warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/iovannet/public_html/explorion/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

E. L. Kolb

We awoke the next morning full of anticipation. Something new lay ahead of us, a promise of variety. In plain sight of our camp lay the entrance to Flaming Gorge, the gateway to the entire series of canyons. Hurriedly finishing our camp duties, we loaded the boats, fastened down the hatches, and shoved off into the current, eager to be on our way.

How long we had waited for this view! How many memories it recalled - and how different it seemed to our previous visit there! Then, the high water was on, and the turquoise-tinted mineral water of the Colorado Chiquito was backed up by the turbid flood waters of the Rio Colorado, forty feet or more above the present level. Now it was a rapid stream, throwing itself with wild abandon over the rocks and into the Colorado.

We awoke bright and early the next morning, much refreshed by our day of rest and variety. With an early start we were soon pulling down the river, and noon found us several miles below the camp, having run eleven rapids with no particular difficulty. A reference in my notes reads: "Last one has a thousand rocks, and we could not miss them all. My rowing is improving, and we both got through fairly well." In the afternoon they continued to come - an endless succession of small rapids, with here and there a larger one.

Naturally we were very impatient to know just what success we had met with in our photographic work. Some of the motion pictures had been printed and returned to us. My brother, who meanwhile had taken his family to Los Angeles, sent very encouraging reports regarding some of the films.

Camp routine was hurriedly disposed of the next morning, Saturday, September the 23d. Everything was made snug beneath the hatches, except the two guns, which were too long to go under the decks, and had to be carried in the open cockpits. "Camp No. 13, at the head of Lodore," as it is entered in my journal, was soon hidden by a bend in the river.

In recording our various mishaps and upsets in these pages, it may seem to the reader as if I have given undue prominence to the part I took in them. If so, it has not been from choice, but because they happened in that way. No doubt a great deal of my trouble was due to carelessness. After I had learned to row my boat fairly well I sometimes took chances that proved to be anything but advisable, depending a good deal on luck, and luck was not always with me.

We began our work the next morning where we left off the night before by bringing the remaining boat down along the edge of the "Triplets." Then, while Emery cooked the breakfast, Jimmy and I "broke camp." The beds came first. The air had been released from the mattresses before we got up, - one way of saving time. A change of dry clothing was placed with each bed, and they were rolled as tightly as the two of us could do it, after which they were strapped, placed in a rubber sack, with a canvas sack over that, both these sacks being laced at the top.

In the mud at Kanab Canyon we saw an old footprint of some person who had come down to the river through this narrow, gloomy gorge. It was here that Major Powell terminated his second voyage, on account of extreme high water. A picture they made showed their boats floated up in this side canyon. Our stage was much lower than this. F.S. Dellenbaugh, the author of "A Canyon Voyage," was a member of this second expedition. This book had been our guide down to this point; we could not have asked for a better one.

The Yampa, or Bear River, was a welcome sight to us in spite of its disagreeable whitish yellow, clay colour; quite different from the red water of the Green River. The new stream meant more water in the channel, something we needed badly, as our past tribulations showed. The recent rise on the Green had subsided a little, but we now had a much higher stage than when we entered Lodore. Quite likely the new conditions gave us six feet of water above the low water on which we had been travelling. Would it increase or diminish our dangers?

The first section of Separation Rapid was run the first thing in the morning, a manoeuvre that was accomplished by starting on the left shore and crossing the swift centre clear to the other shore. This allowed us to reach some quiet water near a small deposit of rock and earth at the base of the sheer wall. Two feet of water would have covered this deposit; likewise two feet of water would have given us a clear channel over this second section. As it was, the rapid was rough, with many rocks very near the surface.

Syndicate content