Sunday, September 4, 2011

Problem with Pictures

Will have to post pictures again when I get home. Don't know what happened to over 100 pictures. 

Not sure what happened to my pictures. Will check with blogger.com and hopefully get it resolved or have to post pictures again when I return from Guatemala. Sorry

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Last Day

November 14, 2010

We had camped only 2 miles above Indian Creek where our outfitter, Ceiba, was to pick our rafts, equipment and Scott and  I at 10 am I for the trip back to Flagstaff. Since there were no big rapids we did not have to secure all of our bags and camping equipment. When we got to the landing, JC's wife, Diane, was there to pick up JC, Lance and Mike for the return trip to Las Vegas. Shortly thereafter, the Ceiba truck with long bed trailer showed up and we quickly loaded all the rafts and equipment. The landing is on the Hualapi reservation and the road back to the main highway takes about an hour and is dirt and some gravel. About 30 minutes into the trip the trailer breaks around the axle and tire mounting. We removed the tire and relied on the remaining 5 tires for the remaining 2.5 hr trip. We were dropped off at our discount hotel and I quickly waited for the hot water in the shower to get hot so I could take my first shower in more than 9 DAYS. YOU HEARD ME. Irish Pub, food, beer and a bed for a change. ANOTHER trip of a lifetime.


Rafting the Colorado River

November 6-13

While I normally blog each day of a trip, I found it almost impossible to express the beauty and wonder of rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. I have decided to give a synopsis of our daily routine and let the pictures do the rest. Our boats were full with ice chests and prepacked daily meals in ammo cans for us to cook each day from our set menu.

Morning

Each morning begins early with JC (main guide) getting the kitchen going and getting breakfast started. We began packing up our cots and packing our dry bags so that we can load the boat after breakfast. Packing the boat and making sure everything is secure usually takes over an hour. We usually start down the river around 9:30 am. Each morning usually involves a few really good rapids that is almost certain to get you wet to some extent. There is also a lot of rowing when there is little current at some portion of the river. I was on the raft with Lance who was rafting his 1st time down the river. Scott and Mike were in the raft with JC who has guided groups down the river 281 times. For some reason I could only row backwards. Just couldn't get the frontward rowing. If the rapids were large, we would pull over and scout the rapids to decide which was the best route.

Lunch

Lunch was usually sandwiches and almost always on the river. We would tie the boats together and just drift on periods of the river which did not have major rapids. Quick bite to eat, unhook and back to rafting the larger rapids. An unexpected addition to the rafting was the canyon side trips which were anywhere from 1-3 times a day. JC would show us side canyon, waterfalls and swimming holes which I am sure would more enticing in the summer. The side trips were really enjoyable.

Evening

We would usually make camp around 4-5 pm. Of course then we would have to unload the boat with all our stuff on it. Takes about an hour to unload, set up the kitchen, get water and get our cots and beds ready. Dinner is always the best meal of the day. Started out sleeping in a tent with my sleeping bag and an air mattress while everyone else had a cot under the stars with their sleeping bag. One night in a tent on the hard ground convinced me to switch to a cot. It got down to 37 one night but that is why you invest in a good sleeping bag. We always went to bed at 9. Watching the stars, satellites, planes, and shooting stars at night was one of my favorite things I enjoyed on the trip.

Note: The rapids varied greatly. Some just looked scary while others looked easy but weren't. One rapid involved had a 20 foot wave which came over our boat and soaked everyone. JC and Lance made it look easy and JC's experience was invaluable. I wish the pictures could convey the beauty and wonder of rafting down the Grand Canyon but it won't, at least not to the level that it truly is. It is just one of those things you should experience yourself.






































South Rim to Phantom Ranch

November 5, 2010

Caught the 8 am shuttle from the Amtrak station to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. This is the area that most people visit when they go to the Grand Canyon. After being dropped off we got a sandwich for the 9.2 mile hike down the Bright Angel Trail and made sure out water bottles were full. The canyon view from the South Rim was spectacular. We began our hike down the trail around 10:40 am expecting a 4 hour hike to Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon. We passed several packs of mules with riders coming up from Phantom Ranch and many struggling hikers. We walked for what seemed like an eternity with our knees taking a beating on the descent of the trail and then realized we were only half way after 3 painful hours of hiking. We finally reached our destination after 5 pm where we were supposed to signal Morgan and the others to raft across the Colorado to pick us up and return to the camp site. However, we saw a raft on our side of the river with 2 life jackets in front. We decided they must have left us the boat for us to row over when we go there. Scott manned the oars and off we went to TRY and cross the river. 2 minutes after rowing we heard a voice screaming to come back. Seems they were all on our side of the river looking for us and we were not meant to try and cross. Hate to think of what would have happened had the Colorado River gotten hold of our raft with our inexperienced crew.















Baton Rouge to Flagstaff

November 4, 2010  (Thursday)

After spending the night at Jon', Scott Tiffee (Scott's father-in-law) and I flew from BR airport to Phoenix and then took a 3 hour shuttle to Flagstaff. Cleaned up and went to Mexican restaurant for 1/2 price appetizers and 1/2 price Dos Equis on draft and some quality time with Melanie. Back to the room for sleep because the shuttle to Grand Canyon leaves at 8 am. Flagstaff is a beautiful college town (North Arizona University) of 50,000 set at an elevation of 7000 ft.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Preparing for the trip

October 20, 2010

Making final preparations for the Grand Canyon whitewater rafting trip. My brother, Morgan, and my son, Scott, will begin the trip at Lee's Ferry starting on December 1st and meet up with myself and Scott Tffee at Phantom Ranch on December 5th. After camping for the night, Morgan and Scott Passman will hike out and Scott Tiffe and myself will complete the remaining 9 days of trip. There will be 2 rafts and not sure  of the total number of people traveling in our group at any one time but think it will be between 5 and 6 including the raft guides. Don't really know what to expect except that the water is about 40 degrees and keeping dry while rafting down the river is desired, if possible. Most people raft down the river during the summer but Morgan and Mike have a private permit and late fall and winter is usually when those are available. But having a private permit allows you to travel for less than 1/2 of the normal guided price.