Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Into the Raging Water - Not a Happy Camper

Time to celebrate! We all made it through Crystal rapid without flipping a raft. But wait. We still had 16 miles to go before reaching our camp for the night. Another eight-hour day on the river. Yippee! 

Just for Ballerina Girl - A video of riding the rapids. This was Tuna Creek rapid. A mere "six" rating.

The day is not over. It's my team's turn to cook again. On the menu - Mexican Night. Pre-packaged guacamole with chips, chicken fajitas stir fried with green peppers and onion, Spanish rice, Tomato salad (like Pico de gallo - chopped fresh tomatoes with onions. Spicy) and for dessert, pre-packaged brownies.

Did I already mention I never camp? I have only camped one other time with my husband and that was before we were married. We camped on the beach. My husband loves to cook over an open fire so he made great food for us...too bad every bite included a sprinkling of beach sand. Steak and sand, scrambled eggs and sand. That was at least 24 years ago. I never forgot. How did I find myself camping in a sandy environment? Remember...the participant list for the trip sounded so fun! Surely the inconvenience of camping would be worth it.

July is monsoon season in the Grand Canyon. Right about the time I finished cooking most of the meal our evening storm blew in and whipped up a whole lot of sand. I wanted to scream and cry. All that work and now I didn't know how anyone would eat with nonstop blowing sand. We threw aluminum foil over every open food container to keep the sand out. Forget about eating off a plate. We all took turns filling a flour tortilla with food and quickly shoving it down our mouths while we huddled against our shelter and tarp cover. It was so frustrating. The Spanish rice hardly got touched. The fresh tomato salad hardly got touched. We didn't heat the tortillas because I didn't know how to do it without having sand cover both sides so they cracked when we rolled them up. 

The sand storm is all I remember about that night. I have no other recollections about that camp location and it's not because I was drinking. I wear contacts so I was struggling to see the rest of the night. I was miserable. Seems to be a pattern here. When would the fun out-weigh the not-so-fun? 

Tomorrow would be day six. The halfway point, but who's counting?

More about the food: 
There have been a couple of questions about the food. We went through an outfitter to provide our rafts and provisions. Our team leader picked the menu and when we arrived all the food was packed and ready for us to load on the rafts. Absolutely everything was labeled. Our boat had two to huge coolers, even larger than the marine-sized coolers we have at home. Each cooler had 8 inches of block ice on the bottom. One cooler was stocked with food for days 1-4 and the other cooler was for days 5-8. In  the coolers would be our fresh meat, milk, butter and  frozen foods. Another raft had produce bins and a bread box.. Another raft had an egg box with at least 100 eggs. Another raft had the cooler for days 9-12. Throughout the rafts were small waterproof boxes for each day that carried the dry goods for that day's meals. By day 10 we were eating meals with mostly canned ingredients. No more bread other than tortillas. Each boat also had a munchies box with an assortment of goodies - Cliff bars, gold fish, pretzels, jerky, dried fruit, gorp, etc. 


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

yes I was one of those wondering about the food supply - that sounds pretty good the way it was all planned - but what if one of those rafts took a rapid wrong and flipped over? Would you have lost the food or was it secured so well that it wouldn't be possible?

Kate said...

Yes, Debbie I was wondering that too? What would happen if a raft flipped?!