Dates Set for 2017 Rio Grande Lower Canyon Expeditions

In 2016 four Rio Grande Uncommon Seminars Crews experienced terrific journeys down the Rio Grande’s Lower Canyons. The weather was absolutely spectacular. Cobalt blue skies warm days cool (a few cold) nights. Great campfires. stargazing the zodiacal cloud for some groups, a brilliant full moon for another. A gamut of wildlife, including some of the best views ever of desert bighorn sheep, desert mule deer, javelinas, wild burros and of course the corriente. Some good birds including a Black Hawk and an amazing kettle of over 90 Turkey Vultures. The water was low all season which was contrary to the El Nino forecast, but we always had enough water. The low water did provide some new lining opportunities. We lined the big drop at Hot Springs rapids for the first time. I think many of the paddlers learned how fun technical lining can be and that opened a new dimension … Continue reading

Copper Canyon, Mexico

CopperCanyon040816-2After completing four consecutive and very successful expeditions through the Rio Grande’s Lower Canyons, I decided to venture even further south in quest of more wild rivers and canyon walls. For decades, I have had my heart set on experiencing Mexico’s Copper Canyon (Barranca del Cobre). Allegedly it is deeper than Arizona’s Grand Canyon and four times bigger in size. Reading Edward Abbey’s chronicles by the light of a campfire on the Rio Grande and listening to Larry Rice’s stories further piqued my interest. Plus, with the Nahanni, Grand, and RG Lower Canyons under my belt I thought this would complete the big four of North American canyons. There was also a strong commercial interest. Could I lead guided canoe trips in March down the Urique River … Continue reading

Four Crews Experience Success in 2016 on the Rio Grande

BlogPost033116_6With the completion of the 4th Rio Grande Expedition, my 2016 Lower Canyon season has come to an end. The last trip was my biggest (total crew of 10), latest (March 11-18), the lowest water level (44 cfs at Rio Grande Village). My conclusions: I enjoyed the big crew size, maybe partially because they were already an established group that had done kayak outings together in the past and they were bonded and confident wilderness campers and all that made my job easy. I enjoyed the longer days and the heat (and daily swimming) of mid-March and the greening of the desert. But, mid-March is Spring Break time in Texas. In 14 previous Lower Canyon expeditions I had not seen another canoe party. This time we passed a small group … Continue reading