Grand Canyon – Day 13

Day 13 – February 15

Owl Eyes Camp (135.2) to Ledges Camp (152.1)
River Miles: 16.9

I woke to silence – No rain! I got dressed and then I turned on the lantern to wake Daddy and it started raining! Really hard. Blerg.

I waited for a few minutes for the rain to slow down and then made my way down to breakfast. Granola and milk with the option of oatmeal packets. Quick and easy was appreciated on this blustery morning. Clean up went quickly too – thankfully!

Side note: I went to wash my hands during clean up and two dead mice were floating in the grey water wash bucket. Gerry emptied the bucket into the river and away floated the two mice. I wonder if they’ll be fish food.

Blake and Mike blew up the duckie when they added air to the boats. The duckie is the inflatable kayak. I started the morning in that. It was surprisingly stable! But as I was getting used to it and the current there was a rapid right away.

We had decided that I would stay between boats 1 & 2. But I entered the rapid simultaneously with boat 1 and ended up bumping into them all through the rapid. It felt dangerous and Daddy was anxious as he watched from the raft. I made it through – lesson learned: more space between boat and kayak. Kayak is faster. I had a lot of fun ducking here and there on the kayak.

Within a few miles we made it to Deer Creek – our first stop for the day. A beautiful waterfall and challenging hike awaited us.

I walked to the base of the waterfall but declined the hike up to the “patio” or the top of the waterfall.

Daddy will have to tell you about that – it was a challenging hike but spectacular views.

While waiting at the boat, I did a load of laundry. Matt, Shawn, and Mike also stayed back. The sun was out – such a relief after many cloudy, rainy days! I took the urine bucket and went into the bushes to pee and guess what I saw?! Cicada shells! I saw two and later on today at our lunch stop – Kanab Creek – I saw two more.

The hikers returned and we got underway. I was in the kayak so I was first down the rapid. That went much better than the first one. On we went. Doris Rapid came up – a class 4 described as a “sharp, short rapid. Expect to get wet.” I decided to run it in the kayak. Being so low to the water it was hard to see the rapid so I was on top of it before I could properly see it. The waves were huge! It started to rain big, pelting drops as I entered the rapid. Down I dropped into the heart of the rapid, up my bow came on a wave just to slam back down. It was a wild ride and I got knocked around. I ended the rapid going backwards but still upright. As Pa Ingalls would say, “All’s well that ends well, Caroline.” But I did decide I would ride in the raft for those kinds of rapids in the future.

Daddy took a turn on the kayak next and had a grand time. We stopped for lunch at the top of Kanab Rapid.

I was going to row the raft down so Daddy could kayak but after looking at it I decided Daddy better row it. Good thing too! The waters were confused and we ended up going through a small hole.

Our next stop was Matkatamiba Canyon or Matkat for short. A must do for Daddy. We pulled into the mouth of the canyon and were immediately in a slot canyon.

All of us walked up the waterfall, climbing over boulders and chimney climbing up steep, narrow slots.

I was very careful with my foot and each time I thought I had gone as far as I could go, another way was found and I kept going. It was amazing. I think you all would love it.

Back to the boats and two miles downriver was Upset Rapid, a class 8.

(Holding bow lines while others scouted Upset)

We stopped to scout it and Daddy came back saying it’s either going to be a boring ride or the most excitement we’ve had thus far. It was the later!

The line the boatmen intended to hit was not achieved. All got knocked off by HUGE waves. Andrew and I were fully doused twice! Daddy ended up taking us through a large hole at the bottom of the rapid and as we slammed into it, our momentum slowed and water poured over the bow. We kept going and did not get stuck – phew! All the boats made it through unscathed! Praise God!

Camp was two miles downstream. We made it in good time, around 4:30. This camp is really interesting.

We’re camping on flat ledges of rock. The sun continued to shine all afternoon and stars were shining brightly when we were sitting around the campfire.

After unloading boats and setting up camp, Daddy and I bathed in the river. It was long overdue but oh so cold! I’m looking forward to a hot shower.

Fajitas for dinner and after outlining a plan for tomorrow it was bedtime. As I’ve been writing to you the wind has picked up, mainly just in gusts. The tent is secured with rocks and the laundry that I did this morning is laying on ledges with rocks on it to keep it from blowing away. Hopefully, they’ll still be there in the morning. No rain this evening – Praise God for that! Love you all.

XOXO – Mom