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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.

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.


 

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

 

How to get our 2014 Catalog.

by arlo tejada 26. November 2013 06:36

2014 Rafting Catalogs


Moab River Rafting catalog

The Sheri Griffith River Expeditions River Journeys catalog has just arrived in Moab. Filled with Lots of new photos, updated itineraries and great information.

BIG CHANGES TO DELIVERY OF THE CATALOG: After years of sending out thousands of brochures many of which were as returned as undeliverable or sent to the landfill, we have decided not to do a bulk mailing in 2014.  If you would like to receive a copy of our 2014 brochure, or impress your friends and family members, please call us at 800-332-2439 or email us at info@griffithexp.com.

We will even throw in a FREE DVD, Moab trip planner and a postcard that you can keep or mail to your friends!

Here are the best ways to get your copy:

  • Email (info@griffithexp.com)

  • Website (click here)

  • Phone (800) 332-2439

  • Mailing us (PO Box 1324 Moab UT 84532)

  • Walk in and ask for one (2231 South Highway 191 Moab Utah 84532)

  • Telegraph (nearest Western Union)

  • Secret handshake. (Well it is secret for a reason)

Happy Birthday Arches National Park!!!

by emma 12. November 2013 09:04

Arches Turns 42 Years Old!

Great Waterfall and rainbow

Arches National Park was opened in 1971 on November 12th. This is the National Park's 42nd birthday. It was originally created as a National Monument in April of 1929. Arches National Park is roughly 76,359 acres of beautiful rock formations such as Balancing Rock and Delicate Arch featured above.

An Expeditions for Foodies

by GriffithAdmin 11. November 2013 11:17

The Gourmet Experience- Our Trip for Foodies!

Great Food!

Luxury River Trips: This experience is all about "going with your gut." This can certainly ring true when you're planning your adventure of a lifetime--especially when there's food involved! With an impressive river chef menu designed by our chef and Culinary Institute of America trained Sarah Jane, you can trust that our Luxury River Trips are the intersection of gourmet food, incredible settings and adventure.

Spend the day exploring the secrets of the Colorado River and admiring the beauty of Canyonlands National Park. At night Indulge in five star cuisines prepared by our professional river chef, served on linen-clad tables with views of towering red rocks. Relax by the rivers edge with handpicked wines.

Enjoy toasted crostini topped with Roma Tomatoes, Fresh Basil and melted Buffalo Mozzarella, wrapped in prosciutto for appetizers. Savor grilled pork tenderloin with Honey-Dijon Sauce, Grilled Asparagus, and Couscous as the sun sets. Save room for dessert with freshly baked brownies with assorted berries and whipped cream.



Hungry Yet?

New Gates of Lodore Launch for 2014!

by emma 15. October 2013 09:35



New Gates of Lodore date for 2014

Gates of LodoreThe Gates of Lodore on the Green River is one of the most popular trips Sheri Griffith River Expeditions runs.  We have just added July 7th date to our 2014 Calendar. This means we have launches on June 8, 14, 19 and July 31.

This trip combines all the elements of a classic whitewater river trip: great hikes, exciting whitewater, beautiful beaches and colorful history. Take a journey into a spectacular wilderness.

Because we have so few trips through Gates of Lodore almost all our dates sellout quickly. Book your trip now!

Gearing Down and Gearing Up

by Kristl 2. September 2013 09:27

Yampa River

Here at Sheri Griffith River Expeditions we are starting to gear down from the height of our 2013 season, just in time to start gearing up for the 2014 rafting season.  We loved meeting new friends and re-connecting with old friends as we traversed the canyons we call home. We've already received reservations for the 2014 season, and it is starting to look like a great rafting seaon! 

As part of our "gearing up" for the 2014 season, we are offering a special September special on all of our rafting trips!  If you've been following us for a few years, you know that we always offer our "Next Year's Dates at This Year's Rates" until October 31st, but this year we are offering a special incentive.  If you make your reservation during the month of September and pay for your rafting trip in full, we will give you an additional 5% discount!  This discount works in addition to our group discounts and our return guest discounts, so you could save a lot of extra money!


Call or email Kristl for more details! (800) 332-2439Gates of Lodore


If you've ever wanted to see Cataract Canyon, the Yampa River, the Gates of Lodore or any of the other beautful canyons that we call home, this is the time to start planning!  We offer all-inclusive rafting excursions, so no hidden rental fees and no extra transportation fees will be added on to your reservation.