Floating the Green River part 2

The river register was one of my favorite points of interest on this float. It is covered in evidence of years and years of other travelers. I asked Shannon what he had to say about it and he said “I want to know how old graffiti has to be before it becomes historically significant”. As usual, such a good question! Some of the other historically significant “points of interest” listed along this route are inscriptions dating back to the late 1800’s(more on that later). The river register is flush with signatures and dates from every decade imaginable, but the most we noticed were from the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1980’s.

The floating baby could be seen from the river on approach

We had fun reading as many of the signatures and dates as we could take in. There are far too many to be able to read them all. Facing out from the River register to look back at the Green River, was one of my favorite views. Its hard to capture fully in panoramic in an iPhone photo, But I have the one below blown up and hanging in my office.

On the 2nd evening, the wind picked up again just as it had the day before. We had another couple of hours of struggling against wind and whitecaps following a full day of calm waters. We stopped on a sandbar just before the start of “ bowknot bend”. Shannon went to work securing the tent in the sand, as we expected the high winds in the wee hours of morning again. He used the sand to bury the tent about a foot deep all the way around. This time, we stayed completely sand-free all night long.

Pre-burial, but well secured.
Not a bad way to spend Mother’s Day 2021!

The morning of the 3rd day, we set out to see bowknot bend. There’s a well known photo op from the top of the saddle above bowknot bend, that we looked forward to reaching and exploring. We tied the canoes at a spot just past the saddle, that looked like something that resembled a trail. When we got out and started walking around, we realized that there was not a marked trail. There was also no clear path to the top of the saddle. We picked out a place that looked stable and started climbing. The steep angle of the climb and the size of the boulders on the side of the mountain, were impressive. We were climbing in our water shoes, which made it interesting.

Halfway up

It was an incredibly steep climb, with loose rock and gravel everywhere. We had to climb 25 feet apart so that we didn’t risk sending rocks down onto each other’s heads.

Bowknot bend
Where he’s standing in this shot is about as far as we dared to go. There was no visible trail, and climbing up any higher from this side of the saddle was not possible without climbing equipment. We were satisfied with the view we had from here though! Incredible!

From bowknot bend, we planned to make a few more stops along the way. One of the things we were excited to see was the Denis Julien inscription. Denis was a fur trapper, and evidently he traveled this river in a wooden boat that is depicted beside his signature on one of the rocks he signed. His signature is in several places between bowknot bend and mineral bottom, and although we had it marked on a GPS tracker with info provided by previous people who’d come here, we were unable to find but one.

The one Julien inscription we did find was located in Hell Roaring canyon. ( I searched for information about why it’s called Hell Roaring canyon and came up empty.) It’s fun to sit around the campfire and think about all of the possible ways it may have gotten it’s name. Speaking of campfire, we had a fun one on our 3rd and final night of the float. As I mentioned in the previous post, we eventually met the owners of the other canoe we’d seen on our first day at 3 mile canyon. We crossed paths with them a few times throughout the float, and introduced ourselves, exchanging trip experiences. The 3rd or 4th time we ran into them, we started to become friends. They were John and Wendy from California and Oregon. On the last night of the trip, they ended up camping just down from us in Hell Roaring Canyon. We invited them to come and sit around our campfire, and John asked if either of us played guitar? He’d brought a river guitar along in a dry bag! As it happened, all 4 of us played guitar and sang enough to be able to entertain each other for a couple of wonderful hours.

New friends, John and Wendy.

The next morning, we were meeting the shuttle at Mineral bottom to take us back to Moab. John and Wendy were meeting another couple at Mineral bottom and continuing on for a couple more weeks to the confluence. We were jealous.

There were more Canadian geese on the Green River than I expected. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that they’d be here in droves. They could be heard every morning honking their greetings, and we saw them often along the banks. On the last morning float, however, we also saw some eared grebe’s diving underwater, and a flock of glossy ibis. This marked my first time ever to see the latter 2 in the wild, and it was very cool! If it hadn’t been for Shannon identifying them for me, I’d have had no idea what they were.

Eared grebe’s
glossy ibis

We had a lot of fun on this trip! Next time we are going to run all the way to the confluence like John and Wendy!

2 thoughts on “Floating the Green River part 2

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