Water Education 101 – Grand Canyon Seeps and Springs

Did you ever stop to think, really think, about the relationship of people to water? In the beginnings of human history, people searched for water and migrated to it. They probably respected seeps and springs as sacred places, because they were life-giving and life-saving. Once we learned to harness water and bring it to us, instead of the other way around, most of the magic was lost. Today, in America, we take it for granted that good, cold, fresh, clean water will pour forth from our taps. We give little thought or regard to where this water really comes from, and we wouldn’t know if the source was overflowing or becoming depleted. It’s definitely something to think about – water as sacred, water as life, water as endangered.

This short video about Grand Canyon seeps and springs is beautiful. The amazing scenery, the whitewater excitement, and lovely grottoes and waterfalls, will make you want to visit, or maybe even take a river trip! If and when you go, you will have a better understanding of the importance of seeps and springs in the Grand Canyon.

Green River Raft Trips and Ray’s Tavern

Ray's Tavern Neon Sign Glows Brightly

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.

Paddling Strokes for Beginners [Infographic]

Paddling Strokes Infographic by CRATEINCC.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

Archaeologist Speaks on Utah’s Nine Mile Canyon

Green River Archaeology

“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.

 

 

 

Chicken Salad Recipe

Over the years, we’ve had many compliments and questions about the meals we prepare on our river trips.  We thought we would share a recipe with those of you who would like to try preparing one of more popular lunches at home.

Chicken Salad Wraps (Serves approx. 5)

– 2-3 Cans (7.5 oz) Canned Chicken- 2 Cups Celery
– 1-2 Tomatoes
– 1 Cucumber
– 1 Red Onion
– 2 Cups Red Grapes
– 1 Cup Whole Cashews
– 1 Head of Romaine or Iceberg Lettuce
– Mayonnaise
-1 Package of Tortillas

Open/drain the Canned Chicken and add to a large bowl.  Dice Celery, Tomatoes, Cucumber and Red Onion and add to the bowl.  Shred the Lettuce and add to the bowl.  Add Red Grapes (can be whole or sliced in half) and Cashews.  Add enough Mayonnaise to get the consistency you want and mix all the ingredients together.

Serve in a tortilla and enjoy!

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Cataract Canyon Photography River Trip Hosted by Tom Till

tomTillSpecial Photography River Trip Hosted by Tom Till, July 29-August 4, 2013

Colorado River Cataract Canyon, Canyonlands National Park

We are excited to announce this special on-river photography workshop with Tom Till.  Tom has lived in Moab, Utah, and has been exploring and photographing the surrounding red rock canyon country for 40 years.  Sharing Tom’s enthusiasm and expertise in his “own backyard,” is a rare opportunity.  The trip is limited to 12 participants to ensure that Tom is able to provide some one-on-one instruction to each person.  Don’t wait too long to make your reservation if you want to photograph Utah’s beautiful Canyonlands with one of the best and nicest photo pros in the business, reserve your place today.

If you have any questions or would like more details about the 2013 Photography Rafting Expeditions hosted by Tom Till, please contact our office at 1-800-253-7328 or crate@crateinc.com.  Additionally, our current brochure includes descriptive information about Cataract Canyon rafting.

About Tom Tom has a degree in education from Iowa State University and was a professional teacher for eight years.  His forty years of exploring the Canyon Country and the world with his camera, and his 32 years as a professional photographer make him uniquely qualified as a workshop instructor and tour leader.  Tom is also an experienced river runner.  He is approachable, eager to share his knowledge, and patient and encouraging with his fellow photographers.  He believes everyone has a unique vision of the world that better photography can reveal.  Proficient with 4×5 medium format, and 35mm cameras, Tom is up-to-date with the latest technology and film and digital cameras.  Visit Tom’s website at www.tomtillphotography.com

Tom’s traveling exhibit of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, sponsored by the UN and U.S. State Department is in its third year of crisscrossing the world.  Tom recently received an award for his work with the Nature Conservancy, the second from that organization he has earned.

RAFTING PHOTO CONTEST NOW OPEN

New for 2013 – Photo Sharing/Photo Contest Instructions

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions has designed and developed a section on our website where our rafting guests can share photos from their river trip with each other.   Additionally, CRATE has instituted a 2013 Photo Contest with some incredible prizes.  Here is how it all works:

1.             CRATE customers create a login for themselves.  This can be done through your social media accounts or just through your e-mail address.

 

2.              After creating a user file and agreeing to CRATE’s privacy policies, participants can upload their 10 best photos from their river trip onto CRATE’s photo sharing webpage.  This can be done by a drag and drop method on more modern browsers(Chrome, Firefox, Opera), or by selecting the photos on your computer and clicking the “upload” button.

 

3.              When the upload is complete, participants will be asked to tell more about each photo.  Who took the photo? What was happening when the photo was taken? Where was the photo taken? When was the photo taken – time of day, how far into the trip? How did you take it – type of camera, special camera settings, unique physical location or requirements, etc.  Why – what prompted you to take this picture? The more that is written in the description section, the more interesting it will be for others to look at.

 

4.              After you have set up your account, you will be able to download photos posted by other participants from your trip onto your own computer for your personal use.  We think this will be a great feature for our guests, because up to 250 of the best pictures from your trip will be available for sharing.

 

5.              Participants will also be able to browse photos from other CRATE trips, although the download feature will only be available for guests on the same trip.

 

6.              In addition to Photo Sharing, CRATE will also be running a Photo Contest in
2013.  After agreeing to our rules and procedures a participant can enter a maximum of six photos split among three categories.  The categories are “Landscape,” “People,” and “River. “ For the Landscape category we are looking for beautiful scenery.  For the People category we are looking for photos with people having a good time hiking, relaxing, getting splashed with a wall of water, or just having a good time on a river trip.  For the river section of the contest we are looking for great shots of boats and rapids.

7.              Now the EXCITING PART —The Photo Contest will run until midnight on November 30, 2013.

 

The winners will be decided based on fan votes and popularity.  Every time a photo is downloaded by a fellow trip-mate, shared on social media, or liked by someone it will receive points through CRATE’s photo contest algorithim.  The photograph having the most points will be deemed the Grand Prize winner.  The Grand Prize winner will receive a space on the 2014 Tom Till Grand Canyon Photography Workshop Trip May 3-14.  The winner from each category will receive 1 free Utah rafting vacation through Desolation, Cataract, or Westwater Canyon.  GET YOUR PHOTOS UPLOADED EARLY SO YOU CAN START ACQUIRING VOTES!!!

That’s it! You’re entered.

Best of all, by using Crate’s Photo Sharing Web Page, all CRATE customers can see your photos and be inspired by the fun, excitement, beauty and adventure experienced on a river expedition.

 

Photo Sharing Rules and Licensing Agreement

Legal Details // Your Rights

You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit other than those rights licensed in the following paragraph.

By submitting your photo(s) for inclusion on Colorado River and Trail Expeditions’ Photo Sharing Web Page and/or Photo Contest:  (1) you hereby grant to Colorado River & Trail Expeditions, Inc., a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and publicly perform the photograph(s) you submit, and the right to use your name, state and country of residence in promotions and other publications; and  (2) you hereby grant to other Photo Sharing Participants on your same river trip the right to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display your photographs for their personal use only.

Please Note:  When you place your photos on the CRATE photo sharing sight, you retain the copyright and ownership of the photos, but you are permitting other people on your trip to download them and use them for personal purposes that may include showing them in a public slide show and/or sharing them on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook  and Pinterest, or other media sites. This is great exposure for your art, but we urge you not to post any photo that you do not want to share with the world at large.

 

If any person appearing in any photograph is under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian is must give all necessary releases and consents to the photographer.

 

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions, Inc. will review all submitted photographs and retains the right to reject or remove those that in our opinion are inappropriate, obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable.

 

Photo Contest Rules and Licensing Agreement

 

*The photograph, in its entirety, must be a single work of original material taken by the Contest entrant. By entering the Contest, entrant represents, acknowledges and warrants that the submitted photograph is an original work created solely by the entrant, that the photograph does not infringe on the copyrights, trademarks, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity, and that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in the photograph.

 

*If the photograph contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the photograph, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the photograph in the manner set forth in these Official Rules.

 

*Upon Colorado River & Trail Expedition’s request, each entrant must be prepared to provide a signed release from all persons who appear in the photograph submitted. Failure to provide such releases upon request may result in disqualification at any time during the Contest and selection of an alternate winner.

 

Legal Details // Your Rights

You will retain all rights to any photograph you submit other than those rights licensed in the following paragraph.

By submitting your photo(s) for inclusion on Colorado River and Trail Expeditions’ Photo Sharing Web Page and/or Photo Contest:  (1) you hereby grant to Colorado River & Trail Expeditions, Inc., a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and publicly perform the photograph(s) you submit, and the right to use your name, state and country of residence in promotions and other publications; and  (2) you hereby grant to other Photo Sharing Participants on your same river trip the right to reproduce, distribute, and publicly display your photographs for their personal use only.

Please Note:  When you place your photos on the CRATE photo sharing sight, you retain the copyright and ownership of the photos, but you are permitting other people on your trip to download them and use them for personal purposes that may include showing them in a public slide show and/or sharing them on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook  and Pinterest, or other media sites. This is great exposure for your art, but we urge you not to post any photo that you do not want to share with the world at large.

 

If any person appearing in any photograph is under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian is must give all necessary releases and consents to the photographer.

 

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions, Inc. will review all submitted photographs and retains the right to reject or remove those that in our opinion are inappropriate, obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable.

 

 

 

 

13 Experiences For 2013

 

#1.  Walk on a Glacier

Walker Glacier

On the Walker Glacier with the Alsek River in the background.

Positioned below the Tatshenshini and Alsek River confluence is the Walker Glacier.  Though the Walker Glacier has been receding continually since the first Colorado River & Trail Expeditions trip in the late 1970’s,  it still offers a relatively short hike to its base where it is possible to get on top of the glacier and hike on it amongst miniature ice rivers and waterfalls, deep blue crevasses, and huge boulders it has carried on its back for thousands of years.

 

#2.  Captain Your Own Boat 

Preparing for the rapids

Enjoying the calm between rapids on the Green River.

Join Colorado RIver & Trail Expeditions on a Green River rafting trip through Desolation Canyon and pilot your very own one-person or two-person inflatable kayak through over 50 mild to wild Class II and Class III rapids.  No prior experience is necessary, as the guides will give you instruction. Each day the rapids get bigger to match your increasing ability.

 

#3 Take a Leap 

Jumping at Elves Chasm

The Elves Chasm Leap

One of the most beautiful places in the Grand Canyon is Elves Chasm.  The chasm is full of ferns and a lovely waterfall in a setting that is as spectacular as any on Earth.  During the times the Colorado River is flowing muddy, Elves Chasm is especially inviting because of its cool clear water.  The only way to truly experience Elves Chasm is to swim through its inviting pool and climb up behind the waterfall where there is a perfect place to take a jump into the pool below.

 

 

#4.  Sleep Under a Blanket of Stars

Star Pattern Captured at Grapevine Camp in the Grand Canyon

For most of our human existence the stars have been our compass, our calendar, and our source of myths and legends.  Unfortunately, over the last 100 years the light pollution from cities and towns has made it hard to see the sky as our ancestors did for thousands of years.  A river trip down any of the rivers in the Southwestern United States is a great way to see the moon, stars, and planets in a setting free of light pollution.  The Colorado Plateau is recognized as one of the best star gazing areas in the United States because of how sparsely populated it is.

 

#5.  Enjoy a Thunderstorm in the Desert

Mikenna Clokey’s photo of Rimfalls above the Marble Canyon Dam Site

It is rare for it to rain in the desert, but when it does, it is incredibly exciting.  The Monsoon Season usually starts in mid-July and ends about the third week in August in the Colorado Plateau region.  The normal scheme of things is for the clouds to start building shortly after lunchtime leading into wind, thunder, lightning, and finally a downpour of rain in the afternoon. The storm is usually short lived and clears up by dinner time.  During the months of July and August the storms are usually a welcome cool down from the hot dry summer.  If one is really lucky they might get to experience rim falls.  Rim falls are waterfalls that pour off of the canyon walls into to river.  They are formed when it rains hard enough for the water not to soak into the desert soil.

 

#6.  Choose Real instead of Virtual 

frog on max arm

Trade Virual For Real Memories

In today’s society it is hard to escape the virtual world.  Everywhere you go, people are zoned in on their smartphone partaking in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and watching Youtube videos.  2013 is a year to get back to real friends, real family, real games, and real experiences.  The best way to do this is to go to a magical place where these devices don’t work.  Multiday rafting tours are an excellent way to accomplish this. Once a couple of days have passed, real adventures and memorable experiences will far outshine the virtual world.

 

#7.  Peruse an Ancient Gallery

Ancient Rock art in Canyonlands National park

Rock Art in Canyonlands National Park seen on a Cataract Canyon Rafting Trip

The ancient rock art left behind by the Fremont and Ancestral Puebloan Cultures of the Colorado Plateau is some of the most interesting and beautiful found anywhere.  No one can definitely say what the art means, but most agree it was an important part of ancient culture.  The rivers of Southeast Utah and Northern Arizona offer a great way to experience these magical, mysterious rock art panels.

 

#8.  Float into the Wild West

Abandoned Ranch Equipment at Rock Creek Ranch

 Desolation Canyon is in a remote area of Eastern Utah.  It is Cowboy Country in every aspect of the word.  Access to the area is the Green River, which offers the perfect highway to see the sites and ruins of the old West.  Desolation Canyon has been home to homesteaders, ranchers, wranglers, outlaws, and Native Americans.  All along the banks of the Green River are reminders of this, including herds of wild horses.  Highlights of the 5-day Desolation Canyon adventure include stopping at historic Rock Creek Ranch, hiking to an old bootlegger hideout, and stopping at Flat Canyon to view a spectacular petroglyph panel.

 

#9.  Watch the Grand Canyon’s Walls Rise and Fall

Watch the Canyon Walls Rise and Fall Raft all 278 Miles

To know the Grand Canyon is to travel through all 278 miles of its grandeur.  This means rafting the Colorado River from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead.  There is something special about seeing the canyon’s walls rise at the beginning of the trip and gradually fall away at the end.

 

 

 

#10. Un-runable Rapids? Then Helicopter Portage

Helicopter Picks up the First Cargo Net of Gear for Portage Around Turnback Canyon

Experience a thrilling helicopter ride over a section of Class VI rapids when you join Colorado River & Trail Expeditions on their Alsek Rafting Expedition August 4-15, 2013.  At Turnback Canyon the Tweedsmuir Glacier has pushed the river up against a solid wall of granite, creating a 5 mile section of whitewater that is un-runable for rafts.  The night before the portage, the rafts are de-rigged and prepared for portage.  Then the next morning the helicopter swoops in, picks up the gear and passengers, and transfers them below Turnback Canyon.  The portage takes about 10 helicopter trips.

 

#11.  Rejuvinate with a Power Nap

Rafters Power Nap After a Delicious Lunch

Maybe the best thing about getting away for a few days on a river trip is the ability to leave your troubles at home.  To have a mind that is worry free is one of a river’s great blessings. After a few days of living with the Earth and the wind playing with your hair, relaxation will come easy.  This relaxation will lead to the great pastime of taking a noon time power nap sprawled out on the sand after a yummy lunch!

 

#12.  Capture True Wilderness in the Soul

Wild Alaska Rafting

Mindy Mackay’s Chaco Tanned Foot next to a Grizzly Bear Track

On Colorado River & Trail Expeditions’ last Alsek River trip, the group saw over 30 Bears (Black and Grizzly), 2 Wolverines, a Wolf, Mountain Sheep, and countless Eagles.  The wildlife is the just the beginning! Besides the animals, there are glaciers, icebergs, craggy peaks, dense forests, giant unnamed lakes, and a huge river with a couple of Grand Canyon style rapids.  Sitting around a big fire in the midnight sun telling stories and soaking up the wildness does wonders for you soul.

 

#13. Do Something You Never, Ever, Ever,  Dreamed of Doing

Swimming in the Little Colorado River

 There are countless stories of people who had never camped a night in their life until they took their first river trip.  For most of them, the river trip was life-changing, and they claim it was the best thing that they ever did.  Many have come back for other trips.  So don’t let a fear of camping or living outside deter you.  The meals, camping equipment, and bathrooms are better than any campground, and the river is always there for washing your hair.  Besides, Colorado River & Trail Expeditions will take great care of you, as will the the Rivers and Canyons.

 

Colorado River & Trail Expeditions offers rafting trips through North America’s most beautiful locations.  To learn more about these incredible experiences visit their website www.crateinc.com or call 1-800-253-7328.