Connie Norman
Connie Norman

Gates of Lodore on the Green River, Colorado and Utah

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My husband, Todd and I have been trying to get a permit to raft the Gates of Lodore for years, without much luck.  This year we were invited to raft with Bo Christensen, he runs the Intermountain Outdoor Institute, and Canyon River Adventures.  We went with our good friends and fellow rafters the Zane, Maura and their kids, Ryan, Robbie, Brandon, and Cory.  The reason it is so difficult to get a permit is the National Park Service only allows 50 people down the river a day.  We took four boats and two kayaks down.  We started out rafting the Green River, Lodore Canyon, in Colorado and four days later we were in Utah.  We covered 44 miles of the Dinosaur National Monument.  The Gates of Lodore was named by John Wesley Powell who was the first person to navigate the river in 1869.  We had an amazing time, the canyon is absolutely beautiful, the weather was wonderful, but the mosquitoes were ruthless.

At the end of this blog post and some here and there, you will see my photos of my Adventure Mug.  I took my Ayumi Horie mug along to try to photographic it along the way, for her Pots in Action Contest.  This mug is now very well traveled, and we traveled in style with it. 


Day One

Setting off for four days on the Green River.

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Of course we had to have beautiful pottery with us!

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Every night Maura treated to delicious cakes made in Dutch Oven in the fire pit.  Here is Bo and the kids making a sun dial, so Maura knows when it’s done.  If you notice the shadow is hitting the first stone, and the sun will move across the stones to mark 30 minutes.   And…Voila it’s done!

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The boats docked at Pot Creek, the first campsite. 

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Views of the utterly gorgeous canyon.  My pictures just don’t capture how pretty it was.

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Day Two

The boat mechanics…

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As we were waking up we found we had unexpected visitors.  A mouse was scurrying around and eventually hid under the raft.  The mouse had an audience from that point on, until we got on the river.  We saw so much wildlife on this trip, besides the mouse, we were lucky enough to see a bear, just after catching something to eat.  Watching the bear run up the cliff-side was really cool.  Also, we saw big horn sheep and entertained by a deer swimming across the river near our camp.  All the kids were thrilled to see all the wildlife, as well as the adults.  Unfortunately, no pictures because they did not come out too well.

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Scouting the rapids, Hell’s Half Mile, all the rapids were named by John Wesley Powell.  Some of the other rapids on the Green are Disaster Falls, Triplet Falls, Harp Falls and Greasy Pliers.  Many times Todd tells me, “Oh it’s not that bad, you’ll be fine.”  But with drops like “Lucifer Rock” and “S.O.B.” it doesn’t give me much confidence.  I’m a wimp, and I’m still looking for rapids named something like, Powder Puff Falls, Lemon Drop, or maybe Strawberry Swirl.  Then maybe I’ll get the nerve to go down some more difficult rapids. 

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Since I am a big scared-i-cat, I was more than willing to walk the kids around the rapids, while everyone else boated the rapids.  The kids had fun eating Gold Fish, exploring the flora and fauna of the river.

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Here is Todd’s solo run down Hell’s Half Mile.  Notice the first picture (top left) where Todd drops into the first hole.  That is a 16’ boat almost completely engulfed…that is a big hole.  Nice run Todd! 

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Who needs a water slide when you have a raft? 

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Vander catching some hang-time with Dad. 

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Looking back into the canyon, it was just amazing!

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Who needs a trampoline when you have a raft?  Bo is very athletic and entertained us all week with flips off of just about anything.  You name it, he flipped off of it. 

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Day Three

Who needs a bed, when you have a raft?  Zane and the girls sleep on Ryan’s raft on the second night at Rippling Brook. 

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Crawdads!!!!  I recommend catching crawdads for hours of kid entrainment.  Thanks to the genius of Bo and Cory.

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Steamboat Rock!  The Yampa river enters here on the left. 

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Day Four

We have all the kids in our boat today.  And yes, Pringles are a must, for an after breakfast treat. 

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Here’s the most of the group. 

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On the way to the take out, just after the rocks.  It was a great trip!!

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Adventure Mug!!!

I took one of my Ayumi Horie’s mugs to try to get photos to enter her Pots in Action contest.  Here are some of the photos of the mug while on it’s adventure.  It was fun to do.  By the end of the trip almost everyone had been photographed with the mug. 

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What photographs do you think I should submit to the Pots in Action Contest?

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6 Responses to “Gates of Lodore on the Green River, Colorado and Utah”

  1. ron Says:

    I would love to go on a river trip. That looks like so much fun, surrounded by all that beauty. My favorite mug shot is the one of it sitting on the front of the raft. They are all great though!

  2. Linda Starr Says:

    Wow, what a great trip; a mug with one of the children holding it; they all look so proud to be holding a ceramic mug.

  3. jim Says:

    hi connie, i’m so envious of your trip. i’ve only gone rafting once in the spring runoff on the rattlesnake river in montana. it was an eight-person raft and the couple inches of water that was always in the raft from splashes was barely liquid it was so cold and i remember my feet were numb. it was great fun though and only one of the 8 of us had ever rafted before and when he said, “we’re coming up on a waterfall pretty soon”, i thought he was joking. anyway, great adventure especially for the kids. ayumi is lucky to have entries like yours… i’d go with one of the ones that it’s clear there’s a raft and a canyon in the background

  4. Connie Says:

    Thanks Ron!! It was a beautiful canyon. We own our raft and go boating all the time, but this trip was really special.

  5. Connie Says:

    Hi Linda, I emailed the blog post to Ayumi and she liked the ones with the kids the best as well. The dead line is jsut days away, I have to make a decision!!! She is only accepting one pic per pot. :(

  6. Connie Says:

    Hi Jim, this was amazing. We are spoiled since we do this many times during the summer. My husband starts rafting in early spring. I’m way to wimpy for that. But this trip was in the desert, it was warm and we had beautiful views. Come to Wyoming and we’ll take you rafting!!