Canoeing the Green

Janet Gilbert | Green River, Utah

In 1994, our family joined with two other families to canoe down the Green River through Canyon Lands National Park. We contracted with outfitters to drop us off outside of Moab and pick us up at the confluence. We rode in a dilapidated old school bus down a narrow switch backing canyon wall rut of a road to a put in site. I could see remains of cars over the edge that had attempted this passage. Never the less we continued and put into the river. Our 4 year old daughter rode like the Queen of Sheba on her barge on the ice chest in the center of the canoe with a beach umbrella to keep her shaded. She delighted in calling out the stroke pattern for my husband’s and my paddling. My son kayaked alongside us and was quite proud of himself.

We had a blast six days on the river, a full moon casting silver on canyon walls, big horn sheep on the cliffs. We coated ourselves in river mud, baked ourselves on the shore, then rinsed off in the river. I have never felt so clean. We hiked side canyons and made clay artifacts. We had mud fights. We had the most peaceful escape I have ever experienced on that non motorized stretch of Green River.

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