Diary Gallery Kit
Friday 4th July - Moab Utah Previous Top End Next

07:00 is not a civilised time to be getting up on your day off, but we did it anyway, just so we could spend some more money getting burned to a crisp in a small rubber boat on a large angry river. At the time it seemed like an idea of distinctly dubious merit to me given my general lack of any talent in and around water. As it transpired, I was worrying for nothing and the day was quite enjoyable really. We spent the first hour and a half or so in a minibus going to the launch ramp. On the way we stopped at a small 'town' called Cisco, which had a shop. As far as I could see, that was all it had, but we were assured that a number of the gap ridden sheds and rotting trailers were actually occupied by entire families of people. According to the guides, it would however be unwise to spend too long socialising with any of them...

Special kids day out

So, on arrival at the launch ramp we were told to put on life jackets but otherwise stay out of the way whilst the boats were put in the water. Once boarded, we pretty much drifted down river to the lunch stop where all the components necessary for making a sandwich were provided, along with more lemonade (everyone seems to have really good lemonade in the states) and crisps. The anticipation was building as we discussed what grade of rapids we were about to run and who would be first to fall out of our smaller boat (The one in which the occupants have to do the paddling - the other was powered by a guide with oars).

The bigger boat just before we got to the good bit...

Eventually lunch was finished and we all got back in the boats for the 'exciting' part of the trip. Jon blagged himself a position at the front whilst Dave and I settled for second row seats, if you could call them seats. Off we went, reaching the first rapids (I can't remember any of the names unfortunately) in around 15 minutes or so. These I think were grade 3, as indeed were most of the rapids we would run that day. Now, I'm no hero by any means, but I thought it all should have been a bit more frightening. Our little boat bucked about some, but nothing too dramatic and it was all over in under ten seconds. This it turned out, was to be the order of the day and even the meatier grade 4 rapids, supposedly the best in the west, were somewhat underwhelming. We decided to blame it on an overly competent guide and figured that if we'd had some useless idiot at the helm, things would have been much more entertaining. I also thought that the main problem was that all the rapids were too short. Had they been more sustained, I think we would have been thrown about more and would have had more of an adventure. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable trip and definitely made a nice change from sitting atop a bike for eight hours.

The last few miles back to the pick-up point were done with the motor on the larger boat running for speed and all that remained then was the drive back through the canyons to Moab, which was quite spectacular. As we arrived back in town, it being the 4th of July, we caught the very tail end of the parade that had been run in the afternoon. The guides told us there would be fireworks later up on the rim (Moab is in a large crater) that we should be able to see from town and they told us which were the best bars to go to later in the evening. We were set for a big night out...

...But it never really happened. We expected monster celebrations all over town, but once the firework display was done, people just seemed to disperse and go home. We spent some time in the recommended bars, but they never got busy with revellers and nobody seemed to be celebrating much at all. We were baffled, but had a few jars for Uncle Sam all the same. Back in the UK at this time our housemate (he of Lada fame) was busy having an anti independence day party, which was cause for concern for both Dave and I given some of the people we thought might be there, but mainly because of our housemate himself (As it turned out, either nothing much happened or he spent a lot of time and money fixing things up...) When the the bar staff finally started ringing bells and asking people to leave, we made our way back to the hotel and bed

Friday 4th July - Moab Utah Previous Top End Next