Root Family

Root Family

Sep 6, 2014

San Juan River Trip - September 2014

Growing up I wasn't exactly a river-rat, however I loved spending time down at the South Fork of the American River in Northern California. Our family didn't vacation a lot, but we played hard on the weekends, often bringing our inner tubes and floating various sections of the river. On rare occasions we were also able to take a few commercial trips down this class III river. 

Likewise Alene grew up in Montana, where the three forks met in her hometown of Missoula. She has fond memories of floating down various sections of the rivers there with her family in the commercial raft her father bought locally in Salt Lake City. That raft had sat in her parents garage for a long time with no use so when her sister April started to get the itch to get out and run a river, they decided to put in for permits to run the tame San Juan River.

April and Bill went in for the long-haul and invested in a really nice commercial raft they were able to purchase used, but at a great price. We weren't quite ready to bit the bullet yet due to money, so we opted to use the same raft Alene and her family would use 30 years earlier. We took it on a test run of the Provo River and it seemed to hold up well, so we were in.

Along for the ride was April and Bill's 3 children, Bill's sister Whitney and her beau Ethan, Alene, myself, and two of our three children. We put in at Sand Island just a few miles outside Bluff, UT, and took out at Mexican Hat, UT. Total trip was roughly 26 miles. The original plan was to spend two nights on the river, but due to some likely complications to the 30 year old raft (leaking), Bill applied an entire roll of Gorilla tape to our boat on day 2 and we pushed on to finish out the trip. Surprisingly the raft didn't allow one bit of water in. Gorilla tape for the win!

The river was not running very high or fast, so there was a lot of paddling and occasionally getting out to pull the raft over shallow sections, but it was still a great experience for us and bringing the kids along.

Rafting is an expensive commitment, but I'm looking forward to more trips and more adventures on the water. We had a great time despite the obstacles.

Stopping by Looking Glass arch on our way down (good place to stretch the legs)

Checking out Fort Bluff

Day 2, putting on the water

Petroglyphs along the river

April and Bill's awesome rig

Our campsite

Waylon was really quiet while playing down by the shore, then he finally asked for help. He was stuck deep in the mud

How Waylon uses his sleeping pad

2nd day on the river

Narrow sections on the river

Getting closer to the end of our trip. Mexican Hat rock in the distance

Alene's shoes broke on this trip and Bill's Gorilla tape job held up just long enough.

Video from our trip

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