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A Winter Westwater Tale

by emma 12. February 2015 08:03

Sheri Griffith River Expeditions Header-Newsletter

Winter Westwater

 Cataract Canyon on the Colorado River

During the last weekend of January, Sheri Griffith Expeditions owner Jose Tejada and his son Obe took a trip through Westwater Canyon.  Our Operations Manager, Brenda Milligan also took some time to go rafting in Westwater Canyon that weekend.We asked Obe to give us his thoughts on the weekend:

Westwater Winter RocksWe arrived at the Westwater ranger station around 10:30 in the morning. It was raining. In fact, it had been raining all night and most of the day before. There was no trace of the sunny, high 50 degree weather that was present when my dad and I hatched this plan.  “You can’t boat every month if you don’t start in January” My father had said. He hadn’t been on the water yet this year. Sure I had been on a San Juan River trip two weeks earlier but this was Westwater. Here the waves would be unavoidable. To be cast out of my brother’s 14 foot NRS boat was a real possibility. It is easy to stay dry on the San Juan River, but this was not the “Juan”. The date was January 30, his last chance to get on the river this month.

For those who have never experienced winter rafting, the gear you bring can make or break an excursion of this sort. It was on a cold April trip down the Gates of Lodore, while wearing a wet suit, that I decided my winter wardrobe needed some upgrades. The neoprene that makes up these suits is designed to trap water next to the skin so your body can warm it. This is great if you are submerged in the water. Also not bad if air/water temperatures are higher than the 40F/35F temps we had when we put in. I went on this trip with a dry top and splash bottoms. My dad wore splash gear: the same type that Sheri Griffith Expeditions routinely gives to their customers in the spring and fall.
And so we pushed off into the frigid water with the rain in our faces both silently wondering if this was going to be one of those trips more fun to tell about than to experience. There was no turning back now. Not that it ever really crossed either of our minds. You don’t go white water rafting in the winter expecting to be perfectly comfortable, and it could have been much worse.

A quarter mile downstream we spotted a Red Headed Sapsucker (Woodpecker), my first.  An hour or so later, we saw our first bald eagle of the trip at the miners’ cabin. It flew within 20 feet of my Dad’s boat. These I have seen many times because some of them live in Moab year round. I never get tired of seeing these amazing birds. Just before Little Delores rapid we saw a small heard of mule deer does. This was a very good trip for wildlife.

We had planned on meeting up with Brenda’s group, who had spent the night in the canyon (doing some river clean up), run the rapids together then push them out with our motor. They thought we might have canceled due to the bad weather and we missed each other by about half an hour. At Lower Cougar Bar, which had three feet of ice on it, we did our final tie down. It was also here that the rain stopped and we could see a small sliver of blue sky to the north!
Our runs through the inner gorge of Westwater Canyon were great! My dad didn’t even get his sorrel boots wet. With all of the water on the black Granitic Schist canyon walls, it made the canyon seem like it had been polished. Sometimes it is hard to pay attention to my runs because of all the scenery that there is to take in. Every time I am here I marvel at the contrast of the red Windgate Sandstone on the black Granitic Schist. This is truly a special place.
After Westwater Canyon, the water fall at Star Canyon was spectacular.  I tried to take pictures of it but I could not do it justice.   This is where we spotted Brenda’s group. So we quickly hung the motor and caught up to them. It sounded like they had had a great trip as well. One of their crew had hauled out two huge beams from the canyon. I love to see people hauling out trash like this. It shows the dedication the river community has to keeping this amazing place clean!

Scott Takig out trash WW

The sun came out for the ride out. The temperature must have come up into the fifties. What a wonderful trip. There was great wildlife, great scenery, great friends, a great time with my dad, and now the weather had just gotten gorgeous! Hard to believe it was January 30th. We will see what February brings.
 

Sheri Griffith Expeditions

2231 S Hwy 191
Moab, UT
84532

www.griffithexp.com
800.332.2439

It's Never Too Late for a Daddy-Daughter Date

by Kristl 29. July 2014 07:25
My family is a Ranching family.  I grew up in La Sal, Utah, which is just south of Moab, Utah, and my dad was a rancher.  He worked hard every day, either out managing the cattle, checking the irrigation, fixing fences or running the tractors as he was cutting, baling and hauling the hay that would get the cows through the winter.  I am the oldest of six children, but I am a girl.  My younger brothers were the ones who got to (they will tell you they HAD to) work with Dad every day, while I played and did "Girly" things with mom.  I did get to (though at the time it was a HAD to) go and feed the cows on Saturdays, and I did finally learn how to run a tractor, though I never had to bale or haul the hay like my brothers did.  My dad worked really hard to provide for our family, and even though my brothers were able to work with him a lot, my sisters and I didn't really have that opportunity.

Enter the Daddy-Daughter Date.  Our church would organize the occasional Daddy-Daughter date night, with the idea that we would get some one-on-one time with our dads, away from the distractions of siblings and work.  These Daddy-Daughter dates were a lot of fun, and I loved the opportunity to dance with my daddy and have his undivided attention.

About 10 years ago, a group of Dads and their 3rd Grade daughters came for a Daddy-Daughter date weekend on the river.  They came to Moab to spend 3 Days and 2 Nights on the Colorado River.  The trip was purposely run at a slower pace, with lots of time for the girls to play on the sand and in the inflatable kayaks with their dads.  Our guides took care of all of the cooking, while the Dads and Daughters worked together to set up their tents and sleeping gear.  The Dads and Daughters had lots of time to play together without the distractions of TV, sports, phones, other family members or work needs. 

Since that first trip, the group of Dads and Daughters has returned again and again over the years.  The group has changed somewhat over the years.  Many of the Dads have been the same, but the Daughters aren't always the same as their younger sisters have taken their turns on the river trip when they have graduated the third grade.  The group joined us again this year for another great rafting trip.  The girls were all so cute!  We really enjoyed having them all on the river with us again, and we look forward to seeing them again over the next few years.

We had another Daddy-Daughter duo join us for one of our Multi-Sport Adventures in June, but this duo was a Grand-Daddy and Grand-Daughter.  They participated in a Zipline Tour, a Sunset Hummer Tour, a Horse-back ride and a 1 Day Westwater Canyon Rafting trip.  They had a great time together here in Moab and we look forward to seeing them again in the future.

It's never too late to set up your own Daddy-Daughter date, whether it is just going out for dinner or taking a longer adventure vacation together.  The time spent together is priceless, and cannot be replaced.

Tall Canyon Walls

by GriffithAdmin 10. June 2014 13:53

Classic Camp Site

This majestic camping spot in Canyonlands National Park is next to a 2000 foot cliff in Cataract Canyon.

Moab Travel Council Award to Arlo Tejada

by Sheri Griffith River Expeditions 13. May 2014 13:36
Arlo's MTC award

Sheri Griffith River Expeditions is very proud of co-owner Arlo Tejada for his volunteer work in Moab. We can't wait for his return home and to the community he loves!!

Tags:

Arlo's Cancer Story | General | Sheri Griffith River Expeditions

The Year of the Family Rafting Trip

by GriffithAdmin 10. May 2014 08:03

“The Year of the Family Rafting Trip “Cataract Canyon on the Colorado River

Sheri Griffith River Expeditions has always been a company focused on family togetherness. Sheri started running rivers with her family in the 1970s, before opening a whitewater rafting company in Moab that was focused on safety, high quality and family fun. Later, long time employees Jose and Arlo Tejada took over the operation of the business, carrying on the same goals and values that Sheri established. Over the past 5 years, family has become even more important as Arlo has battled cancer, and our extended family has come together to support him. This year, we welcome Emma Tejada, Jose’s daughter, to the Sheri Griffith River Expeditions family.  In recognition of the importance of families of all kinds, we at Sheri Griffith River Expeditions want YOU to have the best Family Vacation Possible in 2014.

 

"Family is not an important thing.  It’s Everything." -Michael J. Fox


What makes a Sheri Griffith Rafting Expeditions family rafting vacation the best

Sheri Griffith River Expeditions understand how difficult it can be to plan and pull-off the perfect vacation. We have spent many years working out all the “kinks” associated with river vacations. Once you are on the river with us, we handle all of the day-to-day concerns so that you can relax and enjoy the time with your family. No cell phone or television interruptions, no soccer games or ballet practice, no running to the store, no meetings, no distractions. Just time to play, explore and build stronger family bonds.
 

We are so sure that you will LOVE your vacation with Sheri Griffith River Expeditions that we will GUARANTEE IT! If you don’t have a great time with your family while on one of our vacations, we will refund the price of your rafting trip.


 

This Weeks Highlighted Family Trip:

Family River Rafting on the Green River

book onlineOur signature family rafting trip in Utah is the 5 day/4 night “Family Rafting  expedition on the Green River. This great Utah river rafting vacation offers exceptional bonding opportunities, plenty of moderate yet fun  whitewater for children ages 5 and up, charming campsites on sandy beaches, stunning geological features and ancient and recent Western history. This Green River rafting adventure begins with a scenic flight to the launch site!
 

What are our Goals for your family  Your family gets a refreshed escape  with an easy, no hassle vacation. The kids will not stop talking about their favorite guide. And you are the hero of the PERFECT vacation.


Is this for your family? Great way to introduce the kids to the wonders of the river rafting. Including marshmallows, fireside stories, water fights, and sandcastles. There is also time for parents to relax and enjoy each other as the guides take the kids for learning nature walks.


 

Start of the Westwater Rafting Season

by GriffithAdmin 24. April 2014 13:10

2014 Westwater rafting season starts

Frist Trip of 2014!

by GriffithAdmin 5. April 2014 13:41

The Bross family- our first guests of 2014!
One day Fisher Family trip

Ready to bring your family rafting on the Yampa River?

by GriffithAdmin 12. March 2014 13:57

Rafting the Yampa River this Year?

Tiger Wall on Yampa RiverThis week's "Family Rafting Highlight" is the Untamed Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument. 


A guide favorite, this river stretch is great for couples, mature families and those who want to experience some whitewater.


Just a FEW highlights your family will enjoy on the Yampa River:

 

True Family Escape: This remote setting inspires a chance to reconnect with fellow family members and relax.

What you will love: The solitude of a rarely run canyon, inflatable kayaking during the day, and playing horseshoes with your dad or sister in the evening.


What you will love about being with the SGRE family.(the GUIDES!)
The way they express and animate the amazing stories of the Yampa River. How easily they can get the job done from cooking and cleaning to rowing the boats.


Nature that makes you say WOW:
Towering Steamboat Rock, The Tiger Wall and Warm Springs Rapid- with its infamously nicknamed MAYTAG HOLE!


Things you can learn along the way:
History of Fremont Native Americans, Smore's are just as delicious at 35 as they were at 10, and that a glass of wine is WAY better on the Yampa River's edge.

Why your family should do the Yampa River this YEAR!


Lets go rafting on the Yampa RiverThe Yampa River, through remote Dinosaur National Monument is an easy escape! As the last free-flowing river in the Colorado River drainage, the Yampa can be incredibly wild in May and June.

This remote rarely run canyon gives your family a great opportunity to relax, unwind and really have fun with new friends or old family members. With options such as inflatable through classic whitewater and hiking to the Mantle Cave this years “Family Highlighted" Yampa River trips are not ones to be missed in 2014!

The Yampa River has a short season, and with snow pack's changing year to year one never knows when the next time a large whitewater season is going to bless the Yampa. This trip is one of Sheri Griffith River Expeditions' most popular and can sellout quickly


4 Day Yampa River Booking Online NOTE: We have already closed our May 22nd launch for the 4 day Yampa River trip.The Yampa River is where you want to be this year, so book quickly!

Join Our Community

 

Skinny Tire has Raised 2 Million Dollars for Cancer Charities

by emma 5. March 2014 11:17

2014 Moab Skinny Tire Event!!!

Canyonlands National Park

 

Eleven years ago Mark Griffith started the Skinny Tire Event to help deal with his grief from losing his older brother to cancer. The first year the event only had a handful of riders mostly friends and family but raised $1,200. The event started to gain steam, and from there on out growing bigger every year. Now over 6,000 riders have participated and have donated over $2 million dollars to a variety of charities supporting cancer research and survivorship.

The comradery between cyclists, nature and donating to a very worthy cause make this event unforgettable year after year. Cancer touches so many people negatively its nice to turn some into a positive.

“It's about seeing an obstacle and knowing you can get through it. It's feeling the reward on the downside of the climb — the last day of treatment — every day you choose to live versus succumb. The scenery inspires... helps one think, experience, rejuvenate & regenerate.”- Skinny Tire Festival cyclist

Since Skinny Tire’s inception, Sheri Griffith Expeditions has always been a strong supporter, donating equipment and volunteering time.  In recent years, this event has become very personal to us as our own co-owner Arlo Tejada has been battling cancer for that past three years.  We know and have seen how this event has personally helped cancer survivors; people fighting cancer and people who have lost loved ones.

This year the Skinny Tire event is just $1,100 short of reaching their goal with only a few days left to donate to the cause. If you are interested in donating or joining in this weekend please click on the link for more info: Moab Skinny Tire Event

American Outdoor Association

by emma 26. December 2013 09:54

American Outdoor Association Convention

Tejada Family Rafting

 

American Outdoor Association Convention (AOA)

“Growing, protecting and supporting America’s outfitting buisnesses”- AOA mission statement

www.americaoutdoors.org

 

 AOA is a great tool to grow an outdoor outfitters business to become bigger and greater in their field with experts from their field.  Camaraderie with friends yet competitors is a great way to excel in giving the best and greatest experience in our industry.

 

With that said, Sheri Griffith River Expeditions spent a week at the AOA Conference taking in so much information and making connections to grow and expand what we can do for our guest and their experience.

 

At the AOA trade show Arlo and Emma looked at the new and upcoming equipment from boats, life jackets, and all the new trinkets!!  Proud to say we are ahead of the curve in providing top-of-the-line equipment. There was also great information on the new Google algorithms and many other marketing tools.

 

Though the Internet is very important, we still feel providing great trips and great customer service will carrier us higher! !

Written by Emma Tejada: