Hey ducky ducky


Kris and Andy finished the afternoon in the two duckies. I was way nervous about this, spending most of the first part of th epoast lunch, post hour relaxation in the shade, row to the campsite worrying about Kris. The worrying prompted me to comment, "this is why I'd make a bad mother," out loud to Sam and Adam.

My comment prompted a good discussion ("okay to worry, not okay to say no because of said worry") with Sam and Adam about mothering, parenting, jobs, etc. Adam had joined the boat when Kris left.

The camera began to dry out, so I started to get some okay photos, focus wise. Zoom doesn't work yet, as the gears are still full of sand, but at least I can take some pictures.

Sam paddled our boat back up a rapid so that I could take pictures of Kris and Andy running the rapid in the duckies. Just as Kris started his run, the paddle boat in front of him hit a big wave (a standing wave at that). I turned to look, and saw Kent jump from one side tothe other as the boat folded on the wave, and Pat went flying out in a V. "Welcome to the Grand Canyon Swim Club" was the Pat heckle of the day.

Kris, meanwhile, in the beginning of his run, saw Pat go flying, and has to abort his hole run (that's "hole" not "whole", as he was aiming to run the ducky through the rapid's hole.

I did manage to get some unzoomed photos of Kris, but they're not as spectacular as I wanted. I stopped worrying about him and the ducky after that.

Cooling the site


So, after we paused at the shady alcove, watched another rafting group (a private one this time) go through Lava Falls Rapids both upside down and without rafts in some cases), we continued down to our campsite with Kris and Andy in the duckies. Our campsite at Whitmore Wash, mile 188, was in full sun, even when we arrived after 4.

After arriving and unloading the boats, I convinced Kris and Andy to try Kim's trick of watering down the tarp area to cool off the site. They were both skeptical of the idea, but willing to try.

Michael commented that the thermarests provided enough insulation from the ground to make the ground cooling beneath us unneeded. I countered with the argument that the ambient heat rises from around the thermarests.

We all agreed that the proper answer was, "We'll see."

My least favorite photo of Josh




After setting up our campsites, we had lots of time to kill before the sun was sufficiently off the campsite to make it bearable. While we were all moping around, Josh offered Sonia and me a game of Stack, where you stack rocks on top of each other until the pile falls. The last person to successfuly stack a rock wins. Or rather, when the pile tumbles, the person who failed to stack loses.

Sonia and I kept playing smaller and smaller stones on the stock. Josh kept playing bigger and bigger stones.

Eventually, I just wandered away to take macros of rocks.

Josh's stacks were impressive.

Hunker Dow-wun


Tonight, we learned of Hunker Down, a game where two people stand on ammo boxes with a long length of rope (60' of rope, maybe?) between them. Each contestent starts holding an end of the rope. On the count of "3... 2... 1... Hunker Dow-wun" (in the strongest Scotish accent, of course), each person gathers as much rope as possible as quickly as possible, then tries to pull or trick the other person of the opposite ammo can.

The first to fall off the can, drop the rope, or run out of rope loses.

Very few of us were willing to play. Clearly we needed more alcohol.

Two nights left


I switched the camera back from superfine, as I have only 79 superfine pictures left. When the lense fogged, I should have switched it immediately as the photos are crap anyway, with the soft focus. 131 photos left on this card with the 'fine' setting.

Wow! I'm halfway through this moleskine, even though I'm 7.5 days into the journey. I wish I had been more prolific earlier in the trip, writing out entire entries instead of just notes to fill out later.

Tonight is supposed to be a party night, now that we're past Lava Falls. I wonder if I can get the Lava Falls video footage from Sam.

Me and ...


Helicopter sock


On the way down yesterday, I saw a red flag mounted high up on the side of the canyon. I asked Sam about it. Turns out, there's a helicopter landing pad close, and the flag was actually a wind sock. Some rafting trips end a ways before where we do, with a helicopter ride out of the Canyon.

The first helicopter arrived at 7:10 am this morning.


Too early for civilization to sound.

Best $2 spent on this trip?


The colored, attached tops to the water bottles.

Andy's is black. Kris' is red. Mine is, of course, yellow.

Drunken revelry starts with stupid


Well, the drunken revelry last night started with "stupid" (canyon-style margaritas) and continued with beer, Abby & Erin's wine, our whiskey and other drinks.

I drank my first stupid from a bowl, which means, of course, that I had no idea how much I drank. After I finished the first bowl, it disappeared, only to be replaced by a second one shortly afterward. I don't like tequila (as in, I REALLY don't like tequila, as in I hate tequila), and margarita stuff covers it only a bit.

I have no idea why I drank that second bowl. Ugh.

I didn't help in the kitchen tonight, because I wasn't really needed. I felt disconnected from the group, having not helped with dinner. Helping in the kitchen is nice as it helps pass the time, while giving an easy, social context.

After dinner, we all sat around half buzzed, talking. Erin pulled out and shared one of her two bottles/boxes/bags of wine. Josh, Sam, Kris, Andy and I shared the Japanese whiskey. More wine came around, so I was quite toasted at this point.

The best part of the evening had to be the arrival of Mr. Floobee. Mr. Floobee arrived on the arms of Justin, Josh, Sam and Matt, and was placed on a kitchen table (Mr. Floobee being Tracy lying on her stomach, completely covered except her chin and mouth exposed, and a face written upside down on her chin). Mr. Floobee answered questions from the audience and, honestly, I haven't had such a stomach-aching laugh in a long time.

Kris, as drunk as he was, tried to ask thought-provoking questions, which came out like "Chocolate, vanilla or strawberry?" or "Milli Vanilli or Bev Biv Devoe?" the second of which launched a heart-breaking rendition of "Blame it on
the Rain."

Towards the end of the evening, only Kris, Andy, Abby, Sonia, Josh and Justin were left. We tried to be quiet, but didn't really manage that much. At this point, there were many drunken promises made. Sam offered Kris the opportunity to stand on the cooler while he paddled (with a half paddle, not a full oar) through the rapids from the back of the raft. Josh promised me his boat to myself, but we all know that drunken promises need not be kept as Dave and Julie rode with Josh today (a fact that surprisingly disappointed me, but turned out okay).

Around 10 or so, Josh suggested to Abby, Andy, Sam and me that we go naked sleeper leaper, which involves stripping naked, wandering around the campground looking for people sleeping, then jumping over them (leaping!).

No one stripped.

When we all went to bed at 10:30, Kris set his alarm for midnight. He and Andy were planning on getting up after everyone was asleep and, indeed, go naked sleeper leaping, in particular leaping over Josh who both suggested the game, and was sleeping on the beach near us. Andy thought it best to practice, so spent a few minutes running up to our campsite and leaping over Kris and me.

Fortunately, he was clothed when he leapt.

Kris slept though his midnight alarm, as did Andy. I, on the other hand, woke up multiple times, each time the alarm rang every 9 minutes. Eventually, I poked Kris and told him to turn off his watch alarm, which he did, so I managed to sleep for an hour or so at a time.

I didn't, however, sleep well, as I never do when I'm drunk. I woke up from a deep sleep every hour or so, got up, peed into my can, drank a whole lot of water, went back to the sleeping tarp, and went back to sleep. All repeated many times during the night. I successfully managed to not only fill up the pee can to the top by morning, but also had to go more after the coffee conch sounded. Kris and Andy said that Sonia helped, but geez, not THAT much.

Yep, I was well hydrated last night.