Jun 26, 2011

Salome Jug - Tonto Nationa Forest - Arizona

Since looking at this MTBR Thread posted up in May of 2010, I been wanting to the opportunity to do a little adventure into the Jug.
BrettN put out the notice that he wanted to lead a group (along with his brother ScottN), and just like that we had 11 people who wanted to wade/swim the pools, hit the granite slides, and rappel (or jump) the final cliff.

Brett and I split from his house at about 5:15 and we knew it was gonna be warm day. We then picked up Dave and drove into Fountain Hills to meet up with the rest of the group (Mr.& Mrs. Chollaball, ScottN, Justin, Isaac, Alex, Markus, and Jessy).

We then set out AZ-87 and then took a right on AZ-188 and then took a left on A-Cross Road. I'd say we got to the lot about 7:30, and we started the 2.5 mile across and down to the top of the Jug at 8:00.

The walk down was pretty easy, but the concern of being blasted by summer AZ sun on the way out was heavy on our minds.

The top of the Jug was had a small pool of water with a plenty of green algea, and the marks on the rocks told me the water level for the typical pools was way down. But hey their was water at the beginning. Woot. Actually as we headed do the jug the pools got deeper and deeper. Suhweet!

The pink granite at the top was utterly amazing; a really neato contrast of colors up there.

The granite slide barely had a trickle of water, but fun none the less. I can't wait to shoot these with more water flow. We hit it very late in the year, as I'm hearing the optimal time to do this trip is April or May, but a wet suit is pretty much mandatory, as the pools will be cold because they don't get much sun to warm them. The pools were perfect temperature today for just shorts and t-shirt.

As we made our way down, the cliff walls got higher and higher and in some spots they got really narrow.

This is not a hike, it is canyoneering. Beginning canyoneering, but dangerous and having the proper equipment is a necessity. We all had climbing harness just in case the second to the last pool was to shallow to do the 25 to 30 foot cliff jump. Jumping this cliff can be a little hairy and certainly isn't for everybody. Rappelling is the only other option down. If you go here, please do yourself the a favor and bring your rope an harness.

The whole 5.8 (or so) trip took exactly 4 hours, not bad considering the size of the group.

Here is the vid of the day:

Jun 12, 2011

Kayaking the Lower Salt River

This morning, I met up with a the Desert Mountain Paddlers for a float down the Lower Salt River.
I split from my house a few before 6:00 am and cruised over to the Lower Salt River along the Bush Highway. I got to the meetup spot (Lot #1) before 7:00, and I quickly unloaded my boat, and then we shuttled some cars down to the Phon D Sutton Rec Area down river.

I didn’t look at my watch, at the official launch time, but I bet is musta been around 7:45 when we hit the water.
We had 21 people in our group, and there were two or three other groups launching about the same time. Believe me, this time of year it gets pretty crazy with all the tubers floating the river, but luckily we were off the river before the party animal crowd showed up.
This was my first time down this bad boy, and it I gotta say it was pretty fun. There are a few class 2 rapids, and the south side of the island (left channel) about 10 before the bridge really had a nice series of rapids. Nothing to hairy, but just fun fast stuff. The river was flowing a little under 1,500 cfs (Lower Salt – Below Stewart Dam).

It looks like they started releasing water down the river around the first week of May this year. Any cow, it was flowing good.

I’ve been working on my roll. It isn’t bomber yet, but I was successfully pulled out of all three of the rolls I attempted today. Woot! It also felt good to cool off without getting outta my boat. BTW, it was a perfect temp day. Probably about 85 or 90 when we finished up.

Again, I was so jazzed by this float down the river, that I forgot to check the time of when we pulled out of Phon D Sutton, but it musta been about 10:45. Not bad considering how big of group we had. I got home around 12:30, not bad for such a fun adventure so close to home.

Here is a vid of the day: