Follow Us On The Lower Canyons Of The Rio Grande River Canoe Expedition

Tim canoeing in a remote area

I’m en route to west Texas to rendezvous with a few old friends. We’re going to meet at Monahans Sandhills State Park (where one of our party is the honcho), spend the night discussing tales of derring-do around a fire, then get up and head south to the border. The put-in for the trip through the lower canyons of the Rio Grande river is 50 miles south of Marathon, Texas. We’ll travel roughly 83 miles over the next week, a mix of flatwater and rapids, through deep canyons, and cut off from the outside world. The last time this group paddled together was on a Webster Stream/East Branch of the Penobscot trip about ten years ago. I’m very excited, both to see some new country and to meet up with some old friends.

The water is low, but I’ll be solo in an 18-foot canoe and poling, so I’ll be drawing very little water. A few inches should be enough in the tough spots.

If you’re interested in following our progress on the trip, I’ve set up a map that will record our progress. You can view it here (full link: )

This will be my first canoe trip in the southwest desert country. As I go off the grid until Monday, March 25th, I’ll leave you with a quote of a patron saint of the desert, Edward Abbey.

One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards. – Edward Abbey

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