We didn’t get onto the river on the fourth day until noon because J had to patch where he had slashed the bottom of his boat to let water out the day before when he got caught on rocks in the rapids and the river had poured in, threatening to capsize him. G had to patch the bottom of his boat too because it was leaky and full of small tears.
J used a sewing needle, floss, rubber patches and cement to repair the holes he found whereas G just smeared shoe glue over several suspect points. Both approaches seemed to work just fine.
Finally, an idyllic day on the Dolores River! We all just floated downstream in the brilliant sunshine with an occasional pull or push on the oars.
I took a turn for an hour on the oars and it was quite strenuous work as well as being nerve wracking as we bounced and scraped over rocks in the river while I tried to get the hang of pushing oars to propel a boat in a strong current. There was one more rapids to pass through and I relinquished the helm to G when we approached it.
Slider Rapids looked formidable enough, a solid class III, but after scouting it out from shore and endlessly palavering about possible routes through it, we all made it down just fine. We were all veterans by now, combat-tested.
We pulled into camp early that evening, about seven miles from Dewey Bridge in Utah, the end point of our third annual Bucket Trip. That night we enjoyed sumptuous beef burritos and had a sing-along around a campfire, with the best rendition being performed by J as he sang the title song to the old fifties TV series Maverick. (Right: Row, row, row your boat...)
Ridin' the trail to who knows where,
Luck is his companion.