Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Kayaking and the Black Canyon
It is Tuesday evening and I am sitting in an Applebee’s in Montrose, Colorado. I have just had tortilla soup and a side of broccoli. I had a long and productive day mainly because it was lovely weather all day with just a sprinkling of rain around 8:30. I got up around 7 and started drying out all the kayak and fishing gear. I put up a line and clothespinned all the wet stuff and then started cleaning up the rest of the truck when I decided to dry out the kayak also. I wanted to get it dry and I figured if I wanted to kayak the animas in Durango I could rent a duckie if a company had one. I decided to take a ride over to the whitewater park about a half mile away and there were a number of drift boats getting ready to put in. The whitewater park looked tempting but I wanted the kayak stowed away so I just looked fondly at the class 2 rapids. I was almost finished with my ride when I decided to ride back, check on my stuff, grab my breakdown rod and reel and some lures and head back to fish a bit from the shore. I fished one spot above the put in and it was promising water but I didn’t get a hit, and no hits at the two spots below. However, I enjoyed it quite a bit. When I got back I tried to get on the internet but it didn’t work well and I figured that when the drying was done I would go play golf at the course just outside of Gunnison. Then it struck me that since it was so nice, I should head for the Black Canyon. I checked it on the GPS and found that it was 55 miles away but it still seemed a good idea and I could spend an hour checking out the overlooks and the get into Montrose for the Women’s Soccer Semifinal, which the USA won against the favored Germany. The Black Canyon National Park was stunning, simply put and though I got to see three or four of the overlooks (the others demanded too much walking for my limited time) I was very inspired by this amazing place (I am thinking I may return tomorrow before heading to Durango. On the way out to head to Montrose I decided to take a look at the east portal and it was interesting but didn’t seem that great a place to come back and fish. So I drove into Montrose, got there with five minutes to go in the first half and then ate a salad and watched the second half. I had spoken to the fellow at the Black Canyon Golf Course and he said if I got there by seven, I could play nine and after the US scored its second goal I headed off and made it with ten minutes to spare. It was a long course and I didn’t shoot too well so I ended up with a 51. Still, it was nice to play. My kayak trip on Monday through the Bighorn Sheep Canyon on the Arkansas was fabulous. The early water was a lot of fun and the canyon was solid Class 3 and I couldn’t have handled any more. The guide thought I did very well and I can’t disagree. I am very glad I hired the guide (for 150) or I would have never been able to run such ambitious water. Later I drove to Gunnison and was just able to get in a little fishing up near Three Rivers just before dark. Then I had a nice pizza dinner in Gunnison before heading to my site at the KOA.