ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
[personal profile] ilanarama
The problem with having nice friends who invite you on river trips and loan you nifty inflatable kayak thingies is that then you get all covetous and want to spend money and get your own.



That's me on the Dolores river, paddling the Fat Cat, which is kind of like a cross between a kayak and a cataraft. Steve and his girlfriend Sue are on the cataraft in the background, and Britt, who took the picture, is in an inflatable kayak (duckie). Britt and I traded crafts on and off, but I felt a lot more confident in the Fat Cat and used it in all the named (class II and III) rapids. Part of it was because the cat is more stable and the seat's higher, so I could see better, but part of it was because during my first stint in the duckie, the wind was blowing really hard (well, it was blowing most of the trip!) and one astonishingly strong gust overturned the duckie and knocked me into the water. Yep, I took a spill in flatwater - and had no problem with any of the rapids. Clearly, I have a very special talent. Sigh.

The Dolores is a nifty river. The section from Slickrock to Bedrock (yabba-dabba-dooo!) starts out in a fairly open valley which the river paradoxically travels through crosswise; the valley subsided after the river was entrenched. Then it enters a classic desert sandstone canyon which was occupied by pre-Puebloan cultures who left plenty of artwork behind:







Our camp the first night was in the alcove with these pictographs and petroglyphs. Note that we didn't bother with the tent fly, because the sandstone wall would have protected us from any rain.



We stopped from time to time to hike up interesting side canyons. Which was sometimes a little less than comfortable in a wetsuit. Also, it wasn't all that easy to stop wherever we wanted, because the relatively high water level (1300 cfs) washed out many of the eddies, so it was swift water from bank to bank, and the water was often deep right up to the shore. (In fact, we missed one nice side hike because I totally couldn't manage to get my boat up and out quickly enough, and got washed downstream, and the others were nice enough to come follow me...)

(The Dolores is dam-controlled, and normally runs only 50 cfs or so - not enough to boat. Most but not all springs, they release enough water for a few weeks of river-running, but this wet winter means a relatively long boating season with an unusually high water level. We rafted it years ago, when we were living in Boulder and had a raft, and it was probably something between 800-1000 cfs.)

Steve hiking up Bull Canyon:



Sue, Steve, and me at the big alcove drop-off at the upper end of Bull Canyon:



Hee, you can tell that Britt is more interested in the scenery than in the people. We're just there for scale, I think. A couple more river pictures:





I should add that we drove our NEW SPORTSMOBILE YAY out to do this trip (well, it's just a couple hours west of here) and we camped in it the night before we put in - everything seemed to work beautifully. I'm pretty excited about the prospect of more desert trips this spring, and mountain trips this summer.

Except now I want a Fat Cat. (Britt wants just a regular inflatable kayak, like the Aire he was using, which costs maybe a couple hundred $ less - not much difference, really.) Steve got his at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake, which we went to last year and came back from with all sorts of schwag and pro-deal stuff. So the question is, do we shell out the money for the boats now, so we can play all spring and summer, or do we wait until OR in August and maybe save a thousand bucks between the two of us? Thing is, this is a wet year, and there are a lot of tiny rivers which are not normally runnable that we could do. Like the Escalante, which is very tempting - remember this picture from our hike last year? It's runnable maybe one year in five. And this is it. Steve offered to loan us his boats again - but then reconsidered, because he wants to come with us, and he'd need one of them! Then again, we could just rent inflatable kayaks, which I'd be fine with as long as we did flatwater rivers. Decisions, decisions.

But I think we will go to OR again. I guess I should work on our website so it looks a little more legitimate... :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 03:12 pm (UTC)
ext_104963: (Default)
From: [identity profile] wildcelticrose.livejournal.com
Hoooooomesick...

need red sand in my shorts, badly....

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 03:24 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
You just gotta come back for a visit! After seeing your pictures of all the snow you got this year (and you know, I went to Seattle for the weekend at the end of March, and it snowed!) I have to say, we have much nicer winter/spring weather. :-) It's really starting to get nice here, too, mmmm.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opadit.livejournal.com
That first pictograph is spooking me!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 03:25 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
Rabbit-eared monster dude? Or the flying thing that's about to sting him in the armpit?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 03:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] opadit.livejournal.com
Rabbit-eared, shaman-priest, supernatural monster looking dude!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 03:30 pm (UTC)
melusina: (Default)
From: [personal profile] melusina
Wow - these pics are awesome and it sounds like a great trip. I'm jealous!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 03:40 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
Well, you're not too far away...come on up! Heck, you can even bring the kids - there are some good "kid trips" in the area.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-25 06:56 pm (UTC)
melusina: (Default)
From: [personal profile] melusina
Maybe someday! I think the kids would love it. . .

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 03:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aubrem.livejournal.com
wow, those pics are spectacular. In an alternative life I'd like to your lifestyle please.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 03:42 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks! And I'm just delighted to live in a place where we have awesome scenery and recreation so close by, and to have the time and resources that we can take advantage of it. Of course, there are trade-offs!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 03:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tofty.livejournal.com
Huh. I didn't remember Outside being this beautiful. I should try to get out more, myself. Thanks for sharing!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 05:00 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
Oooh, your Outside is just coming into bloom now, isn't it? That's what I miss most about the southeast. You should take some pictures and share them, too!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] r-becca.livejournal.com
What beautiful pictures! I like Britt's technique. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 05:01 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
Thanks! Of course, he didn't take any pictures of the real exciting stuff because he was too busy!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 04:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bradipo.livejournal.com
How is the new Sportsmobile? Any thoughts beyond "Yay"?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 05:04 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
Hmm, well. It's kind of loud; Britt ripped it apart and put all sorts of expensive insulation around the engine, but I'm not convinced it helped. (Or if it did, I clearly misremember how loud it was when we went up to test drive it.) I found the bed perfectly comfortable, and oh, it's so nice to be able to cook and eat indoors while camping.

I mean, I am predisposed to love it because I miss our old VW Westy. It is louder, but has way more power. Also probably lower mileage, but because it's diesel, it's not bad - we calculated 16.5 on the last tank.

We haven't driven it anywhere really 4WD yet, though, nor lived in it for longer than an overnight.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bradipo.livejournal.com
Cool. I'll be interested to hear more as you put it through its paces.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-24 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] de-wynken.livejournal.com
that looks like so much fun! Someday I'll get out there..

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-25 03:20 am (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
Well, it's not that far - just past Dove Creek! You have no excuse. :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-25 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] de-wynken.livejournal.com
If I went out there alone at this point I don't think I'd come back :/

I really want a canoe..that's the water craft I grew up using and know well.

It's pretty land up there..I have a friend who owns a winery/farm in McElmo and is backed up to Yellow Jacket..could walk out his back yard and easily get lost for days. Lots of ruins out there.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-25 04:44 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
I just ran into a friend yesterday (a guy I sort of work with through San Juan Bioenergy) who just borrowed a canoe to run the Dolores with. We saw a couple of canoes at a camp, too. I have never canoed other than in flatwater, but hey, if you're comfortable with it, do it.

Mmm, does your friend own Sutcliffe? That's the only local place I've had the wine from. And yeah, there's a lot of cool stuff out there.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-26 04:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] de-wynken.livejournal.com
I've only used them in lakes. There's Navajo and Vallecito and Lemon and Durango Lake (I guess..never been there) local and maybe on the Los Pinos when its lower..that flows right across the street from where I live. We have land on the river front 10 miles downstream so that'd be a cool run.

Down the road from Sutcliffe..he only bottles 20-100 bottles a year but maaan is it good. Best Shiraz I've ever tasted. He'll get bigger in a few years hopefully.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-26 05:14 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
Vallecito and Lemon are so pretty - it would be fun to canoe around them, although sometimes the wind can be pretty fierce. I bet you could do some modest rivers, too. The Pine might be tricky because of junk and rocks, but I don't know what it looks like down where you are.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-25 05:23 am (UTC)
ext_9063: (Default)
From: [identity profile] mlyn.livejournal.com
Rock on with yourselves! I'm feeling a twinge of envy. Beautiful shots, and congrats on a fun trip.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-25 04:45 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
Hee, well, I'm not going to NORWAY. Hmph. Thank you very much! I hope to have lots more good trips this spring and summer.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-25 05:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] delurker.livejournal.com
Looks lovely! River trips are fun.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-25 04:45 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
Thanks! Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I'd kind of forgotten - we hadn't run a river since before we got the boat, so, ten years!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-28 07:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] delurker.livejournal.com
Haha, I just went and looked at your website. All trips sold out indeed! *g*

Also, I love your logo dude.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-25 11:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeddy83.livejournal.com
Looks like another fabulous trip. I'm curious about the need for wetsuits. Is the water always that cold or is it the time of year?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-25 04:48 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
It's mostly the time of year. It really depends a lot on the river and where the water is coming from - the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon comes from the bottom of a dam and is always 42 degrees (brrr!) in the upper stretches, but e.g. the Colorado River upstream quite a bit near Moab can be in the 60s. The air wasn't all that warm, either.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-25 11:50 am (UTC)
ext_7889: (Default)
From: [identity profile] helkamaria.livejournal.com
Wow. The scenery is just... Wow.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-25 04:50 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
That's kind of how I think of it, too! The southwest US really is a unique kind of geography, I think - the stark rock walls carved into fantastic shapes by erosion over geologic time, the contrast between the red of the sandstone and the green of the trees by the river and the very blue sky of a dry climate, the sheer scale of the canyons. It's amazing and very beautiful.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-26 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] barkley.livejournal.com
The pictures are fantastic.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-26 05:14 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
Thank you! Next time you're in this state you should come to this end of it.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-26 05:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nos4a2no9.livejournal.com
Wow, those pictures are gorgeous! I've done whitewater rafting but never in something so small: you are a much braver woman than I :-) And those drawings are amazing. That kind of thing gives me shivers: human art and culture from long, long ago. Spectacular.]

I need to see the desert!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-07 12:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabel.livejournal.com
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Ilana!

Found you after stumbling through some old rec.moto posts.

-Deb a.k.a. Ysabel

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-07 01:28 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
OMGDEB! I admit I have wondered what you might be doing now. *waves north-east in your direction*

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-07 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabel.livejournal.com
OMGDEB!

That made me smile a lot. Awesome icon, btw.

Let's see. I have a Superhawk and I just bought a Cagiva Gran Canyon from Flash. I'm part of a quad, have been with her for 11.5 years, been with him-sub-1 for about 7.5 years, been with him-sub-2 for about six months. Working for Qwest, which isn't great but pays the bills. I got to see Brucer at Alan's party recently, which was very cool.

Um. I went fulltime in 1996 and made a trip to Thailand in November 2003. *grin* Laz still hasn't played with the gazongas, though he was offered the opportunity at aforementioned party...

That's a decent-enough whirlwind summary, anyway.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-09 10:40 pm (UTC)
ext_59397: my legs (Default)
From: [identity profile] ilanarama.livejournal.com
Yay! I am pleased that you are making your life work out the way you want it to. And I saw your fairy pictures :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-07 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabel.livejournal.com
Oh, and I am on pretty much every IM as YsaFairy should you want to bug me at some point.

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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Ilana

April 2017

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

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