Camera notes continued


The camera is starting to look worn from the sand abrasions of it going in and out of the dry bag. I think I like the worn look.

With Kris riding the bull today, I really, really, really wish that I not only had known about the waterproof cameras, but that I had bought one, too.

Baste Camp


We dub thee Baste Camp.

Gah, it's hot here. We're at mile 144, just below the Kanab Rapid.

Yellow rock in the Grand Canyon, Deer Creek

Daily Photo

Entertainment, in its full glory


Or, late night Canyon note, I'm not sure which is a better title.

Evenings are always entertaining here. I suspect that's mostly because it's cooler, we're all relaxed, we've finished another day on the river, and there's chance of falling off the ground and drowning. Or something like that.

After dinner, we had dessert, complete with ginger whipped cream. Didn't know there was such a thing as ginger infused whipped cream? Well, apparently neither did Justin, who lifted his whipped cream covered dessert to his face to smell the whipped cream up close.

Only to have the whole dish upended into his face by a fellow guide, to the merriment of those close by.

Yeah, lots of merriment.

And a little mortification on my part. Well, a lot actually. Wanna hear why?

Well, we were at Baste Camp, the hot hot hot dune beach, where we arrived early to set up and camp. As is a trend Kris and I seem to be starting, the trend of bathing every other day, I went ahead and had my muddy river, freezing cold, fully blinding-white naked bath in the river this evening. And, as with the whole trip, I didn't put on any underwear when I went to put on my evening wear.

No underwear? Huh?

Well, all my underwear is cotton (for health reasons, of course). When cotton gets wet, it stays soaked for a long while, especially when it's sitting between my bottom and the raft for a long part of the day. Wet underwear throughout the day? No, thanks. Having talked about cotton underwear to several other people on the trip, I'm not the only one with such great insights.

So, no underwear when I pulled on my skorts (shorts with an outer skirt). I thought nothing of this as I sat down after dinner with my plate in one hand and drink in the other.

I continued to think nothing of my underwearless state as I eat my dinner.

And I still continued to think nothing of my underwearless state as Tracy came to the front of the group, turned around to talk to us, summarized the day, and told us about tomorrow. She does that every day, why would that bring underwear to mind?

It wouldn't.

Sliding down the beach's dune face, giving oneself a wedgie, however, would cause underwear to come to mind.

Not only underwear, but said lack of underwear.

By the time I realized what was happening, and looked down, my hooch was in its full glory saying "Hi!" to anyone down the hill from me looking back up.

Say, Tracy.

I jumped up quickly, completely mortified that I had just flashed my hooch at the river guide, pulled the wedgie out, and slunk off to the dish line, praying that Tracy hadn't indeed, caught me.

She talked to me again later that night with a straight face. I can only hope.

After I pull out of this mortified state that is.

Start of a new day


Today started out with Sam giving us a ravens and crows reading from a David Noyes piece.

We also had a little yoga inspired stretching before heading out.

I was in Josh's boat by myself (well, with Josh, too, sheesh!) for the first short drift (four miles, maybe?) to the next stop, as Kris and Andy decided to paddle today.

I am dumb


I can't believe I just did that.

Yes, not once, but twice, the guides told us, even though you see us going without shoes on, you need to wear shoes all the time in camp. Yes, all the time. There are rocks around here.

Rocks. Right. The ones I like so much.

The ones I just stepped on barefoot and opened a gash in my right foot about 8mm wide and over 1mm deep. It's right below the scar from the bottle I stepped on when I was 11 and opened up my foot then. It's in a horrible place, as any bandage I put there isn't going to stay.

I am so dumb.

Upperbody strength


I really need to work on my upperbody strength. At least enough to do pull ups, maybe learn to rock climb with Martha. I wonder if she'd mind a complete novice hanging around her.

Finally! WIldlife!


We're finally seeing wildlife! What fun!

We get tiny toads.

And lizards.

And bugs. Lots and lots of cicadas.

Okay, we get more than that. There are bats at night. And birds flying around. Oh, and the occasional ram on the shore. An egret? I think we saw one of them, too.

Matkat Canyon


We stopped at the Matkatamiba Canyon ("Matkat Canyon") this morning, all of four miles from camp, and just above a rapid/riffle, for this morning's hike. There were two ways to the stopping point, the dry way (which was described with lots of scrunched up faces and looks of disgust) or the fun way (which was described with lots of smiles and bouncing). The fun way would get you wet, sure, but it was more fun (better!) than the dry way, you should go that way, there may be some shimmying up the canyon walls, but that shouldn't be a problem for anyone.

So, I went the fun way, as did everyone else but one guide and one assistant.

We started hiking up a slot canyon, with little ridges on the sides. We were all in our hiking boots, with Kris trying to keep his dry. This was the first hike where we expected our boots to get wet, so we either had to accept they were getting wet, or hike in our sandals. After falling way behind the group, Kris gave up and just walked up the water like the rest of us did.

The first maneuver started below a small waterfall, maybe 3 feet tall, and required us to start out with our hands on the a canyon wall, and our feet on the opposite canyon wall, preferably at the same height as our feet. We then moved along up the canyon, shuffling our feet and hands until the canyon narrowed enough for a straddle. We then were walk up the canyon in an X, one hand and one foot on one side, the other hand and foot on the other side of the canyon, until we could put our butts on one side and our legs on the other side. We'd then butt shimmy up the canyon.

Well, that's what was supposed to happen. Didn't happen for me.

I couldn't get started with the face down walk up the canyon. I needed Sam to show me what to do, and help me place my hands, even though I had just watched another 15 people do the same maneuver.

When I managed to get to the butt shimmy part, I was leaning too far forward, trying to move to my right, with my feet on the opposite wall. My right foot slipped. I had all of my weight on my left foot, and felt that foot starting to slip. Kris was below me, with Sam just above me, and I couldn't get my right foot back on the wall. Incoherently, I started crying, "Help me! Help me!"

Sam reached down, grabbed a strap on the top of my backpack and lifted me up to the next level, where I could stand. Kris shimmied up next to me, and waited as I cried for a bit.

The next part was just a butt shimmy, but it ended in a X walk up another water cascade. I was able to shimmy to the cascade, but couldn't see how to shift over to the X. Josh, who was just above me at the top of the cascade offered to pull me up through the slime. I looked up at him as if he was a godsend, and accepted the offer of his arm.

Up through the slime I came, to the next level. Josh helped me through the final butt shimmy, with lots of great encouragement from Matt, Josh, Charly and Sam.

At the top, the trail met the dry path, with the rest of the hike on ledges. On the walk around, Sam let me know that the shoes I have are probably some of the worst to have in the Canyon, as the bottom isn't designed to stay grippy when wet. Great. I knew my shoes were bad, I just didn't realize how bad.

We continued walking and, once we came around a corner on the path to see this:

I knew I had been here before. Ten years ago, we had come up the dry path, instead of the wet path through the slot canyon. But, yes, I've been here before.

Matkat relaxation


As we're here at this Matkat Canyon area for a few hours to allow the heat of the day to pass, Kris, Andy and I went exploring up the canyon for a way. I went with them for a short while, maybe 100, 150 yards, but then decided to turn around. I was more interested in lazing around and reading than scampering up rocks, especially after the not-welcome rush of the climb up.

I spent the rest of the morning taking pictures, and lounging around reading Sunk Without a Sound, the title of which I learned today comes from a poem by Bessie Hyde (whom the book is about).

This is my favorite picture of the trip so far.

At one point, while we were resting, we heard the thunder of rocks falling. Well, many thunders, maybe 6-8 of them. Charly perked up, then said that it was for the next canyon over.