October 22, 2000
Shinumo Wash Trail to Colorado River
Today's route stats:Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 0 feet Elevation Loss: 2500 feet
It was still raining when we awoke and it didn't stop until around 7:30. It had rained for over 13 hours. Our cups left outside held more than two inches of rain water. My main concern while preparing for this trip was the lack of water, so now I was feeling much more at ease.
Since we expected only about 4 hours of hiking to the river, we waited a couple of hours for the weather to improve before we headed off. It finally let up a little, but continued to lightly mist all the way down the trail. The trail turned out to be much more substantial than I expected. We had no trouble following it all the way down. It was built as a stock trail in the early 1950s for use by the Bureau of Reclamation to survey for a possible dam site. The few washed out places had plenty of ducks (small cairns).
About 45 minutes before we reached the beach (at Mile 30.2) it began to rain heavily. We were disappointed with the beach. It was very small with many large rocks and little sand. Soon after reaching the beach, the little drainage the built the beach began pouring water out onto our little alluvial fan. The water ran everywhere and threatened every part of the beach. But we all found spots that turned out to be adequate. We soon noticed that very dirty, muddy water upriver was heading our way, so we quickly filled all our containers with clear river water. A couple of minutes later the river was completely brown. Waterfalls began to pour off the Redwall all around us. It was a very impressive sight. The rain finally let up enough for us to cook dinner and set up our tents. And boy, was I happy I brought my tent instead of the usual bivy sack. Two others just brought bivy sacks, and one had only a tarp. The rain continued intermittently all night long. Twelve hours is a long time to be stuck in a small, one-person tent.
|Campsite at River Mile 30.2.|