Monday, September 20, 2010


Pour the left over morning's coffee into a plastic bottle. Be generous with the Kahula and Bailys. Hand to Myk, who is even more generous with the Vodka. Hook to boat, wait till well chilled and frothy. Swig and share.

So the tough life continued. With only one low point.
We stopped for a hike at Silver Grotto. This hike involved some climbing and scrambling. Well it would have if Bri didn't try and run down a rock slope and break her ankle at the start.
Bri is pretty fearless and impulsive. Sadly this time it bit her hard.
Moments before Bri broke herself

We had a SPOT device which when you hit the button it sends a distress signal to the company. They don't know the nature of the problem but only to send a chopper and a paramedic. That was turned on and getting Bri back to the raft was the main task. She was on a rock pool above the ground. They had to lower her down the rock slide into a pool of water, swim her out and put her on a table stretcher. We had to go about 2 miles to a camp that had a big enough clear space for the chopper to land. Lucky we had no big rapids to go through.
The big orange cloth cross was placed as a marker, then we spend a while bringing buckets of water to wet down the sand so less of it would be thrown up on landing.
We kept an eye out for any passing aircraft and they were mirror signaled. If the planes see the flashes they should radio in a distress signal was seen. Just a extra precaution as we didn't even know if the SPOT was working.
So we waited and had lunch. Bri was in good spirits, but her foot was a mess and it must have hurt like a bastard.
It took less than 3 hours fro the chopper to arrive. They landed, morphined Bri up and took her away.
The SPOT mostly worked. They think because of the high canyon walls the GPS told them we were in Brazil!

Waiting for the chopper. Dave mirror signaling aircraft

Lucky, our trip was registered and they knew where we were and when we started out, so they started downstream and flew up knowing we would be somewhere in that area. The pilot was pretty happy because he got to fly below the rim looking for us. I don't think they are allowed to do that normally.
The rescue chopper is included in the fees we paid, which is nice to know cause I'd hate to think how much it would cost.
Yay for Helicopters!

Evac chopper

So a slightly subdued group carried on. We stopped at Redwall Cavern for some frizbee, a chillax and debrief.

Redwall Cavern...other rafts beached there.

Everyone is so capable. You knew that we had each other's backs and well trusted.
That little voice that pops up when you are considering something vaguely risky was louder in all of us after that.

Nankoweap Granaries

Did a great if steep hike up to Nankoweap Granaries. They were built about 1000 years ago high above the river and used for storage of food stuffs, whether from other people or rodents. Little rooms built into the cliff overhangs with a amazing view. Beautiful!
View from Nankoweap Granaries

Us at Nankoweap Granaries

The water was bluely/green till we got to the confluence. The muddy Little Colorado River meets the Colorado. From then on it was the same colour as our brunch.

Kiss the cactus

Day 7 saw us exchange passengers at Phantom Ranch. 5 (Bri would have been the 6th) left camp extra early to get to Phantom Ranch so they could hike the 8 miles up to the rim in the cool and shade.
We got there later as we had to wait for the other 6 to hike in. Mike and Laura came down for the last 9 days. I'm so glad I could invite them, and I think they were just a tad chuffed.

Wyatt, Laura and Stacy.

The next day we hit 3 of the bigger rapids. Badger, Crystal and Hermit. As I said before I'm so glad I hit the upper half cause those rapids were fun. Hanging on to the bow line, standing and crouching, watching the tsunami crash over the boats getting thoroughly drenched and wanting to do it all again.

Myk, Coz and Rob power through Granite Rapid...woooo

Chip had a oar pop out on the bracket while going through Crystal. Mike grabbed it thinking it was the spare, and Chip was desperately trying to get it back off him. Pretty funny.
Mike wrote and song about it. Chip ended up with a pretty good black eye out of it where the oar hit him.

Grady and Karen own Crystal Rapid

I brought 4 books because I was worried about not having anything to read. I finished one that I'd started before and just started another one. Barely read the whole trip. There was chatting, chilling, listening, playing Testicles and all terrain boccie. I'm glad they were there but didn't need them.

Best seat in the house

I have so much more to write.
It's true. Pictures are worth 1000 words.