. . . and so we begin our 11 day, 10 night adventure on the Colorado River. We’ll eat, raft, hike, eat,drink, eat, sleep . . . EASY!!! Here is an overview. As we head out everyone claims a space. . . we won’t see any signs of civilization for 6 days . . . until we pass under the bridge near Phantom Ranch. One of the main concerns will be to STAY DRY as we pass through over 200 rapids during our journey. When you get hit by a ‘wall of water’ it finds a way inside even the best rain suit and the water is VERY ‘COLD !!!! No rain booties, here’s a way to improvise! Although we didn’t see any signs of ‘modern life’ we did see building ruins and graineries such as this one left by ancient dwellers who made the canyon their home. We had 24 rafters spread across two rafts. Eight of us from WI and sixteen from a hiking club out of Surprise, AZ. Nice people!!! During the day the sun could be EXTREMELY hot as we floated down the river, experiencing very little shade or breeze. It was a constant battle to stay dry from the rapids and yet keep your skin protected. Here Johnny demos the latest in complete river wear. Lots of geologic wonders including this lava tube formation, all that was left from an eroded volcano. Between the 8 of us seniors from WI and the 16 seniors from AZ there were lots of ‘potty stops’. Peeing was always done in the river NOT in the toilets. The ‘rule’ was, when we stopped the men went downstream from the boat to pee and the women went upstream. Although it seemed like the men just went wherever they wanted and was the most convenient!!! By the second day most modesty of any kind was a thing of the past!!! Here was a ‘natural’ hot tub we passed along the way. You can spot it on a satellite view from space! Our five guides were up from dusk, when they yelled the ever awaited “Coffee!!!” at 6:30am, until well after dark everyday. Once in a while while we hiked they might catch a cat nap. We did see a few other outfitters on the river. Here is a ‘J’ boat made up of tubes lashed together. The rafters sit much higher than we did and these rafts tend to produce ‘swimmers’ when crossing challenging rapids.
Sometimes when the smaller rafts flip in the rapids they may lose something that has not been tied down.
Actual carvings in the rock left from the John Wesley Powell expeditions. Each morning, and sometimes several times a day, we would have a geology lesson regarding what we were seeing along the way. VERY helpful and informative. Dewey explaining what’s up ahead.
Oh boy . . . An example of an area we might stop at for a hike lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. An example of a GREAT lunch stop . . . . . . a natural amphitheater!!!An hour late we would be back on the river . . . . . . taking in the views.