Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Geocaching, Tubing and a Cattledrive

We’re having quite a stretch of hot weather here in SW Colorado, so on Sunday we were looking for a way to cool off . . . since the pool here at the RV Park still doesn’t have any water in it!

There’s a company in the nearby town of Dolores that runs rafting trips on the Dolores River.  Tom talked to the owner on Friday and he said he’s done taking rafting trips out (water level has dropped) now, but that the river is at a perfect stage for tubing.  He rents tubes for $15/person/day, including transportation between the put-in spot at the north end of town and the take-out spot at the south end as many times as you want.  Both spots are public parks, though, so you can also  take your own tubes on the river if you have a way to shuttle back & forth.

We decided to take our tubes and give it a try, but we made a few stops on the way to pick up a few geocaches.  Our first stop was Summit Lake.

Summit Lake

Ponderosa Pines around Summit Lake










Nicolas and I went in search of the geocache,

Searching for the geocache

and Tom & Bryce caught up with us after they checked out the lake.

Have you found it yet?

Checking out the cache


The extra clue was, “Think like a marmot”, which didn’t help much since we weren’t really sure if a marmot lived in the trees or underground!

Finally, we moved a suspicious pile of rocks and found the cache!

On this trip we actually remembered to bring along some Florida shells so that we would have something to place in the caches!  We were hoping to find a travel bug in this one, but it was already gone, so Bryce just took a toy (which is STILL entertaining him!).


When we arrived at the lake, we saw some kayaks, which turned out to be our neighbors from the campground.

Summit Lake with Mesa Verde in the background

As we got back to our car after finding the geocache, they were just coming in for a break,

Dick & Connor packing up

and they invited the boys to take the kayaks out for a spin.  Tom and Bryce went first,

Tom & Bryce check out the lake

Bryce looks like a natural!










and then Nicolas went out and Tom tried one of the inflatable kayaks.

Nicolas gives it a try

Inflatable Kayak











Tom said that the inflatable kayak felt more stable, but it moved slower through the water.

Tom has decided he likes kayaking

They were only out in the kayaks for a short time, and then after chatting for a bit we continued toward Dolores.

We had two more successful geocache stops,

Success at #3!


Found our 2nd geocache!

and then we arrived in Dolores.  We stopped in the park to have our picnic lunch and get the tubes inflated, and then headed upriver to find a spot for them to launch.

Ready to hit the rapids!

It's not too cold!


I decided to do the shuttling, and let them make a trial run.  The water was running pretty well, and it was refreshingly cold!








After dropping them off, I drove further downriver to catch some pictures of them as they moved along.  At this point, they had only been on the river for a few minutes and Bryce had already flipped once!

Enjoying their float down the river!

It wasn’t big whitewater, but there were quite a few small rapids that they had to navigate through!

Uh Oh!  More rapids!

I continued downriver, and after waiting a few minutes, they caught up with me again.  I had a good vantage point for watching them go through a rapid!

Nicolas made it through the rapids!

Tom made it through, too!











Bryce had taken a “short cut” and ended up behind them quite a bit!

Bryce's shortcut didn't work out too well!

But, he caught up and made it through the rapids just fine!

He made it!

From there, I went down to the “beach” at the end of the road to wait for them.  This is what they call a beach in Colorado!  There were quite a few people enjoying the hot Sunday afternoon!

A day at the beach!

I sat on the rocks with my Nook, and waited for them to come through the final rapid.  Nicolas was first again,

Nicolas is ready to go back for more!

followed by Tom and Bryce . . . and Tom didn’t quite make it through this last rapid!

Tom flipped!

He recovered, though, and enjoyed the ride!

A nice day for a float on the river!

It took them about 25 minutes to go from the park at the north end of town to the beach, and Tom said it was enough!  Nicolas, however, was ready to go again!  Bryce took some convincing, but he finally agreed to go one more time.

Tom took them back to their launch site, while I stayed at the beach to read.  On the 2nd time around, they both flipped over a couple of times, but they had fun!

They did it again!

These rapids are no problem!










Bryce has had enough!

They got dried off in the sun, and after a quick stop in town for an ice cream, we headed back to the RV Park.  We were almost back to Mancos, when we came across this group . . .

Cattle Drive!

Some of the cattle tried to make a run for the open field, but the cowboys and dogs herded them back to the group!


Cowboys and dogs keep the cattle in line

It was quite a sight to see all this cattle walking down the road – a first for the kids and I!  Tom had run into another cattle drive while he was out on a motorcycle ride on Friday, but I was glad to see one so I could get pictures!

Back at home, we had some visitors in the evening!












It was a very full and very fun Sunday!

1 comment:

  1. What beautiful country and the rafting looked like lots of fun!! We got stuck in a huge cattle drive driving from Zion to Bryce...we just stopped the car and waited until they had crossed the road...just a different way of life:o))


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