Moab, the Green River, and Canoes (Part the Fifth)
Time marches on… It’s now Tuesday, September 29, and we have a (relatively) long paddling day ahead of us. By staying on a mudbar at Deadhorse Canyon (Mile 19.5) instead of the shelf camp at Turks Head (Mile 21), we cut our one-day maximum from 17 1/2 miles to 15, but that’s still 50% longer than our other paddling days. Luckily, paddling is all we have to do today – yesterday we visited “Newspaper Rock,” and tomorrow will be our all-day hike in Water Canyon – so once we get to our next campsite and get camp set up, we’re done for the day.
Shortly after we pushed off from the mudbar, Rick asked me if there were any interesting sights on today’s stretch. My first answer was basically, “No,” but then I looked at the guidebook and found a note Toni had written a few years ago – either 2011 or 2012: “Split Rock 200′ Up River Left Dino Track.” So I told Rick and Eve about this but said we had looked for it before and failed to find it.
Not too long afterward, Rick points to a BIG chunk of rock up on the canyon wall and asks if that’s it. As we floated downstream, it became obvious that he had, indeed, found the split rock:
We also noted the continuing rise in relative elevation of the White Rim Formation – whereas it had been at river level a few days earlier, and maybe a couple of hundred feet up at Turks Head, now it’s getting even higher above the river (in the picture below, it’s the uneroded band near the top of the canyon wall in the distance).
We reached our destination, Water Canyon (Mile 4.5) in good time. While there is sometimes a good sandbar to camp on there, there is also an excellent shelf camp. The trail up Water Canyon begins / ends at this shelf camp, so that’s where we elected to stay for the next two nights. Tomorrow we’ll hike/climb the Water Canyon trail, and on the next day we’ll paddle down to The Confluence and get back to Moab via jet boat. Stay tuned!