Returned from 2016 Expedition #3 down the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande. We had superb weather for this journey — calm, cloudless days with highs around 90 and warm starry nights. Arctic paddling legend, Mel Baughman was part of this week’s crew, and it was great to paddle together and swap stories. Sally, Paul and Mike also shared amazing stories of Tanzania. The only glitch was water levels. It was the lowest water I have ever seen on the Rio Grande. So much for El Nino “big water year”. Low flow (44cfs at RG Village) made all the rapids technical and also made for some scratchy dragging in some of the braided sections. But we did have some excitement lining Hot Springs rapid over the main drop for the first time ever, and some challenges when almost the entire river got swallowed by the cane. Wildlife was not abundant this time around, but we did witness a kettle of 90 Turkey Vultures and saw a newborn Corriente calf lying flat on a little cane cavern. We have had a little rain in the last two days while we are cleaning and repacking for the final Rio Grande Expedition of 2016.
Sorry to miss all my friends at Canoecopia this year, but when I am forced to choose between talking about paddling and paddling, I hope I always choose paddling. That said, I do miss the all of you and the good fun in Madison.
Rob Kesselring: Speaker/Writer/Consultant
Member Outdoor Writers Assn. of America
USFS Licensed Wilderness Guide
Lakeville, MN 55124 USA