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About

THE FRIENDSHIP CRUISE

    In the fall of 1957 officials from Moab and Green River Utah Chambers of Commerce gathered to set the stage for a Canyon Country River Marathon. A boat race from Green River to Moab, Utah on the Green and Colorado Rivers.

   Their efforts and enthusiasum soon aroused national interest. Requests for information came from all over the country, so a preliminary pleasure boat trip was planned to acquaint newsmen, photographers, prospective racers and pleasure boaters with the most spectacular canyon country in the United States which was only accessible by boat.

   On Saturday, May 10,1958, boats of all types and description, manned by adventure seeking sportsmen and women, were launched on the Green River for the 196 mile, 2 day river trip. It was so popular that it developed into an annual event which coincided with boats racing the course.  This resulted in the forming of the Canyon Country River Marathon Association (CCRMA).  Racing ended in the late 1960s but the pleasure boat “Friendship Cruise”  has continued every year  since with the only exceptions being when water flows were just to low to make the trip enjoyable and safe. 

    At its peak the “Friendship Cruise” hosted over 600  boats during the two to three day trip.  The cities of Green River and Moab Utah were transformed  with the tremendous influx of  people and equipment.   Community breakfasts were served in Green River at the beginning of the Cruise. There were dances held at Anderson Bottom on the first night and a steak fry in Moab when the boats came out the next day. That was the “Friendship Cruise” of the late 60s and 70s.

     A few years of  low water cancellations, bad weather, environmental concerns and an extremely bad economy in the late 70s/early 80s caused many boaters to stay away.  The “Friendship Cruise” suffered during those hard times as permits were harder to obtain, insurance costs skyrocketed, and the low volume of participants forced the “Cruise” to take a back seat to the evolving off road and biking enthusiasts.  Although there were some very dedicated people doing all they could to keep the “Cruise”  alive, their enthusiasm also waned. The nonprofit nature of  the CCRMA did not create any incentive to continue fighting what seemed to be ever increasing road blocks.  It appeared the “Cruise” would die due to lack of interest and the constant new hurdles placed in front of the organizers. .

  Just as many thought the  “Friendship Cruise” was dying, along came the Emery County Sheriffs Office who stepped up to the plate and said they would sponsor the “Cruise” on behalf of the Emery County Sheriffs Posse.  With that sponsorship came new life to the “Cruise”.  A few good people from the Sheriffs office and some “old cruisers” from Green River, Utah came forward and said “Lets get it back!” Since then those great people  have made it thier passsion  to insure the “Friendship Cruise” continues and are working hard to see it grow.  They work for free, giving any monies in excess of expenses to the Posse.  Their greatest satisfaction and reason for working so hard  is to share this incredible trip with as many people as they can.  As they say ” When you see people come off the river at the conclusion,  so excited about what they have seen and accomplished, and saying they can hardly wait ’till next year when they can do it again, IT MAKES IT ALL WORTH IT!!” 

      Many people and organizations make the “Friendship Cruise” possible.  By making acknowledgments we know we will miss many but feel we do need to be sure and recognized the following not in any order of importance:

  1. The Emery County Sheriff and members of his office
  2. Kathy Ryan – Commodore
  3. Mitch Vetere – Coordinator
  4. Kieth Brady – Information Manager
  5. National Park Service – Canyonlands
  6. Bureau of Land Management
  7. Utah State Parks Department
  8. Search and Rescue Boat operators (personal equipment)
  9. HAM Radio Operators  (personal equipment)
  10. Vehicle Drivers
  11. Launch and retrieving crews
  12. Fuel vendor agreeing to take their equipment to Mineral Bottom
  13. All the other voluteers who do all the other things to make the trip possible
  14. Each and every Cruiser that comes and supports the event at the river and at home by talking to other boaters
  15.  Last but not Least — MOTHER  NATURE  FOR  PROVIDING  SUCH  SPECTACULAR  SCENERY  FOR  US  TO  ENJOY

One Response to About

  1. Dan sterner

    Will be in green river state park Thursday through 26th . Ready for this year’s float.

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