Huck Colorado – Taylor River

Today we woke to a (mostly) cloudless sky and a beautiful morning sun, a nice change from yesterday evenings’ rainy, wet weather.  We packed our boats in the vans and headed to the RMOC outpost. Once we decided on which river we would paddle, the Taylor River, and we met up with our pros, we headed up and over Cottonwood mountain-pass into a nearby valley.  The valley, unlike the desert area in which we have been camping and have come to call our home, differed greatly in scenery and was heavily forested. We had an hour long, very scenic car ride to the put in of the river. Once there, we enjoyed a lunch of peanut butter, honey, and banana tortillas before putting in.  The Taylor River was very different from the rivers we have been paddling over the past few days. Instead of the wide, open Arkansas that we have been paddling, it was much creekier, and more similar to our southeastern classics such as the Green, the Chatooga, or the Cheoah. We enjoyed joking about how the creek reminded us of our staff member, Tay-Tay, with whom it shares its name because the river was short, but strong and powerful. Highlight rapids included a slotted drop in which we caught a quick eddy and ferried across the river and down. Another fun moment on the river was when Andrew was pretending to be a herbivorous dinosaur and put a leaf in his mouth pretending to eat it, after he spit it out, he noticed that his tongue began to feel numb, which it remained for the next ten minutes. The view back up Cottonwood Pass was even more spectacular than on our way down.  The sun was beginning to set over the mountains. It was lighting up the clouds across the sky with a dark orange and reflecting on a distant lake. To top that off, the front van spotted a moose, so we all exited and enjoyed watching it graze in the grass from afar with the beautiful mountain backdrop. Both vans managed to coast down the entire downhill half of the mountain-pass all the way to the town of Buena Vista, a whopping 19.6 miles in 40 minutes, surely a new record. We all had an awesome day both on and off the river, and made it back to the campsite safe and sound. Our loving counselors are currently cooking dinner for our tuckered-out group, while we lounge around the campsite. The perfect ending to another awesome day in Colorado.

-Turner

Pictures Courtesy of Darin McQuoid and Jez. Huck Colorado is a kayak program for teens.

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