Day 25: River rafting on the Colorado

Next morning at nine we met with Bob again by the Colorado River. We parked our car at the place where our trip would end, so it could be used to pick up the other cars, and drove east along the river to the place where we would start the trip, and where he and Helen had already put their raft in the river. A river raft is an inflatable rubber raft with oars, and theirs had two boxes (a drybox and an coolbox) to sit on, as well as a roof over it for shade.

Helen and Bobs friends, Greg and Sheila, had come to keep us company in their two inflatable kayaks. Then we set off down the Colorado surrounded by red cliffs. It was a little clouded in the beginning of the day, which mad it nice and cool. Bob rowed, but a lot of the time we just flowed with the current. From time to time we went through rapids, waves created by the current and the rocks at the river bottom, which caused the boat to bob and rock on the water, but Bob was good at judging the rocks and the depths of the water, so we didn’t hid any rocks or were in danger of  going over the side of the boat.

At lunch time we pulled the boats up onto the beach and had a picnic, and after lunch Sheila lent Ole her kayak. He had a great time paddling and did well even on the rougher patches. There was actually quite a lot of traffic on the river, many tour companies doing tours in similar boats. Around four we arrived back at the place where we had parked our car, and Ole took Bob and Sheila back to pick up their cars. It had been nice and cool on the river with a slight breeze, but back on land the heat was sweltering, 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and our car was so hot that Ole’s coffee from the morning was still hot!

We loaded the boat on the trailer and started the drive to Ouray, where Bob and Helen live, by way of a gas station to get both gas, cold colas and fresh hot coffee. On the way to Colorado we drove by Bob and Helen’s trailerpark (they have a couple in Kansas, too) so that they could talk to the site manager about a problem with someone who hadn’t paid his rent. We also made a stop in the small town of Norwood, where Greg og Sheila live, to get something to eat and see their nice house and garden (where Greg grows his own hops – he turned out to be a fellow homebrewer), before reaching Ouray after dark. Helen and Bob’s house is situated up in the mountains south of the town, an extraordinary house (which they had built themselves) and which we looked forward to seeing in daylight. It was much cooler here than in Moab, so for the first time we slept without air-conditioning and with a quilt over us!

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