February 23, 2007

Grand Canyon

In the early spring of 2006 my friend Todd (pic'd below) came to Ogden for a couple days of backcountry skiing. He invited me to be part of a private group doing a 27 day river trip through the Grand Canyon the following Feb./Mar. I of course accepted without even thinking about it.

 



The trip planning that Todd and his wife Mary accomplished was fascinating given the time of year, the length of the trip, number of people etc. So many factors to consider and not screw it up because once we leave the boat ramp at Lees Ferry we'd have to learn to live without any forgotten items for nearly a month.
These are pics of when we were rigging the day before leaving Moab. Feb. 15th and nearly 70 degrees, we got lucky.

--Marys car about broken in half with a load of ice, good thing it's a toyota. We still had ice in the coolers  after 27 days too.



--Clarke wrapping cartons of beer with duct tape, they'd obviously never hold up to weeks of being wet and trashed by the rapids. Lots of beer is crucial even if ya don't drink, in the land where keys and cash mean nothing beer is money. Especially when people like me run out of beer with a week still to go.



--Jenn shucking labels from canned goods and writing with a sharpie whats inside (not bs'n) on the top or bottom because the labels would fall off. Also making koozies out of foam to wrap around glass containers, (we took as little glass as possible on the river, but 16 peeps eating for that many days...???)



--Jenn and Mo careful loading coolers; some of the coolers didn't get opened until the 3rd week.



--One of our trailers (we had another just like it) in Mexican Hat on the way to Lees Ferry.


At Lees Ferry, ranger inspection done, boats actually float.

--Mine and Todds boat



--Brocks Outward Bound loaner boat.



Lets hope we got everything cause theres no turning back now

--Scott and Mo



--Hugh and Ali



--Redwall Cavern, John Wesley Powell said, in 1869, that 50,000 people could be seated within. Probably not true today.



--Matkatamiba, lunch stop and hike up canyon



--Group taking a break at the Throne Room while hiking back up stream, from Deer Creek, via Thunder River, to retrieve the boats left at the mouth of Tapeats Creek. We didn't make it to the boats until after dark, which meant we rowed the narrowest part of the Grand Canyon in the dark. It's a tranquil stretch of river anyway, but was especially so that night.



--Boats tied up at the mouth of Tapeats



I hiked up above the river at Eminence Break. We had a layover camp at Pres. Harding rapid
--Some kinda crystals in the break.



--Pres. Harding rapid right down the gulch




--Left to right; Mo, Jill, Ali, Mary, Jenn, and Sunnie, at Nankoweep



--River downstream of Blacktail



--Sunnie, Mary, Mo getting ready to run Bedrock rapid, they ended up accidentally running the left side.

 

--Me running the right side of Bedrock, Todd taking pic of Hugh taking a pic of Scott sitting on Bedrock, mid river.



--Boats beached at our camp at Blacktail



--Looking down Galloway and up the Colorado




--Jousting with Hugh above Stone and Galloway. Swords are Century plant stalks. These plants grow a hundred years, then grow a big stalk, bloom and die.



--Awesome piece of Vishnu Schist sticking out of the river at Blacktail. Vishnu is the 4th oldest exposed rock on the planet.



--Hugh above Thunder River



--L to R me, Hugh, Ali on the way to Tapeats



--Looking down on our camp across from Deer Ck.



--Camp at Deer Creek



--Matkatamiba



--I don't remember where this camp is, but we got to it in the dark. Used climbing anchors in the wall to tie up the boats.



--Ledge camp I don't remember where...



--Me in Upset rapid



--Hugh and Mo in Upset



--This is a video of me in Upset rapid on my miniature (for the Grand) 14' cataraft.

video

Camped above Lava where we celebrated Todds birthday



Jenn making an offering to the Vulcans Anvil just above Lava Falls. The theory on the superstition is to make an offering for successful passage of Lava.



Scouting Lava



Jenn making Lava look easy in this video clip.

video

Since we all survived Lava we had to make good use of Tequila beach, costumes and all. (as pitiful as they were)



The end of the trip at Diamond Creek wasn't for a few days but after Lava a bittersweet air came over our groups daily life on the river. Bitter because the end of the trip was near, sweet because the weeks long adreneline rush of the whitewater was also nearly ended.

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