As if the Rio Grande's not already swollen. This weekend, hundreds of river-mad people will launch canoes, kayaks, and homemade floating devices as part of the Great Race.

Last weekend before the crowds surged, my friend and I did a bit of river reconnaissance just to, you know, ensure the scene was safe and all.

We put in at Alameda and "put out" (as I mistakenly referred to "taking out") at Central. The river's full and fast but the entire float still took about 3 hours.

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Feeling intrepid? Here's a map of our route:

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Tags: Albuquerque, Rio Grande, canoe, kayak

Comment by misterhinkydink on June 3, 2008 at 12:34pm
What's this requirement "registration numbers must be clearly visible at all times"? Un-powered canoes and kayaks don't have registration numbers, let alone homemade rafts.
Comment by Julie Heinrich on June 3, 2008 at 12:47pm
"take-out" is correct...did I say "put-out"? What a relaxing, enjoyable day!
Comment by chantal on June 3, 2008 at 12:50pm
No, I'm the total neophyte who can't get her kayaking terminology straight ;-)

Fortunately for me, the whole thing involved far more floating than actual kayaking.
Comment by SNM on June 3, 2008 at 1:31pm
I just did the Middle and Lower Taos Box last month with friends and I am looking forward to trying a few spots around Abq and Bernalillo with the kids. Thanks for the info on where to put-out.
Comment by usemoreglue on June 3, 2008 at 1:45pm
My friend and I had made a voyage out to the Alameda area of the river to play in the mud and wade around in the semi-cool shallow water last Friday, and saw a group of kayakers! We waved! Later, I saw kids with tubes coming back swimsuit clad. Perhaps there are more people playing in the river than I thought. I'd NEVER seen kayaks on the RG until the other day.
I'd always grown up hearing people complain about how dirty the river was, and how it would make you sick--that paranoia kept me away from playing in it for years. I still wouldn't swim in it (for current and pollution reasons), but what a perfect oasis it makes from the blistering desert heat...
Comment by brendisimo on June 3, 2008 at 2:36pm
Chantal,
are there any rules I should know about before floating down the Rio Grande some other time besides "the great race"? Can anyone do it? Do I need to be wearing a life-vest? Or is it pretty much a free-for-all? Just curious and really want to float down the river one of these days...
Comment by SNM on June 3, 2008 at 3:13pm
I did a post in the Outdoor Dreaming group to see if others had more info and to post what I had found on the subject.
Comment by chantal on June 3, 2008 at 3:17pm
Great post, Scott.

Brendisimo,

As far as I know there aren't any special rules or inside connections required. Let's see what Scott's post flushes out.
Comment by Ron & Linda on June 3, 2008 at 3:41pm
The following NM State Park Boating Requirements will be enforced:
Required safety equipment
· Whistle or some other sound producing device on board.
·
· Approved US Coast Guard life jacket must be properly worn by all occupants.
· Bailing bucket equal to one gallon
· Stout rope equal to vessel length.
· Registration number must be visible at all times.
Comment by Steve Whitman on June 3, 2008 at 5:18pm
A great river canoeing/kayaking/floating trip is Cochiti to Algodones. Put in at the raceway just below the dam and get out at the diversion dam in Algodones. Best done with 2 vehicles - leave one at the downstream end so you have a ride back up to Cochiti. This is an all day trip, so bring lunch along.

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