All the float bubbas, half the water.
It’s been quite awhile since we’ve run the Green River. It had gotten so crowded and crazy that we had been looking for alternatives for our paddling trips. Another paddling friend had told me that things had changed on the Green. The authorities were really cracking down on alcohol abuse and other violations on the river. We decided to see if things really had changed.
The water was very, very low. Normally we have an OK run with one turbine at 60%. However, today even with that much dam release, it was very low.
There was an increased law enforcement presence. A wildlife office and deputy sherriff inspected every cooler, and kept a close eye on things at the put-in. I was quite glad to see the stepped up presence.
As for the float bubbas, there were still quite a few. There was a marked difference in the types of floaters. Most seemed like nice people, rather than the crazies who are usually out there. We encountered only one real weirdo, and he wasn’t on an inner tube. He was walking upstream, pulling a canoe with one hand, and carrying a fishing pole in the other. In the canoe was his wife/girlfriend, hunched over, and looking like she wasn’t geeling well. On the guy’s hip was a six-shooter.
As for the river, I paddled as if I had never been on a kayak before. I hit more rocks this time around, missing routes I’d hit with pinpoint accuracy a hundred times before. I even managed to wipe out on a simple, simple chute – the first time I had spilled in my kayak in years. I banged up my knee real good on a rock.
We made it back to the take-out, but with the water levels low, it took awhile. We loaded up and went to get my truck at the put-in. While there, a car with a couple of guys cruised through the parking area, scoping the place. When they saw the law enforcement, they pealed out. Nothing like avoiding suspicion. As we drove out, we spotted the guys pulled over, with one in handcuffs.
Despite the problems, it was a good day. We hit some nice surfing waves, and ran into some nice folks. As I told Bob, a bad day on the river beats a day at work anytime.