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  • Writer's pictureThomas Delker

Day 0 Yampa River Trip 2022

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

“Hey, I know you said you weren’t going to do a river trip this year, but I just caught a 5 day Yampa river cancellation. What do you guys think?” was the start of it, from a call by Scott Miller.

It didn’t look likely, as we had actually committed to a trip with our good friends the Shipley’s on the Chama over Memorial Day weekend. It was going to be a fun and short trip and we were looking forward to it. But the night after we met up with the Shipley’s to plan meals, New Mexico closed all their forests due to fire danger. Were we ready to jump in to a new trip with less than 2 weeks and having to take more time off work? Sure, we can swing this!

As the plan developed, we realized Andrew was conflicted with slalom training camp, the Colorado Grand Tour: a week in Durango with the Animas river days race at the end, then a week in Vail with GoPro games slalom and gore race, and finally Salida for a week training wild water and slalom with Fibar slalom and wildwater Jr team trials capping it off. So….. Andrew was sent off with Team Colorado arranged training camp and we were without our expert kayaking support. We will miss each other but we will be off the river in 5 days and then we can call and talk with Andrew again.

So the planning started, spreadsheets were filled out, and meals planned. Cool started a week out to make life on the river easier. Weather reports started to come in - cold the first day or two and then warming from highs in the 60s to highs in the 80 as the weekend goes on.

The big challenge on this trip (and there always has to be one, doesn’t there?) is the last day. While we have some short mile days, we have a super long last day - 29 miles. The campsites are assigned and that’s how they set it up. The one saving grace is that we have strong flow and a surge from a dam release from the flaming gorge dam to help push us along. Worse case - we figure it could take us 12 hours of rowing to get out.

We are now here at the put in, mostly rigged and set up for the night. Dinner of supermarket roasted chicken and we are hiding from the wind in our tent. 7.30 and I am ready to sleep. Low below freezing tonight! Hard to get excited about getting in the water in the morning!

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