Select Page

After wrapping up the Charles City Challenge in Iowa, our travel crew (myself, SO Marty, and dog Bella) loaded up our self-outfitted van and prepared to embark on our summer road trip journey. For this trip we paired down our equipment a bit from our normal weekend adventures to Charles City. We opted for 2 Antix, 2 Rockstars, 5 paddles, 4 riversurfing boards, and all of our standard whitewater gear needs. In addition to our adventure gear, we stuffed our little RV fridge full, filled the vantry (van pantry), and ensured I had all my equipment to work from the road.

Van camping and exploring the whitewater scene at Canon City, CO.

We steadily made our way west. Our first stop Colorado. We took a southern route towards our first destination: Salida. We enjoyed some touristy things along the way. We road the dinner train through the Royal Gorge, watched the local kids river surf in Canon City, and enjoyed a gorgeous camp spot at the Royal Gorge Ridge Campground.

Attempting a back loop at the Salida boat ramp hole.


Big thanks to our friend Zach for hosting us at his beautiful place in Salida. The boat ramp hole at the whitewater park was in fine form and we playboated as much as we could tolerate. The park was busy with all manner of watercraft in the river and plenty of activity on the river banks too. We also got in an after work run on the Ark with our good friend Noah. Highlights were: an impromptu kayak skills clinic with Daisy, meeting and paddling with Grant, boating with Mike, Abby, Mike T, Noah and Aiden, working towards a back loop (with coaching from Abby), and getting a few phonics to come around too.

The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad


Up and over Wolf Creek pass, next stop Durango. With the water soooo low on the Animas, we opted for more touristy things. We took the 5 hour ride on the narrow gauge rail up the Animas canyon. The narrow gauge cars really rocked and rolled along and we got quite the gorgeous view of the canyon. Highlights were: BLM boon docking in the San Juans, cooling off in the Animas River, and getting to see our good friend Shane.

Red Mountain Pass rainstorm and surfing in Montrose with our new surfer friends.


Next on our travels, we headed north over the mountains through Red Mountain Pass. We certainly got the full mountain experience here as we drove down the pass in a thunder and lightning storm. We made it off the pass before there was too much road debris. We rolled into Montrose and surfed to our hearts content on the fun waves at the whitewater park. Highlights were: stopping for ice cream in Silverton, surfing of course, and meeting Deedee and many other friendly surfers.

Rock formations along the Devil’s Canyon Trail in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.

After a couple days in Montrose, it was time for us to head to our next area to the west. On our way out of Colorado we stopped to enjoy a quick, blistering hot hike on the Devil’s Canyon Trail near Fruita, CO. Lots of neat rock formations, and so much more to explore for another time.

Another gorgeous evening from the road.

Colorado was great! We enjoyed visiting friends we hadn’t seen in a while. We got in some much needed playboating, found some fun eddylines in the antix, and enjoyed the surf as well.

Till next time CO!

-Hannah Ray J

Playboating at the boat ramp hole in Salida.