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Archive for ‘2012Day 7 – 16’

Day 14: Layover

April 3

Yesterday was a short day from our camp at Galloway on river right at mile 132 to OC’s, a camp on river left at mile
137. The new camp, a broad sandbar at the foot of dramatically swirled cliffs of Tapeats Sandstone, will be home for
two nights: today is our only scheduled layover day on the trip.

There’s some debate about what to do with our time. There’s some talk about hanging …

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Day 16: The River Giveth, and the River Taketh Away


Day 16

A short blog–maybe the last–on the final twenty minutes of laptop battery remaining.

First, the river taketh away: this was the morning Leif Mortenson woke to discover a crucial part of his generator unit
had been washed away in the night. He and I climbed into the knee-deep rushing water (in drysuits) to wrangle the
remaining components out of the water, but no luck finding the entire system. What there is left–the …

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Day 15: Upset Rapid

April 4

Today, after yesterday’s layover at our OC’s camp near Deer Creek, we’ll be traveling about nineteen miles, where we’ll
stop at Last Chance camp on river right at mile 156. Last Chance is the final campsite above Havasu Creek, one of the
most popular side canyons along the river. We’ll be pulling in to Havasu tomorrow to re-create some historic photos
of Moulty Fulmer and Pat Reilly’s boats, so our camp at Last …

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Day 13: Dear Creek

April 2

That day the wind blew strong and true up the Canyon, and the boatman rowed his raft into the teeth of it. It was not
easy. But then, he thought, you did not expect it to be easy. You did not want that. And the light was clean and bright
on the golden walls above them and the boatman rowed the way the old river rats had showed him, a smooth strong pull…

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Day 12: Bedrock

April 1

Today’s run takes us nine miles from our camp at the foot of Forster Canyon at river mile 123 to Galloway, a long thin sandy beach stretched out along the right side of the river at mile 132.

It’s past time to record some hellos and goodbyes: Crystal Elliot and Randy Dersham left us after Day 10, hiking out to the rim on the morning of Day 11 to go back to the …

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Day 11: Forster Canyon


March 31
Today we run from Hotauta at river mile to 108 Upper Forster, a wide sandy beach tucked in at river left below Forster Canyon at river mile 123.5 or so. The Colorado runs generally westward here, except for a giant U-bend southward from mile 114 to mile 119. By the way, I’m taking all references to river miles, names and ratings of rapids, and campsite locations from Tom Martin and Duwain Whitis’s …

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Day 10: Crystal Rapid

Day 10: Crystal Rapid

March 30

Today’s run takes us from Schist Camp at river mile 96.5 to Hotauta, 108 miles downriver from Lee’s Ferry. Blue
skies and sunny weather all day, temperatures in the 80s. It’ll be another perfect day in a perfect trip. Along the way we’ll hit Crystal Rapid. Rated a 9 of 10, this will be our biggest water yet–a seventeen foot drop with
some rocks at right, a couple of …

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Day 09: Phantom Ranch


March 29

Today’s run takes us from Clear Creek Camp, on river right at mile 84.5 to Schist Camp at river left, mile 96.5.
Along the way we’ll stop at Phanton Ranch. Until this trip I’ve always thought of Phantom Ranch as the “real”
Grand Canyon. Tucked along Phantom Creek at the bottom of Bright Angel Trail, Phantom Ranch had the allure of
the hard-to-reach. It seemed more authentic than the South Rim visitor …

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Day 08: Hance Rapid

March 28
After packing up camp and loading the boats, it’s time to scout Hance Rapid. As soon as we shove off from shore we’ll be into it, and we’ll want to know where we’re going; Hance is the biggest rapid of our trip so far, an 8 out of 10 if numbers mean anything. I follow the rest of the group up a tall sand dune above camp, where we have a good view …

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Day 07: The Boats That Saved Grand Canyon

Day 7: The Boats That Saved Grand Canyon


An easy day on the river, about eight miles from our camp at Tanner Rapid to tonight’s camp just above the much bigger Hance Rapid. Tom Martin’s guidebook rates Hance an 8 out of 10, the biggest rapid we’ve come to so far — a thirty-foot drop in about 1/6 of a mile. And we’ll be camping right at the lip, with the rapid roaring through …

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