On the River: Convolution
With the arrival of a popular boating weekend, conditions are strange. Lower temperatures this week have slowed last week’s flows to somewhat of a yawn. You could still maneuver a large raft down the Roaring Fork or Crystal River … but why bother when Shoshone on the Colorado River is a solid class IV run? …If you can get to the put-in.The present conditions would normally point my 16-foot-yellow boat and I toward Glenwood Canyon, but the folks at CDOT have placed obstacles in my line. No, not in the river, but on the highway. Thursday’s press release reports, “The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Concrete Works are making steady progress on the I-70 eastbound paving in Glenwood Canyon, between the No Name overpass and the Grizzly Creek Rest Area. Work began on May 7 and crews have completed 50 percent of the work – they are on track for completion prior to the July 4 holiday. For the duration of this project, all traffic will remain in the westbound lanes, in a two-way (head to head) traffic configuration from the No Name tunnels (at mile marker 118, east of Glenwood Springs) to the Hanging Lake Tunnel (mile marker 125).”The geniuses at CDOT have decided to make river access in Glenwood Canyon confusing and convoluted during high-water season on the Colorado. To access the Shoshone put-in from Glenwood Springs, you have to drive past it to the Hanging Lake exit, then return to westbound I-70 past Shoshone, exiting at Grizzly Creek to access the eastbound lane currently under construction. Then – finally – you can drive to the put-in. If you decide to do laps on the 1.6 miles of the Shoshone rapids, it would seem you do not have to go to Hanging Lake again but simply drive back on eastbound lane where the construction is taking place. Confused? With the opening of Independence Pass today, boating on the Arkansas is looking a lot more attractive. But that drive is not for everybody. If you do decide to take on Shoshone, make sure to avoid the hole known as “Marty’s Diner.” The special this weekend at the diner is rookie boaters with a sider of lost paddles.
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