Lower Jackass (river mile 8.9) to Upper North Canyon (river mile 20.7)
River Miles: 11.8
We slept great, praise God! But breakfast was a little bit slow and everyone was a bit confused. Breakfast: bagels with cream cheese, lox, capers, and onions. I tried it all and loved it! It took a long while to pack up camp, secure boats, and get going. Cory, our safety officer, was also having everyone practice throwing safety ropes. We stood on the edge of the river and threw in the bag with the safety rope. I held onto my bag too long it arched up too high and plopped in the water. Whoops! I wouldn’t have saved the swimmer!
If someone falls out of the raft in a rapid another boat rescues that swimmer and pulls them on board. Sometimes if the swimmer is floating by but too far to reach you throw the rope and pull them in. Anyway, I did not do well and I tweaked my foot. Blerg.
Blake took a turn. As he went to throw the bag he forgot to hold onto the end of the rope. The whole thing sailed into the river! Blake reacted immediately and dove in after it. BUT his dry suit was unzipped. He filled up with water. As he sloshed out of the river his arms and legs were completely filled with water. Immediately two things were clear – he had to get out of those wet clothes as soon as possible before hypothermia set in AND he couldn’t get the dry suit off until he drained the water. So Daddy held Blake’s feet like a wheelbarrow and out ran all the water from Blake’s legs. That set us back a decent amount of time as well.
Oh, I forgot, we were at a ”low-water camp” so we were careful to push the boat out into deeper water before bed. But when we woke up our raft was high and dry! Those rafts are so heavy. It took nine people to push the raft back into the water.
Anyway 10:30 AM we were finally on our way. Our eyes were peeled for Caroline‘s tent. It was a gorgeous blue sky day.
The sun was warm and shade cool. We ran Soap Creek rapid – so fun!
As we rounded a bend after that rapid we saw a hiker way up on the side of the canyon moving along the trail. I wonder what he thought as we were drifting by.
We stopped for lunch at Sheer Wall camp. The camp was beautiful with ledges and overhangs.
It was a great lunch spot. We saw lots of fish in the river and Matt tried fishing but didn’t catch anything. Lunch: marinated veggie salad, summer sausage, and pita pockets.
After lunch we ran Sheer Wall rapid – a fun read and run rapid. There is a lot of flat water where we are floating down the river like the lazy river at Michigan’s Adventure. I did row the boat during one of the flat water sections. The oars were heavy and awkward but I got the hang of it. I was happy to hand the oars back to daddy. He does such a great job!
(scouting House Rock)
House Rock Rapid was next. The first “serious” rapid of the trip. I was a little nervous. We lined up well and hit the waves really well. I was laughing and yelling the whole way through.
There was a wicked eddy at the bottom of that rapid on river right that grabbed all four boats. Daddy had to work hard to get us out.
We camped at Upper North Canyon Camp, river mile 20.7. Daddy and I are a bit concerned about how few miles we are making each day. We need to get Grandpa to Phantom Ranch in five days which is 69 miles away. We need to make more miles each day if we are going to make it! Our plan is to get an earlier start in the morning and see if that gets us more miles each day.
Upper North Canyon Camp is at the top of a class five rapid. I wonder if we will sleep well because it’ll sound like the boys’ noise maker.
Daddy, Grandpa, Gerry, and I were on kitchen duty. We made Carnitas with Spanish rice and refried beans. We scorch the Spanish rice – eek! But we were able to carefully get out the rice that wasn’t burned. It added a smoky flavor to the tacos.
This camp is beautiful! The North Canyon comes into the main canyon. We have sand and rock. Some of us are camping on sand(us!) and some chose to camp on the rock (Shawn).
We have a fire tonight. Most of us are sitting around the fire. I’m sitting here writing to you all with campfire smoke blowing my way. Do the pages smell like a campfire?
My boots got wet going through the rapids so I just pulled out my foot to dry my sock. The stars are gorgeous tonight – brilliant and plentiful, so daddy says. I haven’t shut off my headlamp yet to look up. Soon!
I love you all very much. Daddy and I talk about you frequently. We would love to do this with you guys when you’re older. XOXO – Mom