Grand Canyon – Day 19

Day 19 – February 21

Granite Park Camp (209.1) to Two Hundred and Twenty-Two Mile Camp (222.2)
River Miles: 13.1

Daddy and I slept through the coffee call this morning. Dawn was well on it’s way when we heard the breakfast call and woke. It was another cold morning but not quite as frosty as yesterday. Breakfast was scrambled eggs with potatoes, peppers, and onions.

We were on clean up. The kitchen area was a disaster. Coffee grounds were scattered over one table. Every food box was open and so many dirty dishes! I started to triage while Daddy went to pack up the tent. We worked hard and with Gerry’s help got everything cleaned up and put away. All the dishes, cooking pots, and cooking utensils fit in two big kitchen boxes. Gerry is especially skilled at getting everything to fit neatly in those two boxes.

After our kitchen work was done, I went to groove. As I opened the toilet paper container a BIG Black Scorpion stared back at me! I was startled but resisted yelping. Bill had brought the plastic scorpion along and was playing a joke. I left it in there for the next person to discover.

We loaded boats and were on the river by 9:15. We are so much better at this than we were 18 days ago!

Immediately we ran a class 5 rapid with a large hole. We stayed left and passed the hole without incident. Blake was in our boat today and we enjoyed chatting with him. He’s done a lot of hiking and adventuring. It was entertaining to hear his stories.

A few miles into the day, Matt’s boat pulled off to river right. Mike had spotted a ledge perfect for jumping and wanted to stop. The ledge was 35-40 feet above the river. Matt scrambled up first with Daddy following. They wore their life jackets. Matt jumped first – it took 1.5 seconds for him to hit the water. Daddy followed after Matt was back at the boats. Shawn went next, then Mike decided to try it and Shawn went for a second time. It was a cold morning so I wasn’t terribly disappointed that I promised the foot doctor I wouldn’t jump off cliffs. It did look like fun though!

The rest of the morning went smoothly. Blake and I took turns rowing.

Daddy’s left shoulder is hurting him. I wonder if he hurt it in Lava Falls Rapid. People were in jovial moods, goofing around and joking with one another. It was a great day on the water.

We arrived at camp a little before 1 PM. We set up camp and lunch was served.

After lunch people hiked, or napped, or read, or sat around the fire and talked.

Daddy and I went for a short hike up the creek bed.

The afternoon passed quickly. Dinner was turkey in gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a romaine salad. Mike made a dessert out of apples. We still have over 30 apples!

We all lingered around the campfire tonight, in part because this is the last night. We talked through what to expect tomorrow and told stories about trip highlights. Caroline reminded me of one story I think I neglected to tell you.

Several days ago, we saw three ducks towards the edge on river left. Two had black heads with white bodies and one had a red head with a grey body (American Merganser per Gerry). They were floating at the same pace as the rafts and stayed with us for awhile. Eventually they took off but flew only a little ways. They landed at the top of a rapid and proceeded to drop in, riding out the rapid and bobbing along. We saw them for at least an hour always a little ahead and always what seems to be best described as playing – riding the rapids and having a good ol’ time!

We have four miles to go tomorrow before we reach the take out. If you all were with us, Daddy and I would be eager to keep going and extend this trip. But you’re not and we are SO ready to see you and be with you all again. Twenty-two days is TOO long! This has been an amazing opportunity with great people and it has been a gift to Daddy and I to do this – so thank you for letting us come and being up for the challenge. We hope and pray that our time apart has been a great time with Gigi and G-Pops and a fun adventure for you too. We are looking forward to hearing about it. Love, love, love!

XOXO – Mom