Whiskey love


I made dinner with Matt and Pat this evening. Matt "with a buzz" let me lead most of the cooking parts (the rice and chicken) which was fun. I managed to get more of a lay of the land with the pots, utensils, burners, etc. Not enough to do it on my own, but enough to finally feel comfortable in the "kitchen."

At one point, Josh and Justin invited me to the boats for swig of whiskey. They both knew I like whiskey, and had brought some along on the trip. I took the bottle they had just opened and took a GIANT swig, upending the bottle. As soon as I tipped the bottle up, I realized I had made a mistake, and was quite embarrassed about it.

The whiskey itself was quite tasty. When I offered to get my Japanese whiskey, Josh and Justin both told me to wait until tomorrow night, when the crew will party. Tomorrow has the last big rapid, Lava Falls. I need to get into a good boat tomorrow, as Kris and Andy want to take the duckies out for a run before Lava.

Tuckup Canyon


Our camp tonight at Tuckup Canyon is the location where the last pictures taken with the Hydes' camera (the Hydes being Glen and Bessie Hyde, the focus of the book Sunk without a Sound that I've been reading and mentioning the last few days.

Andy's been reading the book, too, and realized where we were. He went down to the side canyon's wash/exit at my suggestion for its being the likely stopping point for the Hydes (being where the creek flows into the Colorado). He may have found the match for where the picture was taken, with the rocks in the background of the picture.

Canyon notes


Need to look these up


I need to look up these two constellations. I keep seeing them every night, and am fascinated by them.

This one, I'm going to call "Dark Side of the Moon" if it's not named. Maybe "Witch's Broom." I don't know where the Big Dipper is in relation to this constellation, which may make locating it outside the Grand Canyon difficult. Oddly enough, I haven't seen Orion on this trip, either.

I slept like crap last night. I just could not stay asleep at all. I saw four shooting stars and two satellites, which may have been the same satellite on a second orbit actually.

Kris needs to shave


Lava Falls? Rocked it.


I'm in Sam's boat this morning. Everyone left by 8:15 or so, for the two and a half to three hours of rowing this morning for Lava Falls. Lava Falls is near a dormant volcano, which is the source of the origin of the rapids' name.

I had broken my camera AGAIN having stored it "safe" down my life vest and gotten it not only waterlogged with condensation in the lens, but also bound with sand in the gears. My 200 pictures of the approach and trips through Lava Falls are all crap. Well, those that I could take, given that I had problems with opening it in the first place.

We stopped to scout the rapid before going through. As we were approaching the scout point, Kris jumped out of the boat to secure the bowline. He slipped on the muddy edge, and fell into the water up to the middle of his chest. Sam jumped out to secure the line as Kris floundered on the bank, unable to get out of the water via the shore or the boat. Eventually he let me grab his life jacket and fall over backwards, pulling Kris into the boat. Fun!

So, we stopped to scout the rapids. Honestly, with all the build up in the morning, with Charly's having read a worrisome account of the run from some relation, and Tracy talking about the rapids last night, and Sam's talk of this morning, I was fairly terrified. My heart was thumping hard, and not happy.

So, eventually we all shuttled back into the boats. I was sitting in the front right of Sam's boat, with Kris in the front left. Andy was in the paddle boat. Sam set up his video camera so that it was sitting on his right, and I was front and center in the video. As we were pulling away from the beach, Kris looked at me and said, "If you feel your butt drop, come to my side." He summarized into ten words the whole theory of high-side and low-side of the boat when rafting and how you want to go to the high side of the boat to keep the boat from tipping over by putting as much weight on the side of the boat that'll go over, in hopes of preventing it from going over.

Sam said other things like "swim to a boat or swim to shore," but Kris' words are the ones that I remembered.

So, into the rapids we went.

The first rapid went fine.

When we "turned near vertical" on the second wave, and my butt dropped low, I jumped to Kris' side, then sat back down when the boat leveled. We had one more wave hit us and came through fine, but way wet.

We went through the second Lava Falls rapids, called the Son of Lava, and pulled to the left shore to wait out the heat of the afternoon. Sam came over to us with his video camera to show us what he had, as well chat about the rapids. Kris commented that, eh, the rapids weren't so bad, he didn't get so wet. I was like, "WHAT? What are you talking about? That second wave smashed me and dropped the boat. I had to jump to your side, the boat went like 50 or 60°." Kris was puzzled, what was I talking about?

Sam was with me. He showed us the video. The first wave, no problem. The second wave grew giant claws and crushed me, as the boat tipped not just 50° or 60° but actually closer to 75° Sam commented that he, too, was knocked to the boat floor on the wave that crushed me, as it got him, too. Josh was laughing behind us, about the wave and our run.

That's two big rapids and two near misses.

As Kris says, "Lava Falls? Rocked it."

I'm glad to be done with all of the big rapids.

Before and after


Before Lava Falls

After Lava Falls

Broken streak


After Lava Falls, as we were all sharing stories about the rapids, Andy ("You're not allowed to bring up a mistake I made on a previous rapid 10 minutes before a run into another hard rapid!" in response to my "Remember, Andy, you're on the right side of the boat" comment before his run into Lava, for which he was understandably mad at me) quoted Kent:

There are three kinds of of people [who raft down the Colorado River through the Canyon]: those who have flipped in Lava Falls, those who are going to flip in Lava Falls, and those who are going to flip again in Lava Falls."

Andy commented there were two streaks at odds on Kent's run down Lava Falls. Tracy stated that no paddle boat had gone without flipping through her trips this season: each one had flipped. Kent, on the other hand, hadn't flipped yet in Lava Falls. One of the two streaks was going to break on this run.

Tracy's broke.

Still beating me up


My left shin is bleeding funny from one of the first mosquito bites down here. Clear orangish fluid is coming from it, not blood.

The canyon is beating me up.

Up close and minature