Hayduke Route day 3: 17.5 mile float via packraft down the Colorado River.

Today was a nice change of pace. Instead of hiking, we paddle-floated down the Colorado River. When I say we, I mean Pete, Cuban B, Dave, Sonya, and myself. Dave and Sonya are packrafting-paddling with us up until the takeout at Elephant Hill. As I mentioned before, the next 3-4 days, we will be floating 65 miles or so down the River, followed by a 9 mile hike out of the gorge, carrying all our gear and rafts overland. We didn’t start paddling until 11am and were done by 5:30 pm, knocking out 17.5 miles. We even lunched for about 45 minutes. Sonya was struggling the later part of the day when the headwinds picked up. Pete and myself, being the more experienced paddlers in the group powered thru it. Dave and Cuban B were somewhere in the middle. It feels good to be paddling again. I truly enjoy it.

Despite being on the River, we felt we were still under the confines of civilization, for there was a road paralleling us for the full 17.5 miles. Tomorrow we should be entering the Canyonlands National Park Wilderness. Yes!! Finally!! We all crave to finally be in that, away from the sights, sounds, and smells of the “civilized” world. Pete and I are familiar with

part of this float section, having done a 7 day, 95 mile packrafting-backpacking loop two years ago.

Anyhow, the weather is good tonight. The sky is clear with bright stars and a waxing crescent moon. On that note, I noticed we started our trip with the new moon. It is good to have that time stamp noted.

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