November 5, 2015

catboat 1041

In 2010 I think I completed 5 solo patrol trips down Deso. I remember thinking, after launching on the last one, that I'd had enough of solo trips for a while. Little did I know it'd be the last one for 5 years.

catboat 1041

October escorted the waning days of the 2015 river season in colorful regalia. Deep blue of the heavens. Red of not rocks, but rock, solid mass of rock. Yellow cottonwood leaves, richer than gold. The pastels working better on the palate than a box of jelly beans. Much of the time while on duty at Sandwash, I'd walk down to the river and want for a solo trip in the worst way. I always do this time of year. The crowds have gone back indoors to the comfort of their morning fires. The pesky bugs have long since thrown themselves over the precipice of the eternal cycle of the food chain. With such distractions out of the way it was a perfect time to sit myself down before the spectacle of the desolate world, downriver, and be. It was the 24th and nobody was on the launch calendar for days in either direction. The fall colors balanced on the brink of going off. My new boat sat in the eddy, loaded too heavy with 9 days of provisions, but it was my magic carpet waiting to go. The call of the owls an hour before dawn. Canada honkers going upriver at dusk, 14 feet above the musty mud of October. The stiff neck in the morning of being 45...alas a nice reminder of the sky from the night before.

Sandwash - October dawn

In recent months, sore elbows have convinced me that my boat was too damn big to deal with on my own.

The big boat (aka catboat 7)

I decided I could get a smaller set of cat tubes, use some of the same parts from the big boat and have a smaller solo boat that I could handle on my own a bit easier.
I did a bit of looking around online, and found this set from Sotar. I wanted grey for some reason, and decided that the red d-ring patches were festive so I kinda fell for this one. I wanted Sotar to add a bottom chafe wrap, but I was running tight on time. I called them up and talked to Joe Fusco who made things happen fast. He shipped them to Utah in time for a 8 day maiden voyage.
Thanks Joe.

Sandwash - ready to go

camp 1 - slough grass beach

camp 2 - Mushroom Rock

Yellow - richer than gold

camp 3 - Fretwater

biscuits & gravy ala solo ranger

camp 4 - Moonwater

notes to self

side hike near Moonwater
camp 5 - owl rock

campfire sittin - red of the stone
camp 6 - trick-or-treaters
side hike near Rattlesnake
camp 7 - room with a view

the end - after 8 days of nobody

the ol '77 loyally rollin for home

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