Grand Canyon – Day 6

Day 6 – February 8
Lava Canyon (65.9) to Nevills (76.1)
River Miles: 10.2

It was a short day on the river. We hit this camp around 1:00 PM. We thought about going further but three big rapids are downriver with no chance to camp in between. So we had a bit of a relaxing sunny afternoon.

But first… Grandpa woke us up at 5:40 to make breakfast burritos for the crew. We had breakfast ready by 6:30 and gave the call. Mike and Blake had left at 5 AM to hike a canyon loop. When they weren’t back by 7:30 I started to get worried but at 8:00 they walked into camp. They scarfed down the two breakfast burritos I had grilled and left to stay warm in the skillet. From there it was full speed ahead to get boats packed and rigged. Shawn woke feeling better and the swelling in his cheek has gone down – Praise God!

I was back in Daddy’s boat with Grandpa. We ran Lava Canyon rapid first thing. It was an interesting test for our boatmen to jump right into a rapid without warming up their muscles first. They all did really well and with that we were on our way.

Next we came to Basalt rapid and decided to read and run. Super fun! Big, rolling waves that felt like a roller coaster were the trademarks of this rapid. One of the waves doused Grandpa and I from head to toe – it was huge!

We scouted and ran Unkar rapid next. Daddy really enjoyed this rapid! It was around 10:30 AM and we had to make the decision if we were going to push on and make a longer day or stop before the stretch of tougher rapids without an option to camp in between. We all pulled into Upper Rattlesnake Camp to discuss our options and have a snack.

We decided to stop before the tougher rapids and have a ½ day of rest. This decision left one more rapid for the day, Nevills. Daddy executed the rapid well and we pulled into camp.

Everyone unloaded the boats and since my foot limits my ability to help unload the boats, I set up the kitchen. We were also on lunch duty so I worked on that too with the help of the rest of my team. We had cold cut sandwiches (roast beef, ham & turkey) with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion.

After lunch got cleaned up and camp set up, ten of us set out on a hike up seventy-five mile canyon. Shawn and Matt stayed at camp. It was really warm at the beach in the sun (almost 80!) but as we entered the side canyon the sun was blocked by the steep walls

The ground was a pebble mix with rocks as fine as gravel and as big as basketballs. I carefully chose my path. The canyon walls were beautiful. The bottom layer had swirls and waves in it.

I ran my hand along the rock face. After rafting by these walls for 5 days it was incredible to be able to touch them.

It was mesmerizing to hike up the canyon. We reached the end of the side canyon and climbed up.

From there we traversed across the face of the canyon until we made our way back to the river.

Except now we were 400 ft above the river! My foot was a little sore but I was so glad that I did the hike just for a different perspective of the river and canyon.

Back at camp, I soaked my foot in the river for about 20 minutes and then sat around to rest my foot until dinner.

The camp slunk into shadow as the sun disappeared behind the canyon wall but the air remained warm.

It wasn’t until the sun set that the temperatures dropped. We were on clean-up, so we washed dishes and put food and kitchen away. Afterwards we sat around the fire and talked.

Tomorrow we reach Hance (a class 8 rapid, our first!), Sockdolager, and Grapevine. All tougher rapids. I’m a bit nervous but also really excited. Running rapids is so much fun. I can’t wait until you guys are able to do this with us. We love you lots! XOXO – Mom