Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rafting the Uncompaghre River

Paddle forward two! Paddle, Paddle, .. dig deep ladies! Whew! Splash! Ohhh that’s cold! So went my half day rafting trip on the swollen Uncompaghre River, near the town of Ridgeway in Western Colorado. Our guide, a former Grand Canyon guide who traded the red rocks for the beautiful Rockies, managed to keep me and my 5 young cohorts safe as we navigated a stretch of the Uncompaghre river north of the Ridgeway Reservoir. Uncompaghre is a Ute indian word that apparently has several meanings, our guide says it means ‘muddy river’ or ‘red river spring’. The river was indeed muddy and swift. Our guide was a colorful guy who spends the winter teaching surfing in Costa Rica. He was very knowledge and I thought very humorous. My young high school cohorts didn’t seem to appreciate his knowledge and humor as much. They were into riding the rapids and ride the rapids we did. We also did a bit of ducking under low hanging branches and at least one bridge. The water which comes from the San Juan mountains was ice cold even though the air temperature was near 90 degrees. Luckily we all managed to stay in the boat.

I have rafted several rivers in Colorado. This wasn’t the clearest or the most scenic but with the spring run-off in high gear this river certainly didn’t disappoint. It did have the ‘thrill factor’ going on and left us all with smiles on our faces and wanting more. A great trip for the young and old alike.

My trip was arranged by Switzerland of America Jeep Tours. They are a one stop shop for all your adventure needs in this area.

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