Life along the river was slow . . . until we got to our campsite for the night. Then we needed to exert the only necessary energy of the day, forming a ‘bucket brigade’ to unload the 24 dry bags, our 24 sleep kits, our 24 ammo boxes and the kitchen gear.
First decision made by the crew was, Where the toilets would be staged. Then, where the kitchen would be placed.
First decision by the rafters, a mad scramble to find the ‘best campsite’ of the night!!!
The dry bags, sleep kits and ammo boxes were all numbered. emjay and I were numbers 24 & 25 so once we gathered all six of those items we headed to our camp. The ammo boxes were used to store items a rafter might need during the day. Meds, glasses, cameras, etc.
The kitchen was usually set up near the rafts to facilitate easy entry into the larder and ‘refrigerator’.
In the morning it was just the opposite with all numbered items being returned to the beach for loading back on the raft.
Fresh produce, we had salad every night right to the last day, was kept fresh in the hold of each raft. John had spent in excess of $4,000 at the Costco in Salt Lake shopping for our goodies. All the meat come from local purveyors.
T-shirt night for the Wisconsin contingent. Thanks to Diana for taking the lead on design and procuring!!!
Becky, a certified yoga instructor, routinely held morning sessions on the beach, when it was wide enough,
for those early risers who were interested . . .
. . . and even for those who ‘slept in a little too late’. Let’s load up!!!
The crew did the best they could finding us great campsites. Sometimes there wasn’t too much open space though and we needed to pull over for the night.
Here Matt shows his palatial digs for the night . . .
. . . complete with ‘shelving’ for all of his gear!!!
Until the sun went behind the mountains it was usually very HOT and one needed to stay of our the sun. Here Dewey uses a thermal infra red temperature gun to measure the heat reflected off the pontoon . . .187 degrees!!!
emJay and I had a located a GREAT waterside, private place this particular evening, even though it was quite a hike from the boats . . .
. . . our own private beach for bathing.
. . . and a room with a view.
Speaking of views . . . here is an assortment of ‘adventure toilet’ locations where you literally did have a million dollar view during each visit!!
Look out!!! The boys were quite the jokesters and always placing goodies around camp!
Here Johnny demos to Hawaii Bob how things are sanitized . . .
The ‘remains of the night’. The whole crew took turns playing chambermaid . . .
. . . and the Park Service rules are everything needs to be packed out . . . . EVERYTHING!!!!
Say . . . is there time for one more pit stop????
Last thing after the toilets were disassembled was to load the boats up. “Lift that barge, tote that bale”!!!
John and Diana with a million dollar view of the river from their bedroom (after Matt got done doing his laundry!!!)
Matt and Pam brought margarita fixin’s . . .
. . . complete with a collapsible measuring cup!!!
Others tended to join in the fun too!!!
Including Dewey . . . Hey, who’s making dinner???
Pam was the treasurer of our group and had a ‘strong box’ along for the purpose. Not many places to shop on the waterfront though.
So repeat . . .
Here is all the action!!!!!
and look for a good spot . . .
. . . wide open flats tonight at ‘Football Field’ campsite.
Great sky viewing. It was a full moon while we were on the river and before or after it came out the star show was spectacular. One night we saw the Space Station pass overhead.
Pat usually dipped a line each night and the boys were happy to cooked up whatever he caught.
We each had a tent and only used them several nights preferring to sleep on our cots out ‘under the stars’. NO BUGS so nothing to worry about. Color coordinated tent and clothing . . . nice, cant get lost.
Everything must be packed out with minimal disturbance to the site. About half the evenings the boys grilled. Even the grills needed to be place above the soil on a protective mat to protect the soil.
This particular night we had a campfire using wood brought along for the occasion. Here Clint ‘helps’ the fire get going. WHOOOOOOOSH!!!!
But really nice . . . .
. . . anyone know a story?
Jim became our resident story teller and had some good ones. He tells stories in clubs around the Phoenix area.
There have been many expeditions down the river in the past and the Park Service has removed most of the remnants but here is an abandoned boat they left . . . if boats could only talk.
CRATE provided all the food, snacks, three cans of soda/day/person, unlimited drinking water, tents, sleeping bags, cots, TP, EVERYTHING BUT LIQUOR. emJay and I brought vino in the form of Black Box which worked out great. Our first order of business when landing was to fish one of our 8 boxes we brought along, out of the rafts hold, and put it in the river to chill. By the time we finished setting up our camp it was happy hour!!!
Johnny and John have been raft crew members for a long, long time and are just like family!!!
Speaking of family, Sue and Keith celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary while on the trip.
John made a special presentation, complete with candles!!!
The usual scene the morning after, the night before . . .
Pat not only packed his fishing rod . . .
. . . but never seized to amaze us with what he pulled out of his dry bag . . .
womens’ undies . . .
. . . he was one happy guy and really had Hawaii Bob perplexed!!!