check out the artwork on display. Other highlights included waking up to dusting of light snow and running along the rim of the Grand Canyon along the “Trail of Time.”
Another thing we got to check out was the “Power House” building. There is talk to take this incredible old building, which used two Fairbanks-Morse continuous-duty Type D Diesel generators to supply power to the South Rim, and transform it into a museum for art or historic boats of the Grand Canyon. The building has a lot of character with high ceilings and lots of windows. The generators are still there as well as the power switches with their original labels: Indian Garden Pump; El Tovar; Fire Pump; Bright Angel Lights and Power; USNPS; Train Yard; Turbine Cooling Tower; Power House. On the other side of the building is the old Ice House where ice was made to supply the lodges and restaurants. It will be exciting to see what becomes of the Power House over the next couple of years.
C.R.A.T.E., Colorado River and Trail Expeditions presents a wonderful Infographic titled ‘Paddling Strokes for Beginners’. It has been created to outline the basics of paddling a raft. It adumbrates the 6 common paddle strokes a rafter must be efficient at.
The Infographic reveals:
- Names and visual guide of the different types of stokes
- The effect of each stroke while rafting
- ‘How-to’ steps for each stroke
Paddling a river raft is pretty challenging task for beginners as they have to work as a team to guide the raft down a river and through whitewater rapids. Paddling involves both skill and the ability to work with others as a team.
C.R.A.T.E., Colorado River and Trail Expeditions presents wonderful Infographic titled ‘Paddling Guides for Dummies: How to Paddle a River Raft’. It has been created to outline the basics of paddling for beginners. It adumbrates the common paddling techniques a rafter must be efficient at.
The Infographic reveals:
- Names and visual guide of the different paddling techniques
- The effect of each paddling technique
- ‘How-to’ steps for paddling
“Jerry Spangler talks about 9 Mile Canyon and Desolation Canyon”
For our lunch hour the CRATE team decided to go up to the University of Utah and listen to Jerry Spangler, professional archaeologist, Director of the Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance, and expert on Utah’s Nine Mile Canyon. Spangler’s presentation “Nine Mile Canyon: The Archaeological History of an American Treasure” is named after his new book which chronicles the history of archaeological research in the area dating back to 1890.
For those unfamiliar with the area. Our Desolation Canyon river trip on the Green River originates at Sand Wash. Just below Sand Wash on river right Nine Mile or Minnie Maud Creek joins the Green River. This Nine Mile Canyon is known as the “world’s longest art gallery”, and it is believed to be home to one of the most concentrated areas of Rock Art in the United States.
From the presentation we learned that 9-mile canyon is actually 45 miles long and John Wesley Powell had actually named Rock Creek, further downstream in Desolation Canyon, 9-Mile Canyon because he had spent some time mapping there. Unfortunately somewhere along the way Powell’s map has been misinterpreted.
In addition to the wonderful photos of the archaeology of the area Spangler gave a very interesting history of the archaeologists who have worked in the area. Colorado River & Trail Expeditions is really excited because we have a Desolation Canyon Archaeology Rafting Expedition slated for June 1-8, 2014 and Spangler or one of his crew has agreed to join us on the trip and talk about the area and show us some of the sites they have found.
For more information about CRATE’s Desolation Canyon Archaeology Rafting Expedition call Vicki at 1-800-253-7328.