Earlier this month, I hopped on the Green River for the first stretch of
a 44-mile trip from the Gates of Lodore in northwest Colorado to the
takeout at Split Mountain near Vernal, Utah.
I’ve done other multi-day float trips, but this was my first time piloting my own watercraft.
10-foot-long Sevylor River X inflatable kayak would be my ride for the
vast majority of the trip, which would prove to be the most fun I’ve
ever had on a river.
The first day started out rainy. Low clouds
hung over the entrance to the Gates of Lodore like something out of “The
Lord of the Rings.”
It didn’t take long for me to figure out the
advantages of the kayak versus the three rafts in our group. The thing
is a Porsche on the water: I could explore coves that the rafts couldn’t
get into, float quietly alongside bighorn sheep grazing on riverside
vegetation and stop for bathroom breaks whenever I wanted.
fell behind, five minutes of paddling allowed me to catch up. I often
paddled a bit ahead and then reclined, letting the Green take me where
it wanted until the group caught up.
It was only my second time
in the kayak, but I negotiated the Disaster Falls rapid without problem,
a stupid grin plastered to my face when I eddied out.
Sevylor River X is durable and comfortable, and the only maintenance
during the entire trip was a few pumps of air into one of the craft’s
four chambers. And its owner, Mark, who was our trip leader, appreciated
not having my considerable ballast in his raft for four days.
second day, unlike the first, I did fall out a couple of times but
managed, after hopping a rock or two, to get back in. I attributed this
to fewer beers than the previous day and adjusted accordingly.
it came to Hell’s Half Mile, the largest rapid we would see, I
portaged. This decision came after scouting the rapid, which includes a
rock known as Lucifer, and after an experienced kayaker said, “Yeah,
that’s quite a man-eating hole.” I know my limitations.
the third day, we came to the Green’s confluence with the Yampa. It was
one of the rare times that the Green was carrying more sediment than the
Yampa, and I paddled to stay in the junction as long as possible,
watching in amazement the brown swirls as the rivers joined. I could’ve
stayed there for hours.
I told Mark that he should never do another trip without bringing the Sevylor River X along. It’s simply too much fun.
Get Your Own
particular model from Sevylor is no longer made. But similar models
are available at www.sevylor.com , and range from $350 to $550.