The Put In Is A Stunning Setting
This all started at a bar the night before. I think that many things good and bad have started with a discussion at a bar. Over Margaritas we were trying to decide what to paddle next and it came up that almost none of us had run the Upper Animas before. Others in the crowd decided that that was a travesty and that it needed to happen.
Paddling Into The Gorge
So that is how we ended up putting on the Upper Animas at 1:00 pm. If you don't know the Upper Animas it is 26+ miles of continuous class 2-3 most of the way with some continuous class 3-4 thrown in there and couple drops that you should scout. This drop called No Name is the hardest drop on the run. Not a major major rapid but super fun with some funky twisty stuff in the middle.
Woody In No Name, Styled It
Jennifer In No Name
We stopped for a quick peanut butter sandwich after No Name. We still had a long way to go. Luckily the day was classic Colorado Blue Bird so we had good sun almost the entire trip.
The sceneary is really unbelievable on this run. I constantly found myself saying wow. This was a pretty typical scene. Big peaks, or tight little canyon, small tucked in valleys, all kinds of awesome sceneary.
This run would be an awesome overnighter. From what I understand people use the train to drop gear off mid way down the run and they will leave it for you and then pick it up if you arrange it at the train station in Durango.
The sun went behind the mountains while we were still on the river and that was when we noticed how cold the river was. With just a couple miles and the Rockwood box left to paddle we jumped out at the last spot of sunshine up on the side of a hill. Soaked it in and jumped back in the boats for a very cool romp through another box canyon. The Rockwood Box is alot like the Bakers Box. This section is super tight, a little pushy, and few fun rapids but not as hard as the Bakers Box.
Hiking Out At Rockwood Box
By the time we finished the semi epic shuttle for the run the sun had gone down but we were treated to the full moon coming up over the peaks near Silverton.
Moon Rise Over Molas Pass