This past week I had the opportunity to spend three days with my son Will and his Royal Rangers outfit (Outpost 248) on the Colorado’s desert stretches between California, Arizona, and Nevada. Truly nothing beats spending time with Will in the outdoors, and when we get to do it under the big sky of the Southwestern deserts it defies description.
The first paddle was 17 miles from Moabi Regional Park to Castle Rock. We explored some great canyons and wonderfully incongruous marshes. The river carries a massive amount of water through the Mojave Desert, and along the way supports more life than we ever imagined.
The river often widens into flat, sandy marshes that attract an incredible variety of birds and wildlife. Will and I saw countless dove and quail, redwing blackbirds, and large carp swimming under us.
Days 2 and 3 we paddled another 25 total miles starting upstream from the town of Needles, CA. There were no canyons, but miles and miles of desert riparian habitat, populated by vast numbers of birds. The night of Day 2 we spent on the banks of the river as guests of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe and listened to a deafeningly loud chorus of birds, led by mourning doves, that sang the sun down. In the morning, the avian chorus sang it up again.