Saturday, April 11, 2009

Canoe Trip

My son and I went on a week long canoe trip with Boy Scout Troop 1201. This was the lower river trip. We went on the lower trip last year as well. The year before that my son went on the upper river trip.

We traveled about 84 miles down the river. We started in a nice camp site at Blythe, CA that is kind enough to let us launch our canoes without paying a launch fee. We pack up about 45 sealed buckets of food, 6 ice chests and two large patrol boxes, along with all our personal gear - tents, chairs, sleeping bags, cots, cloths, etc.

Our first stop was a small sandy beach just a few miles away from our initial launch point. Since we start the day so late, we can not go far. This also gives the boys a chance to get the feel for the canoes loaded down with all the gear.

Our next stop was about 12 miles further down the river at Camp McIntyre. We sleep up on a grassy knoll. Not my favorite site, but it does have bathrooms. We have to share the beach with others. There is a store on site and plenty of people and activity. Just a bit too civilized, I think.

The following day we went about 8 more miles to Sandy Cove. On the way, we stopped and let the boys jump off a piling structure that is about 15 feet high over the water. The water was barely deep enough underneath, so the boys kept dredging up nasty smell mud with each jump. Sandy cove is an undeveloped beach with an small inlet. They boys can swim in the inlet and mess around with the canoes without worrying about the river current. Lots of the Arizona locals also drive into the beach. We had some youth from town that we could have done without this year. We also had a minor accident with one of the boys.

Our next stop was in the Piccacho camping area. We traveled about 26 miles to arrive at the 4-S camp site. This was one of our layover spots, so we spent two nights there, with one full day of no canoeing. This site is fairly remote but did have bathrooms on site and some tables with coverings. Unfortunately, the layover day was pretty windy, and kicked up a lot of sand. This was where I spent my birthday.

We had some cell phone coverage and discovered that a storm was heading our way. Normally we would travel another 8 miles or so and stay at the main Piccacho camp site which is typically mosquito infested and not particularly pleasant. To avoid the storm, we chose to skip Piccacho and see how far we could get.

Another long day of paddling of about 28 miles got us to our final camp site on Squaw Lake on Thursday afternoon. We set up there and weathered the storm that arrived on Friday afternoon. This site is well developed and I had a chance to shower and get cleaned up for our ride home.

We were picked up Saturday morning and arrived home around 5:00 PM. We made a stop at Carles Jr for our first civilized meal in a week. I've posted some additional photos on Picassa. My wife has a few blog entries as well.

1 comment:

The Muse said...

Oh I am glad that it was a MINOR incident...what happened? Otherwise it seems like fun!