Because we'd worked well into the darkness the night before we intended to leave, after arriving back at my apartment to load up all our stuff and Loulou, we decided it'd be a lot smarter to leave a day later than intended to give us more time to prep and not rush.
We headed north from Edwards, Colorado to Steamboat Springs and eventually found ourselves driving alongside their local stretch of the Yampah River. Readily equipped with our river gear and a Hyside shredder we'd borrowed from some of our good friends, we scouted the takeout, left our bike chained up to run shuttle and headed up to the put-in to pump up the boat and start paddling.
The river was barely high enough to get through some spots, but luckily, a shredder handles shallow water extremely well and we were able to enjoy the sunshine and chilly water on the four mile stretch we paddled.
The weather couldn't be more perfect and as we rounded a bend, we noticed some natural hot spring pools so we pulled over to jump in and take our first river dip of the trip.
After we dried off and got back on the road, we aimed toward Dinosaur National Monument for the night. We'd read about some BLM campsites just outside the boundaries of the monument on a Free Campsites website so we followed the directions to a beautiful secluded spot under the stars and made our first dinner on the road.
Our first camp spot couldn't have been a more perfect start to the trip. Next update...onto Utah and another river adventure!