2 weeks from now winter will find its outlet. Plans now are to head west to Moab. Not too difficult a set of choices, or maybe it is. We love to paddle the river through the red rock canyons. But then there is Westwater upstream. The Daily run above Moab. Perhaps the multi-day family run down to Spanish Bottom. We will sort it out I am sure. Families always do.
But then theere is the matter of summer. Some bigger undertakings. What can be planned? What simply needs to be done?
Generally the trip will drive the equipment but it needs to be said that there is no time like the present for making sure your kit is in order.
Drainplugs, Fittings, Dry Storage... and what about your seat. Is everything holding together well and ready for action? The last thing you want to do is to be trying to wrangle up a single hip pad or plug a missing drain plug. Get those elements in order now. And as for the different boats you may need through the course of the season, yes, now is a good time to sort that out as well.
More to follow.
As I look outside this morning I am thinking of the fun trips that can be done in the fall. In many ways this is one of the best seasons to get out and get away. Though the water is not high, the rivers and lakes are also not very crowded either.. the biggest risk in fact, with other people, is watching out for duck and deer hunters who might not know of your approach. Why worry about Grizzlies when you can worry about buckshot.
But back to the point. River Tours on rivers that have enough flow are beautiful to behold as the colors of the leaves are changing. The chill of morning makes your coffee all the more magical, and the warmth that comes with the progressing day mixes with the activity and exercise making the day and the travel absolutely yours and one you will remember.
Kayaks with spraydecks are very warm craft, and the right paddling clothes, under layers and spray layers will make the bite of the "fall" last only as long as putting your gear on and jumping in your boat.
There are a few considerations. This time of year neoprene spraydecks really come into their own. Fundamentally offering more insulation than nylon, they work to keep you in your cockpit, and you around your waist, warm and comfortable. Compare to a nylon deck where heat transfer is very fast.
Pogies for your paddles and hands, likewise, will make a big impact on keeping you comfortable. Skull caps or just over the ear caps likewise, especially in the morning, will let you see, but not so much feel, the chill and crispness in the air.
Throw in some whitewater and the wool needs to more into neoprene, spray jackets need to become dry tops. but ultimately, the game is the same. Like the Eskimos, we need to dress for the occasion. Our boats can keep us warm and we can get out into the day. Just remember the days are shorter this time of year so start a bit earlier and take it all in.
A wonderful place for kayak touring as well as real river touring. We stayed 3 nights in Colter Bay, and had a nice mix of lake touring as well as a run down the Snake River. The views of the Tetons are without comparison, and there is something about being surrounded nearly completely by other "vacationers". The Car camping is just a short walk from the lake and the Picnic area at the lakeside itself was where we had all of our dinners. The Pebble Beach is a bit short of skipping stones but it actually has warm enough water in July for swimming.
The Kayak Touring has a great set of islands to paddle around and explore. We did not do an overnighter but back country permits are all that are required and they are free in Grand Teton (I forgot to mention that each boat needs a permit $10 for a week, or $20 for a year. Somehow inner tubes are prohibitive and stand up paddle boards are free (no permit).. eve free of life jacket requirements.
Going down the Snake our daughter was grossed out to see the carcass of a bull moose below her as she passed by. Clear water where you can also see giant fish.
A great place for paddling, bull moose included and/or not withstanding.