Upper North Canyon (20.7) to Nautiloid (35.0)
River miles: 14.3
Today was an awesome day! We ran 10 rapids. The stretch is called the Roaring Twenties.
We slept well. I woke once cold but Daddy got me an extra fleece and my soft shell pants and I went right back to sleep.
We were on breakfast duty, Daddy took the lead chef position for Eggs Benedict. Very tasty, he did a great job cooking. Everyone worked a little bit more smoothly and efficiently. We got on the river by 9:30 AM.
Immediately, we ran a rapid and I got splashed fully in my face. I hadn’t washed my face at camp so that was good.
The next four miles was rapid after rapid, lots of splashes and full face shots of water. One rapid, Daddy lined up the raft really well but after the first three HUGE waves we got knocked sideways (not good in a rapid – to take a wave on the side of the raft is dangerous – it’s much easier to flip a raft that way than head on). We were heading sideways into a huge wave and as we hit it I lunged backwards into the raft as it rose behind me to aid the raft in staying upright. We did not flip! After the rapid we talked through the run and at the moment when we were sideways, Daddy had taken a stroke with the oar to square us to the wave but instead of water all he had was air! We all laughed, especially since we didn’t flip.
After twentynine mile rapid, Daddy wanted to explore Silver Grotto. It is a side slot canyon. To get into the slot canyon there was a 12 foot scramble up. With Shawn’s help Daddy was able to get up to the entrance. But everybody else was unable to get up there. The sand on the shoes made it too slippery. Shawn saved the day – he went back to the boats and got one of the safety ropes. They tossed the rope up to Daddy and he wrapped it around his waist and dropped the rope down to the rest. They all scrambled up and disappeared into Silver Grotto.
I decided not to go for the sake of my foot so I found a sliver of sun and waited for them.
After they returned we found a sunny bank and divided up lunch. PB&J sandwiches, dried fruit, beef jerky and carrots & celery.
We were going to eat on the rafts. Before we shoved off again, Matt, Shawn, and Daddy jumped off a ledge 12 feet above the river. SPLASH!
The afternoon was beautiful. We entered Redwall Canyon – huge red walls rose steeply from the river. It was dramatic against the blue sky.
Redwall Cavern was our afternoon stop. It is a huge cave/amphitheater.
Daddy brought out a frisbee and we tossed it around, took photos and explored.
Shawn, Andrew, and Blake missed the eddy and didn’t make it to the cavern. It was disappointing to not have all of us together at Redwall Cavern. We floated for another mile or so to our camp.
We were on clean-up crew so we helped to unload boats and then had some downtime. I relaxed in Shawn’s hammock and iced my foot. My toes are a bit swollen today. I think from practicing the rope throw yesterday.
And after I iced my foot – I took a hot shower!! Cory brought a shower system that looks like the weed sprayer that Daddy sometimes uses. Cory had a tent set up on the edge of the river. He heated water and then showed me how to use it.
I washed my hair and cleaned my body – So Good to be clean. AND I finally combed my hair. Adelaide, I hadn’t combed my hair in 3 days! To use the shower, I pumped the handle on the bucket until there was tension and then opened the hose end that was like a light sprayer. I got wet and shut off the water. Then I soaped up and washed my hair. I pumped the water again and turned it on to rinse off.
When I got done and dressed it was dinner time. Stir fry for dinner with an apple mandarin salad. I was hungry and it tasted really good.
Our team washed up the dishes and then I sat around the fire, talking to the crew and writing to you all.
I miss you guys. It does get really cold on the boat when we get splashed and the sun isn’t reaching into the canyon yet. We thought about how hard that would be for you all. We do sit a lot in quiet because the landscape is breathtaking. I think you all would really like it but you might get antsy.
We haven’t made enough miles daily to get Grandpa to Phantom Ranch. For the next four days we need to make at least 15 river miles per day. We’ll get an early start again tomorrow.
So time for bed for me. I wonder if we’re going to bed at the same time. I don’t think it’s even 9:00 PM yet! Are Gigi and G-Pops letting you guys stay up later?
I love you all very much. We pray for you and think about you a lot. XOXO – Mom