DAMS, DOWNWINDERS, CASINOS, AND CLEAR WATER: A BADFISHER SELF SUPPORT JOURNEY ON THE LOWER COLORADO - by Mike T.
-Written By Michael Tavares
Zack Hughes, Bradley Hilton, and myself set off for a 5 day 150 mile self support trip on the lower Colorado River (Hoover Dam to Parker Dam) in early November. We needed a self support adventure, a good paddling beat down, and one final long SUP trip before the long winter of the west set in. We settled on the lower Colorado River section for a couple reasons. First off, the long body of the Colorado that exits the Hoover Dam is relatively unimpeded (with one large portage) as it snakes its way through human altered riverbeds until it reaches the tail end of lake Havasu (parker Dam). This means easy paddling and a great place to get in as many miles as possible in 5 days. Secondly, it’s one of the sections of the Colorado that whitewater paddlers like ourselves would typically stay away from (completely flat water & a power boating mecca). Oddly, this added to its allure and always makes for a different type of adventure. Lastly, in true snowbird fashion, the warm water and air temps of the Southwest seemed like a good choice before switching over to snow season.
This trip perfectly coincided with the design of the all-new Badfish Badfisher, an 11’6” inflatable SUP that the crew at Badfish redesigned for fishing and expedition paddling. We just happened to have 3 prototypes that were dying to be paddled, abused, and put to the 150 mile test. While an 11’6” X 36” wide inflatable board might not be the first board that comes to mind for a trip such as this, we were pleasantly surprised. Paddling and carrying tons of gear came with much more ease than expected as we picked our way down the slow moving lower Colorado River.
We met at a campsite on Lake Mead just above the engineering marvel of the Hoover Dam. We packed our bags and got a good nights rest before setting out the next morning for a “lucky” trip down the Lower Colorado River. Let the beat down begin!