Friday, May 27, 2016

It's Time To Start Floating!!!

Hi All,

Just a quick post that it's time for some fun rafting!!!!  We are planning a trip down the Dolores river, and got our new boat wet last weekend down Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River.  Good times last weekend and for the upcoming rafting season!!!

Being an avid rafter means always adding to your fleet.  I picked up this 12' NRS during the off season and gave it its maiden float last weekend. Thanks to Zack at Inflatable Technologies and Dan at Down River in getting me all set for the water.


This raft was so much fun!!!!

 
And the crew knew how to have a good time!!!

 
River time is the best time!!!

 
 
We are just getting started, lots of fun water to float!!!

 
Booooom!

 
Bekki knows hot to ducky!

 
 
More proof of life on the river being the best!!!
 
On to the Dolores.  Pics shortly!
 
Bill Strong of Denver on fun rafting!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Fantastic Fall Float Down Westwater Canyon!!!

Hi Rafters,

We just returned from a fabulous trip down Westwater Canyon.  Fall is my favorite time to float this river with the leaves changing the the flows stilling being fun at about 4000 cfs!    If you've never been, here is how you obtain a permit to float Westwater!



Image result for westwater canyon

There were 12 people in our group, no kids (which makes the challenging westwater rapids less anxiety producing!!!).  We spent the night at the campsite called Little D and had a great time.  Meals were Asian Stir Fry for dinner and breakfast burritos the next morning.  This was a great group with everyone pitching in and floating good lines.

Here are some pic!



My purple Maravia is always noticeable on the river!!!



Steve made me (once again) want to get a cool Bimini!!!



I forget what this little inflatable was called but this dude rocked it!!!



Our fleet was a diverse one!!!  You should have seen him run Sock It To Me!!!  I was below and saw 3/4 of the bottom of his boat as he hit the wave-train!









I'm not sure what's going on here, but I'm sure it involved fun!!!





I love this area of Westwater, no you're coming into the canyon.  See the contract between the redstone upper canyon and the polished Precambrian Rocks which are estimated to be 1.7 Billion years old!





The perfect camp site!



This is one badass group of river runners!





My advice is never miss a chance to run Westwater!!!

Bill Strong of Denver on Rafting!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Arkansas is dropping fast, get there while the getting is good!

Friends of Browns Canyon


Hi All,

I took my family and 3 others rafting down Browns Canyon last Saturday.  It's starting to drop so if you want to hit Browns do it soon!

It was flowing at 1300 CFS which is a fun level for a family float!  It was my wonderful wife's birthday, so we made a picnic and relaxed on the beach above the canyon.  In my opinion Browns is good until it gets under 1000 CFS, so we only have a few more weeks left.

The weekend before it was flowing at 2600, which is about my favorite level.  I ran it at 5000 4 weeks ago, which isn't a family friendly level.

I keep meaning to post about our fantastic trip down Lodore Canyon, back soon!

Bill Strong of Denver on Family Rafting!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fun Rafting So Far!!! Browns Canyon and Royal Gorge!!!!




Hi All,

Well it sure has been a great year so far!  It's been a long time since I've posted on this blog.  Most of us rafters have river fever, so I thought I'd check in!

We have been floating Browns Canyon and the Royal Gorge this spring, with a few trips on the Upper Colorado.
 

The year stated out a little slow with all the cold weather we've had, with the run-off being delayed.  I know all of us got really sick of the rain, but it was a good thing with our snow-pack being 59% of normal back in April.

Our trips with family and friends have mostly consisted of Browns Canyon, which is a favorite of ours, with a few trips down Royal Gorge, which is quite a ride for sure.  Browns finally got above 1500 CFS (go here to learn about CFS), anything above 1200 is fun in my book, below that and Browns isn't as fun.  There is great camping on both river right and left before you get into the canyon, with two sites river right once you're in the canyon.

The Royal Gorge is a serious float, not for the inexperienced or faint of heart.  The rapids are imposing at levels above 1000 CFS, with potential drastic consequences if you flip or swim.  These rapids have long stretches with few spots to eddy out, so a swim can be dangerous.

I'll be back soon with pics of more trips.  Lodore Canyon awaits us, which is always a great river trip.

Image result for lodore canyon

Bill Strong of  Denver on Family Rafting!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

It's been a busy spring!!!

Hello Family Rafters,

I haven't had the chance to post since our return from the Yampa.  It's been a busy spring, with floats down the Arkansas, work at my new practice and doing my best to get families out on the water.  My family therapy practice has grown as I was invited to join the group at Paramount Health Directions.  I was honored to be asked to join by Dr. Stamatiou, who developed Paramount to meet the mental health needs of Denver.  For years it's been my opinion the Dr. Stamatiou is the best psychiatrist in Denver. This spring has been busy as I've moved much of my practice to Cherry Creek as I've become part of her team.  I'm also happy that she's supportive of my Families on the River program.  I'm looking forward to getting more families, kids and couples out on the river.



As far as floating, we've been hitting the Arkansas river this spring.  It's been a blast as the flows have been fun and swift.  I'll be posting pics soon.  I've also been able to get some new families out on the water, which is always a joy to behold.  River life is indeed grand!



If you've never floated Browns Canyon on the Ark, do so this spring and do so fast before the flows drop.  River Runners and Noah's Ark are both excellent rafting companies.   Contact them and have a great float!

As far as us, we are planning what has become our annual trip down Lodore Canyon of the Green river.  I'll be posting more as we get ready.  We are lucky we floated the Yampa during off season as usually you can only get a permit for one or the other.  We have one excited group.

Back with more soon.

Bill Strong on Family Rafting!!!!















Saturday, April 26, 2014

We are back from our trip on the Yampa, what a great family float!!!

I'll post more shortly, but here are some pics of our recent trip.  Yampa Canyon in Dinosaur National Park is such a great family float.  71 miles of river in 5 days.  Wow my arms are sore!

This was a wonderful trip for us to get ready for our "Families on the River" Program.  I'll be taking new families on river trips in hopes of sharing the excitement that family time on the river has to offer.  I'll also be working on my "Family Therapy on the River" program, where I'll be taking families who can benefit from working together in what will be challenging, therapeutic, and healing.  I couldn't be more excited and have had an excellent response.  Whether it's inner-city families who are new to outdoor activities or families who want to improve their relationships, the river will provide what they seek. I can't wait to see how each family responds and grows to the demands and beauty of river life.  Being on "River Time" (leave your watch at home) allows individuals and families to live in the present.  Cell phones, Ipads, hand-held video games somehow don't work on the river!  But do bring your camera.  And don't forget your wishes and dreams for how you'd like things in your family and marriage to change. 

A big Shout-Out and thanks again to Chris Frazee of Maravia Rafts, Tony Abrams of Canyon Coolers, Jan at Stiches-n-Stuff, the fine folks at Cascade Outfitters and Mike Mather (the best trainer for river safety!) for their help in putting this program together!

Our trip started with all the planning involved in multi-day trips.  A detailed and tasty menu, gear list, safety equipment (double check it twice), beefing up the first aid kit, are all the things involved in planning for a fun and SAFE multi-day trip.  And 71 miles of river in 5 days is no small task.  Once you push off into a canyon with no way out other than floating...you better have what you need!

After planning food and gear, we watched the flows and weather.  Due to cool weather, the flows dropped a bit.  They were around 1400 CFS when we put in and stayed around there throughout.  Floatable for sure, but you had to keep your eyes peeled for sleepers (shallow rocks) and rock gardens.  Getting hung up isn't fun in general, but with cool temps I wasn't wanting to have to hop out of the boat to push. 

The morning of the trip the river ranger showed up to check to see if we were really ready for our expedition.  She wasn't kidding around!  She looked for our "Groover" (toilet system), First Aid Kit, Fire-Pan with required Fire Blanket, Safety Equipment...then she signed out our permit and said good luck!  As the assigned trip leader it was my job to make sure we had everything required.  If you don't have every mandatory piece of equipment and documentation, there's no float for you!

Before letting us shove off, the ranger pointed out that we were the only boats putting in that day, none had left the day before and none were leaving the following day.  My sister who's quite the wilderness lover was so happy to hear that we wouldn't be seeing ANYONE on our trip. As excited as I was, I also felt the pressure of doing a good job as the trip leader.  I was extremely happy to have my wilderness seasoned sister along.  With no one around to assist it was really important that we were smart and safe.  Thanks Mike Mather for the training!  I take his White Water Rescue class about every other year and still have more to learn.

Here are some pics that I'm hoping my readers enjoy. If you're a family wanting a river experience, please shoot me an email to riverfamlies@gmail.com

 
A little relaxation at the "Put In" after a long drive from Denver.



 
The Barney Barge is Family Friendly. My wife loves the bass boat seat I put on for her.  A happy wife on the river is a happy life on the river!
 
 
 
One thing for sure...Kids love water!



 
 
There's nothing like the entrance into a canyon that you'll be living in for 5 days.
 
 
 
 
 
 
My Brother-in-Law came from Kansas and left an accomplished river rafter.  He was floating a 12' raft on his own and rocked it!  He did a great job!
 
 
He may have been a majestic elk in a past life!
 


 
"Wow" was the word of the trip!
 


 
It was a bit chilly, but the times were good and my crew was a hearty bunch!
 
 
 
Another Wow moment!
 

 
  
My kids know how to live life on the river!
 
 
 
Having my sister along made the trip very special for me.  We learned so much from her about botany, geology and Environmental Conservation.  Thanks Nancy!!!
 

 
The contrast between the canyon and snow cover mountains was stunning.
 
 
 
Those crazy River-Kids!
 

Tiger Rock
 

It's hard not to have a good time on the river with scenery like this.
 
 
 
 

 

 
The Watercress below Warm Springs Rapid was my wife's favorite.
 

 
 
 
That's our favorite campsite of the trip.  Mathers Hole.
 

The great thing about river trips is that with the coolers we can fit our boat, you can truly have a gourmet experience!  Here's our grand meal at Mather's Hole,  Rib Eyes and Apple Cured Pork Chops from Middle Park Meat Company in Kremmling Colorado, and a Salmon Steak from Tony's Meats for my healthy sister.  Regulations require a fire pan that has 4' legs and the fire blanket shown catches any ash.  I use a welder's blanket.  This meal also included my wife's Crab and Asparagus Risotto.  We had her chocolate cake for desert.  What an amazing meal!
 

Here's are meal on night number 3.  My wife's famous green chili with some Tacoritos from Santiago's Englewood!  Yum Yum!!!  Again the fire blanket helps us from making a mess. 
 

 
 


It was nice to see the herd of sheep again at Jones Hole.  We saw some river otters but I was slow with the camera.
 
 
 
It was also nice to fish again at Jones Hole!!!
 
 
 
This picture says it all for me.  Floating with my daughters is truly wonderful.
 
 
 
Life on the River.  It couldn't be better!
 
 
Back with more soon! 
 
Bill Strong of Denver on Family Rafting