Up at 5:15 am, and it took at lot of shaking to get those kids up! Early breakfast, dragging all the bags for two blocks to the Moab Adventure Center. …View image… Two big buses already there for our ride to the small (very small) airport. On the ride, we see the famous “Three Penguins” formation alongside the road.
There are at least six or seven small planes. Plane assignments are shouted out by Dino, the owner, and he directs each group to their plane. We have Mike and six kids on one, “ex-Marine” and myself on a 4-seater. Sarah (one of our 11 yr. olds) is shaking like a leaf from fear.
We take-off for a 40-minute flight, flying over the Green River all the way, extremely smooth and scenic. ..View image… Landed on a dirt runway on top of a Mesa (a flat plateau). The plane landed, one after another, moved off the “runway” and waited for the next plane to land. …View image..
The plane ride turned out to be a highlight for all of us. Great fun! Everyone off the planes, two groups separated and given big blue bags (for your gear) with a sleeping bag, ground sheet and sleeping sheet in each along with a red bag for daytime use on the raft. Both of your bags had the same number on it and you had to remember your number. Mass confusion getting us nine packed up and organized. The red bags contained our cameras, waterproofs, sunscreen and repellent, plastic water bottles – everything you would need during the day on the rafts.
We are going to raft down the Green River, Class II-III rating, covering 84 river miles and over 50 rapids, starting at the bottom of this Mesa, Sand Wash, Utah. To get to our put-in, we hike down to the Green River. Most of the group races down the 1/2 to 1 mile hike, but Jenna is petrified because she doesn’t like hiking down and we pick our way. She was extremely proud of her accomplishment and said…”wait until Mom hears what I did.” …View image
In this short period of time, our grandchildren had already conquered fears about small planes, and taken their first real hike in the wilderness…just the beginning…with lots more to follow…