The Grand Time

Tom's Journal

June 29 2007 - Day 45

View A Different Day

It has been interesting that everyone in both of the previous groups on this Grand Canyon segment, some of whom are not normally early risers, have awakened at or around sunrise, before 6 am.

This group was no exception, and we got going by 8:15 am. It was a good thing too, because we had a long day planned.

Like the day before, we saw impressive canyon features reminiscent of places a hundred or more miles upstream. The desert bighorn sheep were flourishing in numbers and appearance.

We also encountered rapids, most notably mile 232 rapid which we stopped and scouted from the right shore. It was sequence similar to so many I memorized before: "go right of a hole at the top, miss two rocks on the right side at the bottom and you are home safe".

This time the last two words were the most operable because there wasn't much more whitewater in the ensuing miles.

Within a couple hours we floated by Separation Canyon, where three members abandoned Major Powell's 1869 expedition through the Grand Canyon. Sadly, if they had just waited one more day-they had been going 99 days-they would have made it "home safe" with Powell.

Instead they were killed by indigenous people who apparently mistook them for criminals because their story of traveling through the canyon by boat was deemed unbelievable.

The canyon was still breathtaking, but within about five more miles we began to see evidence that these shorelines were once covered by Lake Mead, very similar to the way the shorelines looked as the river enters Lake Powell below Cataract Canyon.

The sedimentary layers of silt left behind mimicked the layers in the canyon walls above, but that is the only thing I found attractive about the silt. It was so soft that it wouldn’t support a person’s weight and it was prone to sloughing off, especially when hit by waves.

As we progressed down the river, so did silt progress higher on the shorelines.

After “putting the hammer down” Brian had a lead on us in his kayak and was able to find us a place to camp. It had a very steep bank up which we had to haul gear, but it was sandy (not the dreaded silt) and had a large open flat area.

By this time, about 5 pm, we had made more than thirty miles and were pretty beat. As we unloaded the boats, we heard a helicopter in the distance, then another. Soon they were whizzing right over us in many pairs about 3 minutes apart.

It was really strange when one of them landed on a high flat spot, not 500 feet away from us, then another landed, then a third and a fourth. Next we saw a woman in a white dress and man in a black tuxedo standing together for about ten minutes, then away they all went.

Apparently you can leave Las Vegas to get married in the Grand Canyon and be back in less time than it takes for the ice in your drink to melt. What a concept.

After a few more pairs of helicopters flew over us, the aerial exhibition ended for the night. That was OK with us.

View A Different Day

Mile by Mile Photos

June 29 2007 - Day 45
Mile 893 through Mile 923

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