Thursday, July 23, 2009
Red Canyon & Green River
A few posts ago, I offered a few of my favorite digital images from our Fourth of July trip to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area and the surrounding Ashley National Forest. I am finally catching up and can now post my favorite Polaroids. The sunrise over Red Canyon and the long green grass dotted with early morning dew was too pretty not to shoot with two cameras. It's no surprise that I like the Polaroid better, but I liked the digital image enough to use it as my blog's banner. Thanks Red Canyon sunrise!
Despite the lack of down time at Flaming Gorge, we had a really wonderful trip, and it's been so fun working through these Polaroids weeks after I shot them. It was kind of like another trip back. Red Canyon was my favorite place in the area. The pink sunset photos are from Greens Lake, a lovely little lake on the Red Canyon road. We had dinner at Red Canyon Lodge and walked outside to the lake dock while an evening thunderstorm boiled up from the Uintas to the south. I'd love to spend a couple of days with my tent and kayak at Greens Lake.
The highlight of our trip, and easily the highlight of my whole summer job with the Forest Service, was the nine-mile float trip down the Green River. I had to shoot six campgrounds on the Green below Flaming Gorge Dam that are accessible only by boat. That Sunday morning, we met up with Shaun, a BLM river guide, and his girlfriend Becky, who took us down the Green in a Forest Service dory. Doused with sunblock and bug spray, we put in at Little Hole, and worked our way down-river to Jarvie Ranch, our take-out. Along the way, we talked with some nice campers, met a dog who swam to pass the time, and saw a few Great Blue Herons. We got to Red Creek Rapids, a class II rapid, and after it was over (1 minute or so) we wanted more and bigger, but that was all that section of the Green had for us. It was our first whitewater experience, other than white caps out on reservoirs and lakes we've paddled on, and although it wasn't much, it was exhilarating and very fun. The entire trip down the river took about four hours, and it was filled with gorgeous scenery, great conversation, good laughs, and a little Widespread Panic. After the take-out, we stopped at Jarvie Ranch and Jackie, a funny and sweet volunteer who lives there, gave the four of us a tour of the ranch and told us some great stories. It was such a fun day, and a great end to the trip. We drove home once we got back to the ranger office. We'll have to go back with our kayaks again, but this time, we'll spent our time paddling the river instead of the reservoir.
All in all, a wonderful trip. We met some friendly people, saw amazing scenery around every corner, noshed on yummy food, cruised the reservoir with a ranger, paddled the reservoir in our kayaks, floated the river, snapped a lot of photos, and came home exhausted. Hope your Fourth was just as nice.