Glenwood Hotsprings and Big Waves
By Christina King
What a great weekend! We arrived in Glenwood to discover great water on the Colorado River (Dotsero station and below Glenwood (includes the Roaring Fork flow). We asked three people and got three different flows for Friday and Saturday (May 9/10). I think I trust the flows for Friday at 2400 cfs and Saturday at 3300 cfs. Since my ankle was freshly out of the cast (broken ankle on March 30-snowboarding) I decided to run the Grizzly section to Two Rivers park and the rest of our group (Jeff/Karen Hodge, Glen Roberts and Pete King) ran Shoshone first and met me below. This is about a 15 minute run. Nobody was at the Shoshone put-in on Friday afternoon and we lathered up with lots of sunscreen to protect our white winter skin from burning. We had a wonderful warm and sunny afternoon with the river all to ourselves. We met at Two Rivers Park to make sure we were ready to go as the Shoshone put-in can be a tight squeeze. Everyone exclaimed that the rapids were great above Grizzly and said I could run them easily the next day in my ducky. Nobody was at the Shoshone put-in.
We floated down to the Two Rivers takeout, after putting our feet in the scalding hotsprings along the way down the river. Friday night we had dinner at the Bayou which featured froglegs and crawdads, which Jeff and Karen explained they used for bait in Michigan. The view was great from The Bayou restaurant deck and we went back to our Cedar Lodge motel ($50/night) for a hot tub soak and early evening.
The next morning we met again at Two Rivers park (as we waited for others who had said they might join us but they were no shows). Too bad, as we had a great day again. We shuttled to Shoshone, unloaded quickly and ran the shuttle to River Bend (just above Newcastle). I decided to run the ducky based on Pete's advice from Friday's run but swam in the very first rapid. The water was up and waves were too big for the ducky. Glen ferried over to my side (where I eddied out without my ducky) and gave me a ride to Pete's cat. I rode the rest of the rapids in Pete's cat and Jeff carried my ducky. The waves/holes were a lot bigger. Glen assured me that Pete was not trying to "bump me off" but that the rapids were a lot bigger than Friday. Yeah right.....I duckied from Grizzly on and was glad I didn't hurt my ankle. I won't tell my physical therapist about this little adventure considering she got bent out of shape when I told her I peddled my bike around the driveway last week. Actually I noticed that my ankle has really loosened up the last few days. We passed a great camp called Rock Gardens and will consider this for next time. Campsites are right along the river with huge shade trees and the campground has bike rentals and showers. Their rates were high but so are most tourist services in Glenwood Springs.
When we got to Two Rivers park and took a break we had two novice kayakers ask to join our group. Turns out that was lucky as they had no kakak rolls and had a hard time in the river. They swam quite a bit and really needed help. We recommended that they join CWWA and sign up for lessons as we didn't have the exertise to help them learn to roll. Our day was complete when we shuttled Glen's cat on our trailer and our only trailer strap fell off right before the No Name tunnel. Pete made a u-turn at that exit and circled around to retrieve it. Pete played chicken with the semi's roaring down I-70 and won. We got our strap back. That night we enjoyed a great Italian dinner (The Underground) in downtown Glenwood.
Sunday morning we awoke to drizzle, overcast rain
and chilly weather. After a tasty breakfast at the Daily Bread we scouted the
Roaring Fork and Crystal River runs (put-ins and takeouts also) and then left for home.
Next visit we will have to try these out the next day also. Considering
there were no other rivers with good flow in Colorado, this was a great weekend in a fun