Water world


Apparently, Kris and Andy have been having an ongoing discussion aobut if WaterWorld happened right now, which guide would they want to follow.

The contest was fairly even until last night.

The water flowes well down here at mile 188, the lower part of the canyon. The boats were rocking more down here than farther up on the river.

Tracy, Justin and Sam were the only guides who stayed on their boats last night.

I voted for Sam.

Pumpkin Springs


Stopped at Pumpkin Springs for lunch.

Bikini tops


Kelly spent the whole trip in bikini tops. I have zero idea how she managed it without getting completely sunburned. Maybe when I was 20 I would have tried it. Not now, no way, not after the BCC. Though my skin does fade into a most awesome tan, looking at the lines on my feet. Looking at them, I can't say that pasty white isn't more desirable.

Jumping the gap


On the way down the river today, there were two spots we were allowed to climb up the 30 foot rock, walk out along the rock jut, and jump off into the river, where the river was deep enough. Kris and Andy scrambled up first, as quickly as they could. I sat where I was in the boat, happy to sit there, take pictures, and stay dry.

When Kris jumped, he flailed his feet, running in the air like a cartoon, until just before he hit the water. Just before the water, he stopped moving, straightened, and landed in the water with a near perfect, vertical entry. He later explained, in the air there was panic ("I'm falling!") until the moment of calm, which is when he stopped flailing and just landed.

His shoes, however, went flying off his feet.

Andy had a similar experience, with the running feet. Tracy chuckled, commenting, "Must be a California thing."

Both landed safely, recovered safely.

Andy commented that the river is dark. He opened his eyes at the bottom, to find nothing but black all around him. Kris said that, without his life jacket, yeah, he would have been in trouble.

The three of us


Tribe, or not so


I know that Charly likes to call this group of people a tribe, but really, if this group were an isolated society, we would way not survive.

I think everyone gets along fine, but some people, or rather groups of people, are WAY more bonded than others. Factions would seriocusly develop if thisgropu stayed together much longer. I know so little of Dave and Julie, as well as Kim and Al and Travis and Kelly.

I don't know. Factions.

Swimming the rapids


As the river winds down the Canyon closer to the Hoover Dam, the water pools more and becomes deeper. We were able, if we chose, to jump off two outcroppings into the river. We were also allowed to swim a few rapids if we wanted.

Kris and Andy chose to swim one of the rapids. I recalled swimming the rapids last time, and didn't need to go again.

When Tracy said jump, Andy and Kris went in. They floated down the rapids just fine. At the end of the rapids, Kris and Andy turned to swim back to the boat. After a few futile moments of swimming upstream, Andy turned to swim out of the current. Tracy was able to quickly move the raft next to Andy, so that I could grab his vest and drop backward into the boat, pulling him in.

After Andy was in the boat, we started to go after Kris, who had continued swimming upstream back to the boat. As he was swimming against the river, he wasn't actually swimming any closer to us. We continued to float down the river, Kris in the cold water, us in the raft. When we weren't getting any closer to him, I started to worry. When he stopped swimming toward us, and rolled over onto his back, I started to panic. I turned backward to Tracy, and asked, "Could you go..." and stopped, realizing she would already be going as fast as she could, having also seen Kris stop swimming. Andy shifted, poised on the side of the boat to jump in and help Kris.

Andy and I both called out to Kris, to tell him to keep swimming. As we moved closer to him, Kris figured out he could swim sideways out of the current and into the eddy, so that we could catch up to him more quickly. Five more strokes and we could get him, just five more. Okay, three more. We caught up, Andy grabbed Kris' jacket and hauled in onboard.

Once Kris was sitting next to us, he explained he had rolled over because he was tired, not because he had given up. He was just resting. Having not given us any sign that he was just resting, he understood our panic. We all laughed about it. Yeah, ha ha, my husband with no thermal budget, chilled in the Colorado River. Great.

Tracy summed it up to Kris as my turning to her and just saying, "Please get him." At that point, she charged. I was happy for her doing so.

Fast last day


Holy crap, we made great time on the river today, MUCH better than ten years ago. Except for about an hour mid-afternoon, before the clouds cooled everything, the day was nicely warm, not the brutal hot, with a light breeze, not a blazing wind, and a good current, not a stagnant pool. Good memories of that day.

On dry land




This evening was all about reminiscing, as tomorrow will be not only a half day on the river, if that, but also our last day on the river. Kris asked about my favorite rapid. Tracy went over not only what to expect tomorrow with the trip out of the Canyon, but also summarized our trip:

Rapids: Horn Cree, just after Pipe Creek, with lunch at Trinity Canyon. Slept day 1 (7 for the Upper Canyon folk) on left above Granite Rapids. We then did Hermit, Boucher, Crystal and had lunch at the Ross Wheeler, mile 107. We stopped at mile 116 for the Elves Chasm hike, camping at the mile 118 dune camp, with catepillars on the beach. We had a slow morning, with Charly trying to start the tribe bonding, and Justin talked about the Canyon water sources and uses. We had a hike that morning at mile 120, stopping at Black Tail Canyon for lunch at mile 122. We then ran Foster, Specter, Bedrock and Dubendorf Rapids, camping at Stone Creek at mile 135. We hiked the Piano Trail into Deer Creek Canyon, where some people went into the narrows (the "Granite Narrows" being the start of the hike), and met some people playing bridge at the exit of the Deer Creek Canyon and Falls. We stopped at Poncho's Kitchen, river left, for lunch, and mile 144 at Kanab on the right for the night. Thai chicken dinner that evening. We heard the raven story in the morning, had the MatKat hike to the patio area where Sam sent small plastic boats down the creek, Tracy and other painted their toenails, and Justin played guitar. We had lunch on ledge left, then ran Upset Rapids with its photo run. We camped at mile 156 at the Last Chance camp before Havasu Canyon. We hiked up the Havasu Canyon, with the pools, and most of the group going up to Beaver Falls. Susan broke her wrist on this day. We stayed at Tuckup Canyon mile 165 on river right, and ran Lava Falls the next morning. Lunch at mile 179 on left, watching a private trip run the rapids upside down. We stayed at mile 188, Whitmore Canyon this morning, seeing Pumpkin Springs at mile 212, and having a water fight around mile 213. We're staying at mile 220 on river right tonight.