I want to tell you about a river that is emerald green, clear enough to see the rocks on the bottom sixteen feet below as well as the trout, and provides a wonderful family getaway. I’m talking about the Green River just below the Flaming Gorge dam in north-eastern Utah.
Yes, that picture’s of the Green River. Yes, it’s that beautiful and that clear in the calmer parts, of which there are many.
We just ran the seven mile stretch that starts just below the dam and goes down to the Little Hole campground with our four girls (ages 6 – 15) and had a ball. During our trip we saw otters swimming up the river not more than six feet from our raft, a herd of mountain sheep off the side of the road, fish and more fish, a snake a long as a man with a light silvery skin mottled with black rectangles, and two osprey (one that dove under the water to get a fish and a second flying about twelve feet over our raft with a fish in its clutches). We ran some class II rapids. This time of year they weren’t scary to me, but provided plenty of thrills and stress for the kids. The water was warm enough to swim in, but cold enough to give you a shock. And it was so CLEAR. Of course, there were spots too deep to see the bottom. But there were plenty where you could see the river plants, rocks, and aquatic life. And all of it in that emerald hue.
The girls were in the water inbetween every set of rapids. We packed a cooler and so stopped a number of times. Once to check out a waterfall, another time to snack, another to play on a sandbar, yet another to chase those otters, a bathroom break (outhouses provided by the park service), another time to swim.
The Flaming Gorge area features the beautiful landscape seen in Southern Utah–red rock, pines, junipers. People come from all over to run the river and fish. We didn’t fish this time, but there were plenty of anglers who had rented boats. Still, it didn’t feel crowded at all. There were long stretches where we had the gorge to ourselves. Next time I think I’m going to bring a book (in a waterproof ziplocok) and we’ll spend a little more time on one of our stops to sit and relax.
- Bring a cooler. You’ll want to put in along the river and enjoy the gorge. There’s no hurry to finish.
- Bring good water shoes that have a sole with traction and netting to keep gravel out. (I got a pair at Wal-Mart that made the whole ride wonderful.) Also bring a hat and sunscreen. If you wear a cotten tee-shirt and quick drying shorts you’ll enjoy the ride even more.
- We stayed at the Flaming Gorge Resort the night before our run. It’s been around a while and the condos showed it, but it wasn’t bad. The condos had a kitchen. And the restaurant had large servings of good food.
- You might also want to bring a way to transport the raft inflated. We put ours on top of the minivan and had no problem taking it to and from the rental shop. However, I wished I had learned the trucker’s knot. The knots I tied cinched up into nasty snags that proved very difficult to untie.
- Bring two vehicles or a bicycle. The businesses there charge close to $50 to shuttle your car the 9+ miles between the launch below the dam and Little Hole. That was outrageous to me. Next time we’ll bring a bike, lock it up by Little Hole, and have one of us bike back for the car. Or you can park half way inbetween at Dutch John after you’ve launched your raft and make the hour walk down. Of course, if you’re an early riser, the rental shop in Dutch John offers a $20 shuttle from Little Hole to the Dam, but only at 8:30 AM and 9:30 AM.
While in Provo this year for the Freedom Festival I purchased Ticket to Ride (European version). I wanted to do more than walk around or swim at the pool with the family. It was an excellent purchase and recommendation from the folks at Games People Play in the Orem mall. Of course, the kid at the store had played everything in the store and knew just where to steer us. It only took a few minutes to figure out how to play and everyone from the 6 year old to both Nellie and I had fun. It’s so fun we’ve played it a number of times since we got back.
Both Nellie and I learned to love Indonesian food during the years we spent in the Netherlands. Alas, not many Indonesian restaurants around. In search of something similar while living the in the San Francisco area, we found Thai food.
Ah, that dream within a dream.
And now we found yet another Thai restaurant in Utah with excellent food. So good my two oldest daughters get cravings to go back. The first is Thai Evergreen in Orem, Utah. It looks like a family owned operation and is. And their food is delicious. Four family’s went while at this year’s Freedom Festival, which meant we ordered quite a variety of food. Everything I tasted was delicious.
The next is Kamin in Logan, UT. Again, wonderful. Nellie and I have eaten there a number of times and never leave unsatisfied.