Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Into the Raging Water - The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow

Day 10 started out like all mornings in the Grand Canyon. It was sunny. I had some of the best banana pecan pancakes ever, hustled up by supreme pancake maker - Survivor Man.

I think Survivor Man was in his element on this trip. He had such a cheerful camp shirt on for the 10th day. I recall he even did some singing that morning...lovely singing voice. "The sun'll come out tomorrow..."

Our gathering spot from the previous evening was taken over by ants so we squeezed  onto the path to the boats  for our dining room.

Here's Hiker Girl, Ballerina Girl, Seinfeld, Brainiac and Huck finishing up breakfast. AK Santini is down by the boats...see that terracotta water? It was a major pain to filter water with all that floating sediment material. 

Time for a bath in that lovely water...Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap. It gave Zman's scalp a lovely tingle. He had some river rash along his hairline from his hat band. Everyone else skipped the terracotta hair wash.

Huck, T.S. and Zman with canyon Mohawk hairdos. 

I had figured out the previous night that Tinactin spray worked great on my river rash on the back of my neck and shoulders. Just wanted to pass that on in case you need to remedy heat rash in a rush. All too soon the sun shirt and life vest were donned to cover up and encourage the rash again.

This was an easy day which as you can probably guess means it was one of my more favorite days. I was done working as an official cook on the trip! There were no rapids left comparatively speaking...just ripples. We were very fortunate to bump into a commercial group at a side canyon where we were planning to seek out pictographs. One of the commercial guides, Wiley, offered to hike with us up to the pictograph location because he said we would never find it on our own...he was right. 

Just above the heads of Huck and T.S. are some very faint pictographs. The dark smudges on the far left are also pictographs. Wiley was a wealth of information about the tribes that had inhabited this particular area. It is amazing how many tribes throughout the ages inhabited the Grand Canyon. Tribes fought. Some mysteriously died out. I really enjoyed getting information about something other than a rapid's rating and techniques for navigating the rapid. 

Lack of information about geology, vegetation, inhabitants, animals, etc., was a big downside. Our Fearless Leader had very thoughtfully provided various reference books to all of us but there just wasn't the time nor the energy to read and share. When we were on the river we could shout from boat to boat but until the last two days it was far too hectic to take in much of anything. If I could push the redo button I would definitely opt for the commercial trip versus the private...ideally with all my wonderful companions of this trip. I think there was some potential for fun in that scenario.

As the day went on the clouds moved in and we got into our usual trouble of finding a campsite in the threatening weather. Every time we hit a campsite it was full. AK Santini and Zman were pretty good at taking the lead and looking for campsites. We had traveled 27 miles that day to Fall Canyon. We made sure to place our tents far from any flash flood area. We did learn from our mistake. 

Not too much fresh food left with two nights remaining. Burritos for dinner. Hiker Girl whipped up a delicious Oreo cookie dessert. (If you have her over for a potluck make sure and tell her to bring a dessert. I figured that out by day 10.) We had a little lightening that night. Our satellite phone finally worked but we made Zman turn it off when the lightening started. We really didn't need to experience any other calamities like electrocution. And we didn't. It was a quiet night.

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