If you enjoy being on the river, and have an interest in history and the Colorado Plateau, you should know about Moab River Rendezvous. It’s a weekend of rafting both the Colorado and Green rivers, and socializing with past and present river runners.
Plateau Restoration, a nonprofit that offers educational guided trips and works to restore native habitats of the Colorado Plateau, is hosting its eighth annual River Rendezvous in partnership with the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River. On Saturday, the museum is hosting its third River Runners Hall of Fame Benefit Banquet to honor legendary area river runners.
A $90 ticket gets you the entire weekend – on Saturday, a Green River float with lunch, and the evening dinner and Hall of Fame event at the museum, and on Sunday, a float trip on the Colorado River and a gathering at Red Cliffs Lodge afterward.
“(It’s) a screaming deal,” Plateau Restoration founder Michael Smith said. Tickets for single events are also available.
This year’s River Rendezvous is less scheduled than past events, allowing for more free time to socialize, Smith said. On Saturday, while rafting the Green River, participants will tour one of the organization’s river restoration sites.
Participants will meet at the Moab Information Center at the corner of Main and Center streets at 8:30 a.m., or Holiday River Expeditions in Green River at 9:30 a.m. The river trip ends at 3 p.m.
At 4 p.m. on Saturday, the river history museum will show a film presented by the Jack Curry family from 4 to 5:30 p.m., followed by a social hour and open house at the museum from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The dinner and Hall of Fame inductions will take place at 7 p.m.
Jack Curry founded Western Rivers Expeditions and was credited as a pioneer of river running with his invention of the J-rig raft. The late river runner is one of three who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame that evening. Ron Smith and Glade Ross will be honored as well.
Smith created a popular boat called the S-rig, and founded Grand Canyon Expeditions. Ross was a Dinosaur National Monument river ranger on the Green River in the Canyon of Lodore for two decades. He designed a self-baling boat and is a river historian.
Herm Hoops, a river runner himself, will introduce both Smith and Ross, both of whom will be present for the event. Scott Keller, a friend of the Curry family, will speak about Curry, who is featured in the film that will be shown at 4 p.m. Short speeches will be given about each of the inductees.
The event will also include a silent auction to benefit the museum, with items such as river trips, jewelry, books and a hotel stay at Red Cliffs Lodge. A quilt will also be raffled, museum director Tim Glenn said. Dinner will be catered by Tamarisk Restaurant in Green River. Seating is limited to 100 people.
Last year, the museum inducted four people into the River Runners Hall of Fame: biologist Elzada Clover and her student Lois Jotter-Cutter – the first women to raft the Colorado River through Grand Canyon; Bill Belknap, another early river runner and photographer – he was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s personal photographer; and Katie Lee, a folk singer, activist, river runner and friend of Edward Abbey.
“We have a list of 30 people who should be inducted,” Glenn said. “The banquet is designed to honor those river runners and to build relationships with that community.”
On Sunday, Oct. 1, participants will float the Colorado River through the Fisher Towers section, with time for lunch, swimming, a hike and storytelling along the way. The rendezvous ends at Red Cliffs Lodge with drinks and appetizers before heading back to Moab at 5 p.m.
“Our mission is to actively involve the public in care of the land that we love here,” Smith said.
The weekend kicks off on Friday evening with an opening celebration and social hour for registrants and supporters at Plateau Restoration’s office in Spanish Valley.
Space for the rendezvous is limited, so early registration is encouraged, Smith said. For more information, visit: www.moabriverrendezvous.com, or call 866-202-1847, or 435-259-7733.
Weekend event honors the Colorado Plateau and those who run its rivers
What: River Runners Hall of Fame Benefit Banquet
When: Saturday, Sept. 30. Film showing by the Jack Curry family at 4 p.m.; social and open house from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; and dinner at 7 p.m.
Where: John Wesley Powell River History Museum, 1765 Main St., Green River
Information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 435-564-3427
What: 8th Annual Moab River Rendezvous
When: Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1
Where: Various locations
Cost: $90 for entire River Rendezvous; single event tickets available also
Information: www.moabriverrendezvous.com; 435-259-7733; 866-202-1847