One Last Out-of-State Recon for 2017

One of the disadvantages of living in one of Fenn’s Rocky Mountain states is not having travel costs as an excuse not to head out and look for that damned treasure.

If we had to, we could be in Brown’s Canyon (CO) in 5 hours, Sinks Canyon (WY) in 11, and Gardiner (MT) in 14.

We promised ourselves a return trip to a couple of the out-of-New Mexico (out of 7 total) recons we’ve been on this year. Seems to us that this is as good a time as any, considering snow has fallen on Yellowstone, and a serious Autumn is ever drawing nigh. And, being retired, it’s not like I had a bunch of party plans anyway.

So, we’ll be out of pocket for several days, although our vlog will still release on Wednesday of next week. Who knows, we might even have another mini-treasure for you to find.

Yes, I realize this is the antithesis of my “The treasure is in New Mexico” theory, but, in all honesty, I’m taking my fly rod and a bunch of #14 Frenchie Nymphs with me. There are a river full of Cutthroat Trout up there that could use some catchin’.

Like Fenn says, I’m feeling like my elbow needs some room.

My Whereabouts Over the Long Thanksgiving Weekend

You won’t be seeing any new posts from me between Wednesday, November 27 and Sunday, December 1, 2013. And, my planned adventure is totally unrelated to the hunt for Fenn’s treasure chest.

Hoover Dam, Satellite

Hoover Dam, Satellite

I’m headed for the Black Canyon on the Colorado River. Black Canyon runs for about 12 miles directly downstream from Hoover Dam, and is one of the more accessible sections of the Colorado. There is lots to see on this stretch of the river, as indicated in this American Whitewater Listing which describes the run from North to South, from the put in below the Hoover Dam to the slack water at Mohave Reservoir.

(If you’ve made the run at any time in the past, please leave your suggestions, recommendations and warnings in a Comment Box – especially if you can refer me to some photos or video that you’ve uploaded.)

I’m planning to explore the canyon from South to North, making the round trip from Willow Beach, which provides camping, marina, and other facilities on the Arizona side of the River. I’m camping in one of the spots at the Willow Beach Campground, which provides easy access to the river. This won’t be the first time I’ve been in the canyon. But, it will be the first time I’m on the water, on my own, and making the run upstream rather than down. It’s also the first time I’ll have the opportunity to catch some of the pretty good sized trout in this section of the Colorado.

Saturn Kaboat SK396

Saturn Kaboat SK396

I’m making the run on my newly acquired Saturn Kaboat SK396. It’s a tactical quality rubber raft that’s closer in dimension to a kayak; 12 feet long and 42″ wide, and two 13″ diameter pontoons. It weighs about 50 pounds fitted and has a load capacity of around 500 pounds. It’s powered by an environmentally friendly Suzuki 2.5 hp 4-stroke which, at full throttle, pushes the watercraft at about 12 knots, and practically sips gas. (The photo is not me in mine, it’s a stock photo downloaded from the boatstogo.com website.

There are several unique areas in the canyon (as described in the American Whitewater Listing referred to above) I plan to explore, so I expect to return with a good collection of images, and, if I’m patient enough, some video.

My good friend Hannu has made similar runs on some beautiful rivers in Swedish Lapland, rigged a little differently with a larger model of Kabot and, correspondingly, a more powerful outboard motor. It was my watching some of his videos that, first, prompted me to contact him; second, make the investment in the boat and motor; and third, run some of the beautiful rivers we have here in America.

I’m especially excited about springtime running some of the big rivers in the American Northwest which look and act similarly to the rivers in Hannu’s videos.

So, wish me luck. I’ll get back to blogging about the treasure when I return. Until then, I hope you and yours have a good, and uneventful, Thanksgiving.


Added to the above:

One of my Facebook Friends, upon reading about my upcoming travels, wrote, “One word: why?”

I responded with, “…uh…Because it’s there?” Not very good, I admit, but it was all that I had at the time. Then I remembered this.

Calvin Coolidge Signing the Boulder Canyon Project into LawThis is a photograph of President Calvin Coolidge signing The Boulder Canyon Project Act in 1929. The gentleman standing in the background, second from the right, represented Arizona in the six-state Colorado River Compact that enabled the project to proceed.

He is Toby Younis, Sr., my grandfather. (My father was Jr., and I’m the III, but I don’t use it.)

The Boulder Canyon Project was re-named the Hoover Dam by President Harry Truman in 1947, the year my grandfather died, and two years before I was born.

Turns out I have a reason for making the trip this holiday.