I went out to the Colorado River for the 4th of July weekend. I love it out there but it has been three years since I've been camping at Picacho State Park. Chad and I drove out Friday night to meet up with the rest of the group. When we finally got on the 18 mile dirt road at 10 pm, we spotted a vehicle chasing us down. It turned out to be a Ranger warning us to slow down because of soft road conditions up ahead. After we arrived, we all walked down to the river for a night swim. I got to sleep around 3 am, but Chad and a couple others stayed up till dawn talking around the campfire.
Saturday morning, I went out with Blayne and Clint to wakeboard on the empty river while the water was still flat. We had the largest yellow dragonfly land on the boat. They are so cool. The river level was high, so we set up our beach camp on one of the few exposed sandbars. Normally, that makes them crowded, but we lucked out and only had to share it with one other group the entire weekend. We had a great inflatable raft with a hole in the center to relax on in the river. At the end of the day, we floated down to the campgrounds dock with it.
The campgrounds were practically empty this trip. I have never been to Picacho in the middle of summer before. It was hot, but not too bad because of the cool breezes. The water was very nice, 78 degrees, and I didn't see or hear one buzzing mosquito the entire time. At night, we would sit out in the dark, away from the campfire and look at the stars. They are so bright out there. I like how I could easily see the dense band of stars pointing to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. You can also hear the wild burros braying at night, but I have never spotted one on any of my trips.
On Sunday, Lenny and I decided to paddle the kayaks up river from the North Dock to our beach instead of taking a boat. It turned out to be pretty brutal, so much paddling as the landscape barely moves. You can't stop to rest either because the river will pull back all your forward progress. I am glad I did it though. I spent more time in the sun the second day, only got burned a tiny bit. I am bummed because I lost my favorite sunglasses to the river. The wind caught them and blew them overboard.
Blayne had his new boat out at the river. It's bigger with a bimini cover for shade and a nice step on the back to get in and out of the water. We did some more wakeboarding in the afternoon. The water was very choppy because of the constant flow of boats up and down the river. I had to take shorter pulls because all the bumps make it harder on the quadriceps. It took a few tries, but Chad got up on the wakeboard. I wish I got a picture of him pulling the perfect faceplant. Heh!
Driving home, Chad and I stopped at Cracker Barrel across the border in Arizona. They need one of those restaurants in San Diego. The food is so good.