Sunday, September 18, 2011

Into the Raging Water - Don't Miss That Pullout

Day 12 - Just Four Miles
This was the first morning everyone was up early and we were on the water by 9 a.m. I guess I wasn't the only one anxious to get off the river. We weren't supposed to show up at the pullout at Diamond Creek, until after 10 a.m. because commercial boats set up for day trips from that beach and there wouldn't be room for us. But the guide book said there was a beach to wait at just before the main departure beach. Unfortunately, the high water level had put that first beach under water so we had no choice but to crowd into the commercial boats.

Because there was so little beach area when we arrived, the Bailey raft was having a hard time staying out of the main current. All of the sudden the water was pulling us past the pullout. Help! Zman was rowing like crazy but we were still moving farther away from the beach. If we missed this pullout it meant a two day journey until the next pullout location. AK Santini  threw a rope to those on the shore and thankfully a lot of the men getting the commercial boats ready, came running and helped pull us back to the beach. That was so scary!

There was just one more raft from our party and we managed to get them tied up to trees above the commercial boats. No one was going to extend their trip for two days!

The commercial boats left and our outfitter showed up with a big truck to load everything into. Just like the beginning of the trip...we had to do all the loading and off loading ourselves. 

It was a little fun to jump on top of the rafts to flatten them out for loading into the truck. 
We had a bumpy 40 minute drive up a gravel road to the top of the canyon.

Back in civilization! We grabbed a quick lunch.

The Baileys had a plane to catch in Flagstaff and our driving time from Diamond Creek didn't leave much time for dallying. All our other expedition members were driving to their homes in California. Their cars had been re-positioned by our outfitter so once we got to the our lunch spot, they could be on their way home. 

Saying good bye is always the worst part of any trip with good friends. A last hug from my fellow teammates for camp chores, Ironman, Fearless Leader and Huck. 

AK Santini with his team - Brainiac, T.S. and Hiker Girl

Zman with Grizzly Mama and Survivor Man

And the fourth team - Lovey, Ballerina Girl, Peacekeeper and Seinfeld.

We sure hope we get to see them all soon. I think those Californians need to venture to Alaska!

We didn't have enough time to run to a hotel before hitting the airport, so the Baileys each took a turn bathing in a small sink at the outfitter's office. I bought a baseball cap to hide my hair. My hair was a little bit thicker by the end of the trip...guess I was taking some extra sand home with me.

Just in case you think I'm the only one with a tale to tell...check out this gal's Grand Canyon story. She was on a commercial trip...she doesn't know how good she had it!

To our Fearless Leader...I am glad I did it.  

Rafting the Grand Canyon July 2011 - The Adventure of a Lifetime. 


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

sounds like it was a fun trip for you even with all the ups and downs in the trip. You made - you will never forget it!
It has been fun following your adventure.

Sabine said...

What a great adventure! I have so much enjoyed reading about it, and I reall envy you a bit! Thanks for taking the time to tell us all about it.