The Grand Time

Tom's Journal

June 22, 2007 - Day 38

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As we have come to expect, the day started with clear, sunny skies. Whatever my equilibrium problem was the day before, it disappeared during the night and I decide to start out paddling my kayak.

Hermit Rapid, which is not particularly dangerous but has huge crashing waves, was the first order of business as we pushed off just before 8 am. I was doing fine in it until a large wave flipped me end-over-end backwards.

I had set the foot-rest in the kayak farther forward than normal because it was more comfortable for long periods, and when I got knocked over, my right knee flopped loose and knocked off the spray cover that is meant to form the water-tight seal between me and the kayak. The spray cover I was using was also a type that is easier to put on, but doesn’t create as strong a seal as the one I normally use in big water. These conditions are known as “pirate error” as was my lack of focus in trying to take a picture as I entered the rapid.

It took me a few seconds and two tries at rolling back up to realize what had happened before I pushed free of the kayak and swam with it and my paddle to shore. While this probably should be no big deal, it is now the second time I have been swimming on this trip in the Grand Canyon; by contrast, during all of my four previous trips here, all kayaking, I swam a “grand” total of one time.

My best course is to be happy that nothing is bruised but my ego, and if I’m not able to do that then I need to re-read what I wrote yesterday about the worries that aren’t worth the energy spent on them.

Anyway, we floated a short distance to Crystal Rapid, which is touted as second only to Lava in difficulty. It looks much easier to me than it used to and I had no trouble in my kayak following the route of least risk. On the other hand, Gary’s sons Mason and Spencer intentionally went through the worst of it and made it look like child’s play, which since they are minors, I guess it is.

Everyone else did fine.

The day brought many more rapids our way and, for a break, we stopped at a magical place appropriately called Elve’s Chasm. It has a small stream that flows over a waterfall that you can actually jump through from a small cave into a big pool of water. On a hot day, there’s nothing better. In my opinion, at Disneyland there’s also nothing better.

A few more miles downstream we made camp at a place called Blacktail near 5pm. A day of twenty-five miles and a whole lot more smiles.

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Mile by Mile Photos

June 22, 2007 - Day 38
Mile 765 through Mile 789

May 16 2007 - Day 1May 17 2007 - Day 2May 18 2007 - Day 3May 19 2007 - Day 4May 20 2007 - Day 5May 21 2007 - Day 6May 22 2007 - Day 7May 23 2007 - Day 8May 24 2007 - Day 9May 25 2007 - Day 10May 26 2007 - Day 11May 27, 2007 - Day 12May 28, 2007 - Day 13May 29, 2007 - Day 14May 30, 2007 - Day 15May 31, 2007 - Day 16June 1, 2007 - Day 17June 2 - 11, Day 18 - 27June 12, 2007 - Day 28June 13, 2007 - Day 29June 14, 2007 - Day 30June 15, 2007 - Day 31June 16, 2007 - Day 32June 17, 2007 - Day 33June 18, 2007 - Day 34June 19, 2007 - Day 35June 20, 2007 - Day 36June 21, 2007 - Day 37June 22, 2007 - Day 38June 23, 2007 - Day 39June 24, 2007 - Day 40June 25, 2007 - Day 41June 26, 2007 - Day 42June 27, 2007 - Day 43June 28, 2007 - Day 44June 29 2007 - Day 45June 30, 2007 - Day 46July 1 - 13, Day 47 - 58July 15, 2007 - Day 59
The last day; The river’s end