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Interim News


March 14, 2014

News from the river, thanks to a phone call from Craig Wolfson while at Phantom Ranch:

The Portola flipped in Grapevine Rapid yesterday (March 13th) with Greg Hatten at the oars and Dave Mortenson on board as passenger.   The boat was subsequently stuck in the rapid for several minutes, an oar broke, and both Greg and Dave suffered minor injuries.  Thankfully, all are okay and are able to press onward after some recovery time.  The group is now a day behind schedule, but plan to nix the second layover day in order to be at Whitmore in time for the first passenger exchange.  They arrived at Phantom Ranch today (March 14th) and plan to camp at/near Crystal Rapid tonight.

The Flavell II, in its maiden voyage, is running well and Craig is loving the way it is performing (he noted that it handles a bit different than the Susie-R, which he rowed two years ago).  Only two minor mishaps with it thus far: The chines got a little beat up while parked at Badger camp, and Helen, at one point, accidentally ran the Susie Too into it.

Aside from the three injuries, all are having a good time! :)

A note on photos: Due to satellite phone limitations, photos from the river will be unavailable until the end of the trip.  However, a group of us will be hiking down (if the road in is good) at Whitmore where I can, hopefully, transfer some of the river trip’s photos onto a USB drive to upload for you all, mean while I’ll be playing an awesome new virtual game a got in the trip, to be honest I wasn’t really sure how to play it but I did some research, you can Know more and get more info like me and then just enjoy the ride !!!

An additional note on how the blog works for those who may not know: Helen Howard is writing the blog.  She then transfers her report to Leif Mortenson’s computer, which he then emails to me via sat-phone connection, which I then upload here to the site. 😉

~Kammy W., blog manager



8 Responses to “Interim News”

  1. Sorry to hear about the Portola flip. Not sure what “minor injuries” means, but I suspect we’re talking bumps and scrapes. Hope Dave and Greg are grinning and bearing it.

    • Arnie Richards
    • Reply
    • Both Dave and Greg were suffering from hypothermia; Dave suffered a black eye and hurt his foot; Greg faired a little better, however the Portola was swirling around in the hole at Grapevine for about 4 minutes before it was let go!

      • Pam Wolfson
      • Reply
  2. Greg. Brother I hope you are okay.

    Wooden Boat Rick

    • Rick Newman
    • Reply
    • Rec’d satellite call this morning…Greg had a few bruised ribs, but is a lot better today. Dave still has a black eye, but the swelling has gone down considerably.

      • Pam Wolfson
      • Reply
  3. Greg, we just read the news. So thankful you guys are ok. I’m sure you are replaying it over and over in your mind so heck stop doing that! Watch out for pirates!

    • Doug Whitacre
    • Reply
  4. Kammy – Thank you for being blog manager! So appreciate Craig’s call and your interim news. Happy that the Portola crew are OK after that long Grapevine swim. It is amazing to follow Helen’s blog on The Canyon trip of a lifetime and to find out “What’s new” each day!

    • JB Diane
    • Reply
  5. Greg:
    Treat all the rapids like MARTENS
    Not trip tricks required. Just blow thru them.
    Stay safe
    Ken and Kath (Let’s do it again!)

    • Ken O"Renick
    • Reply
  6. Per sat call this am, everyone had good runs thru Crystal (right runs) and the jewels, but hard day yesterday…lots of wind! All doing O.k.! About 15 miles off schedule – at Bass Camp this morning – scheduled to be at Backeddy today for group camp with Tom Martin’s group. They’re not sure if they will make it!

    • Pam Wolfson
    • Reply

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