Colorado’s natural diversity never ceases to amaze. To the east are long stretches of planes used for agriculture and ranching. Moving west we find mountains suddenly springing up from the eternal flats and fill the central to west side of the state. The northern mountains are softer and slightly lower while the southern mountains shoot up sharp, rocky and gnarly. And to the far west we have desert, red sandstone and mesas. And this is where my most recent adventure led to.

Rafting the Colorado landscape photography

The plan was a 4 day 3 night rafting trip down the Colorado river from western Colorado and end up in eastern Utah. And beer. That was definitely part of the plan.

Beer on the Colorado river

Starting from Fruita, Colorado we made it to the put-in at the crack of noon.

Rafting the Colorado put in

Our first day on the river took us on a 3 miles rafting ride, small hike and an amazing campsite. Nothing like camping near a river.

Rafting the Colorado photography

Rafting the Colorado blue boat on the river

Rafting the Colorado drinking

jumping in the colorado river

Colorado river hike

Sitting on an overlook

Colorado River Mesa

camp fire

Colorado River Mesa

Campsite Colorado river photography long exposure

The schedule was 3 miles the first day, 12 miles the second, none on the third and 10 miles the last day. Everything happened pretty much according to plan except for the 12 mile trip on the second day. We left the first camp site late morning after a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs and beer and started our trip down river. Some time around 2 p.m. we encountered strong headwind and were unable to continue. In fact we were being blown up river. One boat did manage to make it and it happened to be the boat with Ryan M. – the sole person who knew where our next campsite was. The rest of the party docked the boats and waited it out on the beach. 7:30 p.m. rolls around and the wind dies enough to proceed. It was approaching darkness and we knew that it would be several hours of navigating with head lamps, which was fine as it was a nice cool clear night and we were quite sauced. However, by 11:30 were we cold, tired and irritable. One person had fallen in trying to dislodge a boat from a rock and was crossing the line from uncomfortable to dangerous. Elsewhere the situation was deteriorating as well. We had been drinking all day and hadn’t had much to eat and the dogs were done with the boats as well. But, just as we were deciding to make camp to try again the next day, we stumbled across it in the dark. We stayed at that site for 2 nights, had a historic hike and mooned every single train that passed our camp site (train tracks were nearby).

The high-spirited beginning to our second campsite.

Rafting the Colorado river

Rafting the Colorado river ukelele

Rafting the Colorado river

Rafting the Colorado river

Rafting the Colorado river

Blackrocks photography of the hike.

Blackrock hiking Colorado River

Blackrock hiking Colorado River

Blackrock hiking Colorado River

Blackrock hiking Colorado River lookout

Blackrock hiking Colorado River

tree colorado river photography

Blackrock cliff jump colorado river

mooning the train

Cave blackrock colorado river photography

Colorado River stars photography

Colorado River stars over a tree long exposure

The last and final day my camera stayed in the bag, so no Colorado River photography happened that day. It was rainy and cold as all hell. We just made time back to the cars so we could unpack and be on our ways. A snow storm had hit the eastern slopes so I knew I was in for a long drive back.

For those of you with a bucket list, I would definitively add a rafting trip like this to the list. Campsites must be reserved in advance and you must have a portable toilet and fire pan so you leave behind as little traces as possible. For those wishing to plan a trip, the trip costed me a total of $290.

Gas: $150 -From Evergreen to Fruita and back.
Food: $30 -Bought in bulk and split 9 ways.
Raft Rental-$60 -For all 4 days.
Beer: $50

That covered the major not fixed expenses like tent, sleeping material, headlamp etc.