Grand Canyon – Day 14

Day 14 – February 16

Ledges Camp (152.1) to Tuckup Camp (165.2)
River Miles: 13.1

The laundry did not blow away and was dry by morning. I pulled on a clean pair of long underwear – luxury!

I did not sleep well. I was awake frequently and it did not feel like I settled into a deep sleep. I’m not sure why – the wind gusted all night long and the river was noisy at the ledges, surging and gurgling.

Daddy and I got up and while I folded and put away laundry he packed up the tent. We’ve worked together as a team really well this trip. I’m so glad to be doing this trip with him. Sharing the load of tent set up/tear down, laundry, and other daily tasks is so helpful. Also being able to listen and support one another when tougher trip dynamics come up is valuable.

Breakfast was fried egg sandwiches with a stewed apple and granola bake. The later being a Cory creation. We then packed up camp and loaded boats. We were on the river by 9:15. Our first stop was five miles downstream at Havasu Canyon.

It was a chilly morning but the sun was shining and the sky was blue so I was content. Caroline was in our boat this morning and once we got through Sinyella Rapid she jumped in the kayak. Caroline was delighted and had a grin from ear to ear while she paddled along.

Havasu Canyon came up with a tight pull in right above a rapid. All the oarsmen had to pull hard but all the boats made it.

Climbing anchors were in the walls with ropes attached to tie the boats to. Once we did that we had to work out how to enter the canyon. The water was waist deep but increased to chest deep or higher depending on height as the canyon walls narrowed. Shawn, Caroline, and Matt tried to swim upstream but got swept back.

Mike tried to go out to the confluence of the Havasu and Colorado to see if there was a trail there like the guidebook said but the bottom of the river dropped off and he had to swim hard not to get swept downriver.

Daddy was in the water at the canyon narrows and with Shawn and Andrew’s help had been pushed through the deep part. Once past he was able to get a firm footing and then let out a rope that floated back through the narrows. The rest of us were able to get through by pulling hand over hand on the rope.

As we entered the canyon the milky blue water and pink canyon walls looked exotic.

It was like stumbling into a tropical paradise. Big boulders created cascading waterfalls and as we walked fish darted out of our path.

The foliage was lush and green. I went only about a ½ mile before I found a rock in the sun to sit and wait.

Daddy pressed on and explored up the canyon for about 30 minutes. He’ll have to tell you about it.

The sun was disappearing from the narrow canyon and the air was chilly. It was a relief to see the hikers returning. We all made our way back to the boats.

Everyone was wearing their dry suits but we all still got chilled from the water and cold air. We got back to the boats and Cory and Blake were missing. We waited about ten minutes and Blake appeared but no Cory. Blake said he saw Cory and he was coming. Fifteen minutes passed and still no Cory. Daddy went back into Havasu Canyon to see what happened. Ten more minutes passed and Cory appeared but said he hasn’t seen Daddy – WHAT?! Shawn and Matt jumped back in and got back into the canyon. Daddy came out about ten minutes later. What an ordeal – what confusion! By now almost all of us were freezing.

Our goal was to find a sunny bank on which to eat lunch. We located one about 30 minutes downstream. We took off dry suits and stood in the sun eating a bean taco salad with lemon Oreos and fudge striped cookies.

After we ate and warmed up a bit we got back on the river. We had six miles to go before camp. Daddy took a turn in the kayak after I was so cold I asked for a turn on the oars.

It was a beautiful section of river today. The Redwall was towering proudly and the sun glinted off.

Tuckup Camp was our goal but as we rounded the bend we saw smoke. Someone was already camping there! We pulled in to discuss our options. The other group had been there for one night already and were planning a second night. The camp was huge and while we debated our options Shawn and Mike checked out the downriver portion of camp that was unoccupied. It was large enough for us and the other group didn’t mind. Huge relief as we were able to pull in at 2:45 PM and set up camp with sunshine and warmth!

We’re planning a layover day tomorrow. I looked over the menu and rearranged a bit to accommodate the layover.

We were on kitchen duty – jambalaya with cucumber/lime/dill and a chocolate mousse pie for dessert. The stars came out as we finished dessert.

I sat around the campfire until 8. I am tired tonight. Daddy came to bed at the same time. He was falling asleep at the campfire. We love you.

XOXO – Mom