Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lake Mead

Somewhere in Bridge Canyon around Mile 240 the river runs into Lake Mead, or at least it would if Lake Mead wasn't drying up. As it is, the lake is so low that there are new rapids forming 40 miles downstream, and we have to get to Pearce Rapid before we can switch to the jet boats for the ride out. We arrived at South Cove around 2 in the afternoon on Day 14 - five hours later we were back in Flagstaff. I hit the shower. D turned on the TV. We already knew Michael Jackson had died, but we knew little else -- like how D's fantasy teams were doing.

Grand Canyon 2009 blog

Gravel Beach, January,2008

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lower Canyon

Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Creek are only 6 days into the 14 day trip. The best rapids are yet to come. The hottest temperatures are a week away. The best Bocce games are still to be played.

(Grand Canyon 2009)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Phantom Ranch

The sixth day of the trip brings a dose of civilization. Bridges, mules, lemonade, a toilet, and a phone. We even called M to let her know we were doing fine. After two hours we were back on the river, minus the six passengers who hiked out to the south rim. Temperature probably didn't even make it to 100 today.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Grand Canyon

14 days, 280 miles, 160 rapids. But more to the point -- 2 4GB memory cards, 8 superduper AA battteries, 2500 photos. I'm retiring the camera - it still works, but the lens is scratched and there's probably still fine red sand in the lens mechanism. D suggested, many times, that I should throw it into the canyon, but I resisted.

I've decided to spin off the Grand Canyon trip into a separate blog (Grand Canyon 2009) - realizing that there will be over 50 posts and that maybe it should stand alone. I'll still post a few more entries here, plus photos from our road trip afterwards. And eventually, I'll post stuff related to geology and beaches at Gravel Beach, too.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Redwall Cavern

Last year's ultimate Frisbee venue was at 11:30pm on the lawn in front of the Talkeetna Lodge as the sun struggled to set behind Denali (hshipman, July 2008). This year's ultimate Frisbee venue is sure to be Redwall Cavern, deep in the bowels of Marble Canyon. Small camps, fragile (and spiny) vegetation, and proximity to fast moving water precluded frisbee and football elsewhere, but both came out here. (Grand Canyon 2009)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lee's Ferry

I wrapped up stuff at work - as much as it ever gets wrapped up. I wrote a note to the principal about the educational value of taking Devon out of school early (I'm sure he learned far more than he would have if he had stayed in Seattle those four days). We finished packing our bags. Lunch Tuesday was at LAX. Lunch Wednesday was on the river.

This is something I've wanted to do for decades - raft the Grand Canyon before getting too far past 50. D was excited - after all he got to miss some school. M wasn't as excited - so we left her at home. Not that we didn't miss her, and not that she wouldn't have enjoyed parts of it, but I suspect that given her enthusiasm for wilderness and hot weather, it might have been less than her perfect getaway. We'll have to find her something to take its place.