Hi Cruisers !!!
I AM EXCITED and I hope you are too. Listen, if you think you have decided you don’t want to go on the cruise this year, THINK AGAIN. As many of you know, I have been doing this Friendship Cruise thing since ’68. There was one other year I can think of when the water was this high and that was in ’82 or ’83 (can’t remember the exact year but I sure can remember the water). It was fantastic! In other words, this year’s water is a twice in lifetime event. There is not much to worry about when the water is running over 20,000 cfs on the Green and probably more on the Colorado. What a ride. What happens is you move a bit faster, more coves and outlets are opened (more sites to see closer to the water), it seemed to us that it was easier to get to campsites because you can get off the river easier, and you really don’t have much to worry about, especially dragging bottom. It can get really fun if you have a GPS that shows how fast you are traveling. Then you calculate where you are and how long it will take to get to that camp site, or fuel stop, or point of interest. This much water is really a Hoot. YOU JUST HAVE TO GO ON THIS ONE!
Okay, I’ll settle down. But it’s only a little over two weeks ‘till we are there and I can’t wait! “Take it easy, Bruce”. Now for a little more serious stuff. We understand that at last year’s boat inspection some of you were required to show a “Fire Pan” even if you didn’t plan to use one. We checked and it is a requirement, so don’t get caught off guard without one. Just bring it and avoid the hassle. A garbage can lid works really well unless your garbage can is now plastic. (Go find a metal one). Just check out the requirements on our web page www.friendshipcruise.com and click the link to the National Park Service regulations. Next, don’t be concerned with debris because of high water. There is always debris on the river but even in high water it pretty well stays in what we call the “debris line” which is right along the swiftest part of the river. Certainly there are some “floaties” in the calm stretches but again, normal vigilance when you are up on plane is sufficient. If you are drifting there certainly is no problem as you become a “floatie” too. A couple of you have asked about fuel prices at Mineral Bottom. Plan on paying about the same as you would on the lake or about $1.25 – $1.75 more than in town, which is really reasonable considering what our vendor has to do to get it to Mineral. But remember, it’s not like you do this every day so give yourself that well deserved vacation. Yes you may pay a little more right now to get here and to do the trip but for the trip itself, I’d pay twice the price. If you are really concerned about burning a bunch of fuel, drift a bit more, especially after Mineral Bottom. Also remember that fuel at Mineral Bottom is “CASH ONLY” for obvious reasons (card readers just don’t work well there).
I checked the long range weather forecast and right now, that looks good too — mid 80s during the day and 50s at night. It can’t get any better than that. ( We’ll keep watching as it gets closer). To make your trip more enjoyable, I suggest you get on the river as early as you can so you can take it easy, drift a bunch and do some serious relaxing. On those really lazy afternoons when you might be drifting with a cold drink, a few mellow soft tunes playing, magnificent scenery drifting by and so relaxed you find it hard to move a mussel, think of my river summation, “It’s the only time I can go on a 115 mile trip (that’s going down stream”) through some of the most beautiful country in the world, and not expend one ounce of energy to get there”.
I just want to take a minute and thank so many of you that have made that little bit of extra effort to get your friends coming, making posters for boat and sporting goods stores talking with radio and TV stations. Please keep up the good work! If you know someone at a Radio or TV station, ask if we can do a segment or get a public service pitch. We, from the Cruise Organizers, would be happy to do an interview, answer questions, be a segment on a talk show. Simply, we want to share this magnificent experience with as many people as possible.
Thanks so much for all you have and continue to do.
See you on the River!!