Grand Canyon – Day 18

Day 18 – February 20

Hualapai Acres (194.6) to Granite Park (209.1)
River Miles: 14.5

Last night the temperatures dipped below freezing. I wore Daddy’s purple fleece pants over my long underwear. I also pulled the sleeping bag liner up over my head and fully zipped the sleeping bag. I slept decently well considering the temp. I woke to dawn and Gerry rattling around in the kitchen. We were on cooking duty so no lingering in the warm sleeping bag. After I dressed, I did unfurl my pillow so I could wear the down puffy coat and off I went into the frosty morning.

There was a thin layer of ice on all our wash stations. Washing my hands to make breakfast was painful! We made French toast with bacon and prepped veggies for a hummus lunch.

We packed up camp and off we went. Blue skies and sunshine greeted us but the wind was still bitterly cold. I wore my winter hat (the Bon-Ton hat) and my winter gloves on the raft. I raised my hands through the rapids and riffles to keep them dry.

As we were pulling out of camp, the group that we shared Tuckup Camp with passed us – at least the first 2 boats. We exchanged pleasantries and then asked where they were planning on stopping, Indian Canyon was the reply. Drat – that was our planned stop. Eventually, the trip leader passed us and we talked to him but they were pretty set on that camp and were going to get there before us so we started to look for Plan B. Two miles downriver was another camp that would suit us so we switched our plans to accommodate the change.

It was a lovely blue sky day and as long as we were in the sun, it was pleasant but when the canyon obscured the sun it felt frigid fast. Still we had an enjoyable day on the river. Daddy and I talked, sat in silence trying to absorb the majesty surrounding us, and joked/interacted with the other rafts. At one point we lashed our raft with Shawn’s raft and floated along for a bit that way.

The sun shining on the canyon walls causes a reflection on the water that looks like a sunset. The redwall creates this beautiful red/orange hue on the river.

We ran one rapid today – Kolb Rapid also known as 205 Mile Rapid, a class 6. We were lulled by the easier day – Daddy only had his drysuit ½ way on. The rapid was a read and run so away we went. The waves were significant! It was an unexpectedly fun rapid. We did get wet but only up to Daddy’s waist – he was safe!

The last mile on the river the wind kicked up. We passed Indian Canyon Camp with the group already there and it looked like a sweet camp. We were a little disappointed. But on we went searching for plan B and found it two miles downriver.

Granite Park is a neat camp with some protection from the wind and some wide expanses with a beautiful panoramic view.

We unloaded, set up camp, and got lunch ready. We were at camp by 12:45. It was lovely to have an afternoon in the sunshine.

I read a bit, chatted with others, and took a short walk. Daddy took a longer walk through some of the surrounding hills.

Dinner was tamales with Spanish rice and a Mexican squash side. Tasty all around. We were on clean up crew and as the water heated for dishes, I took the paraffin wax to the tent to work on the zippers. I was successful in getting the zippers to run a bit more smoothly – especially on the fly but the tent zipper I couldn’t get to thread. I think we’ll be sleeping with it open again. It’s another frosty night.

Daddy and I are looking forward to seeing you soon! We’ll be calling on Thursday when we get off the river. We love you all so much!

XOXO – Mom