Monday, August 10, 2009

The Great Animas River Afternoon Urban Expedition

Alright, it wasn't exactly an expedition. And it wasn't quite "great" maybe in scope or ambition or epic-ness.

But it was just an afternoon, and it was urban, and it was just our everyday downtown Animas River.

And it was "great" in the everyday sense of very much fun.

Yesterday a small gathering of us townies rallied a run through downtown Durango, down the low-flowing Animas, to get out of the heat, away from chores, and onto the river. Even if it was just a 200-cfs trickle. And even if it was just through town.

What at bigger flows is a quick hour-long blast north to south through town -- 29th Street put-in to the old saw mill site -- took us three hours. Lots of float time, but lots of rock maneuvering and narrow chute paddling, too. The low water also gave us a chance to study the bone structure of what are whitewater sections at higher water.

We certainly weren't alone, either. Tubers, anglers, swimmers, sunbathers, beer drinkers, squirt boaters were out there in our downtown playground. And even a forlorn-looking family of four passed by on a big commercial raft, threading the rocks and revelers while their guide earnestly regaled with them with Durango history on their "two-hour whitewater adventure."

That it wasn't. But it was, as we set out to find, good, recharging, time on the water, with friends, right in our own town.

This, too, is a big part of what our kids will remember about their growing up in Duranago -- summers days spent bobbing the Animas in tubes and duckies. And with all the rest of us who love and appreciate our little mountain river through town.

Check out more views of Durango from waterline here:

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