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A Festival Of Mud

When it rains in the desert, flash floods aren't the only things to watch out for.

We were on a trip with Dvorak Canoe and Kayak on the lower canyons of the Rio Grande (Just below Big Bend) The first day started out OK, hot, sunny, wild turkeys strutting around the sand bars. It was the section before the only real rapids on the river and just moving water paddling.

We reached our camping location under gloomy skies. Not unusual there for the spring, but the previous year had little water, the ground was scorched and packed and even the Ocotillo looked miserable. While my spouse and I like to sleep out in just our sleeping bags (safe, but don't think about the kissing bugs and scorpions) we set up a tent anyway.

The tent was needed.

The skies opened up after midnight and we retreated into the tent and it poured or drizzled into the morning. The commissary was set up on a flat area by the river that looked solid, but when stepped on we sank to our ankles in slippery mud. Well we got breakfast going anyway, we had a hard paddling day ahead. While I was helping out, my spouse went off to the groover - called that, because the early toilets for river runners were rocket boxes and when sat on put grooves on your (_!_). It was set up in a dry wash, and was still surprisingly dry. Bill Dvorak said that it would take a damned sight more rain to get an water down the gully. We heard a help! . help! in the wash. While my spouse had finished her business a flow of water came down the wash and was starting to carry the groover away, her sitting on it. Well, she got that under control hauling the now-closed unit up the bank. Musta been a dead cow damming the wash, muttered Bill.

Well, even as things settled down and we were standing around trying to eat breakfast in a sea of mud I was looking down to count the corpses of dead scorpions floating in the mire. Mud everywhere. A festival of mud.

That's why I like canoeing - for the unexpected experiences.
GTR1400 GTR1400 61-65, M Apr 3, 2012

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