Mid- Winter River Festival
and permit party
(link to our 2012 permit party)
Right now the Saturday afternoon permit party will definitely happen. The rest of the 'festival' is a concept that is being organized and we are open to:
- ways to encourage participation from local as well as out-of-GJ WSA members and guests
- ideas for what to do and how to do it for Saturday seminars, etc
- presentations and presenters for Saturday 'workshops' or seminars
- river resource people (those who have run rivers as well as river management agency employees)
- ways to encourage boaters (canoers, kayakers, rafters, packrafters) to submit river footage/ short You-Tube-Like video films for Friday (and maybe Saturday?) night showiing
- volunteers willing to help organize elements of the weekend events
Some of the 'working' ideas for the event include:
- A river film festival on Friday night (from GoPro and other river footage boaters have shot while canoeing, kayaking, pack rafting, rafting or . . . .)
- Seminars/ workshops on various topics of interest Saturday morning and early afternoon
- Permit party 2-5 PM Saturday with presentations on a variety of rivers and actually applying at the moment for permits (we will have a location with wi-fi so those who bring their computers can log on and register for permits as soon as preferred dates are decided)
- 'Favorite river meals' dinner on Saturday night, maybe some people choosing to cook in their Dutch ovens
- Sunday might involve a little follow-up but would mostly be seen as a travel day for those from out of town and/ or as a day to ski or snowshoe with other participants. There is downhill skiing at Powderhorn, 45 minutes from downtown Grand Junction, as well as groomed or ungroomed cross country ski &/or snowshoe trails up that way too.
If this idea holds appeal to you, please RSVP. And, if you are interested in helping to put this on, please let me know and let's figure out what part you may want to play.
Among other ideas that have been 'floated' include:
- seeing if any/ many venders may be interested in participating in any way (Whitewater West, 4 Corners River Supply, NRS, Stolquist, Rim Rock Adventures, CMU outdoor recreation prgram, any local or regional businesses that rent boats, others?)
- charging a small registration fee that might cover a few things like room rental and maybe a catered sandwich, salad, pizza sort of Saturday lunch so we can stay on-site and keep the day's activities moving along with full participation.
- ???? ____________ ???
In your RSVP please let us know if you are likely to participate in just the Saturday afternoon permit party or in how much more of the weekend.
Also mention if you have a raft, IK (Duckie) or other river craft; and if so, what?
If you are coming from outside the Grand Junction area please tell that; and, if you will want help finding a place to stay with a local boater/ WSA member?
Please also respond to ALL the 'hidden' questions asked with the RSVP process including phone & email address. We ask them that way so you do not have to share your ph# with the whole world.
A few river permit and/ or information resources:
Paddling Life short informative descriptions of the permit times and process on many popular western rivers
River Geek perhpas the most complete assemblage of rivers and their permit processes
Rafting the West a short guide to many western rivers: campsites, photos, how to . . .
Whitewater Campsites shows a photo and any comments posted about campsites on many western rivers. Other interesting camp how-to information.
A few FAQs:
Who can apply for a permit? Anyone can; you need not own a raft, have ever been on a river trip or do anything else except apply, get the permit and go on the whole river trip.
How much does it cost to apply? Permit application fees vary from $0 to $25 per person/ application.
How is it determined who gets to go on a trip? When you apply, save whatever receipt you receive from the application process. Obvoiusly the permit winner/ holder gets to go. After that preference is given to 2 groups: those who applied for the particular river permit and have their receipt to prove that. The other, essential group who gets preference are those who have rafts and the support gear necessary on any river trip (raft & frame, raft trailer, kitchen box, groover, etc.). When it is known there are enough spaces on boats and all persons who applied for the paricular river's permit and want to go have been given an opportunity to commit to going on the trip,only then it can be opened up to others who were not part or the permit application process &/or are not supplying essential group gear. So, if you want to do river trips, it behoves you to participate in the permit application process /or own the gear that you and others need.
Do I need to apply for all the rivers the group is interested in? You can apply for as many or as few rivers as you want. The more applications our 'permit party members' have in for any given river and any chosen date, the better our chances of getting a permit for any given river.
What if I am a permit holder and cannot go on the trip after all? In some cases that means the permit is forfeited and in some cases the permit may be transferable. This is a river by river and case by case decision by the various river managers.
How do I apply? In most cases you are encouraged to apply on-line; for some rivers you must apply on-line and for a few, you still must apply by fax or mail. You are encouraged to bring your laptop or tablet computer to the permit party Saturday afternoon and apply right then. We will have wi-fi access to the internet at the permit party site.
If I get a permit, can my spouse or kids go? The policy we used last year and will most likely stick with is the the permit holder may invite 2-3 guests (depending on how many rafts/ passenger space we have).
How many people can go on a permit and how is it decided who goes? While some permits allow up to 25, others are limited to lower numbers, often 16. Sixteen seems to be a good miximum number on a trip. It fits well with the size of many people's kitchen box, the number is large but still managable.
If I am going on a river trip can my 2 year old Labrador Retriever dog go along; she loves the water? Most permits do not allow pets on the river.
Is there a policy on children on river trips? We do not have any firm policies but as a general rule we would like to have kids be at least 10 years old to come along on many WSA river trips (but this can be discussed) unless it is specifically a family-oriented trip in which case the permit holder and majority or participants can make these decisions. As a general rule, each child under about 16 should be accompanied by an adult, 1:1.
What if I am a vegetarian? River trips are the fine dining locations of outdoor recreation so dietary specifics can almost always be accommodated if they are discussed during the early stages of meal planning for the trip.
Do all rivers in CO-UT area require permits? No, and we will hopefully take some time to talk about getting together for other non-permit controlled rivers too. Many of those are extremely dependant on water flow levels and picking exactly the right time to go. Among non-permit rivers we may want to boat together next year might include sections of the: Colorado, Roaring Fork (near Aspen & Basalt), Dolores (Upper section near Rico, CO or better known sections below McPhee Reservoir) , Dirty Devil (IK-Duckie river in southeast UT), White River (popular class I-II canoe river), Price (class II-III section through Book Cliffs to confluence with the Green), Labarynth Canyon (class I section of Green River from Green River town to confluence with CO River; OK for canoes, touring kayaks, etc. and very scenic); and others.
How long is a typical southwestern river trip? They can be as short as a 1-day Westwater Canyon trip on the Colorado 50 miles west of Grand Juntion to as long as 6-10 days on the San Juan in southern UT. Many trips are 4-6 days and you often need to allow a travel day on each end of a trip.
What are the best days to try to get a permit? Well 'best' is tough to say but most difficult may be weekend days. Wouldn't everyone like to do a 6-day river trip with 2 travel days that ran from Saturday to Saturday? You are more likely to get a permit for a Wednesday to the following Tuesday sort of calendar configuration. Or Thursday to Tuesday, for another example. River management offices keep data on previous year's permits so hopefully some of us who want to apply for various rivers will call the management agency to glean that kind of information before the permit party. All that contact information can be found at the River Geek web site mentioned below.
What are some of the rivers we may want to apply for permits on? There are lots of rivers in Oregon and Idaho that we can apply for if participants at the permit party want to. However, we will probably focus on the various sections of the Green & Colorado Rivers, the Salt in Arizona (it is run typically in March or April, before other rivers are flowing), San Juan, Rio Chama in northern NM, Yampa.
How much is a river trip going to cost? That can vary greatly but these are private trips, with no guides involved so we do our best to keep costs as low as possible. Group costs may include things like: food, raft/gear rental (of any rafts &/or gear need to be rented in order to accomodate all who want to go on the trip and assuming we have expereinced rowers for rented boats), car shuttle, propane fuel costs, a damage deposit (in the event anyone supplying gear the group is using needs to replace a lost or damaged item) and posssibly a few other costs. So, it might cost as little is a $7 permit fee for a day-trip on Westwater Canyon or as much as $350/ person for a longer trip with an expensive car shuttle.
CONTACT - to help organize this event or with quesions:
Doug Van Etten [masked] [masked]