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Back To School – Mountain Middle School’s Packrafting Adventure

Gear explosion at the campsite at the base of Bowknot Bend.

Story & photos by Pete Basinger.

Mountain Middle School does a one week intensive class called Intersession every spring. Classes range from silversmithing to traveling to Costa Rica. Sara Tescher and I wanted to offer a bikepacking Intercession, and thanks to the generous community in Durango and Alpaca Raft we were able to round up bikepacking gear and boats for nine kids and three adults. 

We spent a day in Durango packing bikes and sorting food, followed by a practice float down the Animas with our bikes and gear. The next day we drove to Moab and camped out along the top of Spring Canyon Road in Canyonlands. 

Our route went down Spring Canyon Road to a rarely used Green River put-in site. We launched boats here and spent the next two days floating until we pulled out at the bottom of Mineral Bottom Road. From here, students rode out and back to our original campsite completing a 50 mile loop.

Back to School Pete Basinger

School Trip in Photos

Back to school Pete Basinger
Loaded boats lined up at a sandy beach for midday break
Sam “Cap’n” Caudle leading the flotilla. 
Sam “Cap’n” Caudle leading the flotilla. 
The whole group headed down the Green River.
The whole group headed down the Green River.
Shaw Kassay and Jerry the adventure buddy lead the group down Spring Canyon Road to the put-in.
Shaw Kassay and Jerry the adventure buddy lead the group down Spring Canyon Road to the put-in.
Mr. Pete, 8th Grade Humanities teacher.
Mr. Pete, 8th Grade Humanities teacher.
Pano of the first night’s campsite. The boys nested up along the rocks.
Pano of the first night’s campsite. The boys nested up along the rocks.
Taking a break from the wind on a beach.  Kids were tired of paddling into the wind so instead they took a break by hucking themselves over the sandy embankment.
Taking a break from the wind on a beach.  Kids were tired of paddling into the wind so instead they took a break by hucking themselves over the sandy embankment.
Rough seas on the Green as kids try to paddle into a strong headwind.  
Rough seas on the Green as kids try to paddle into a strong headwind.