Grand Canyon - Day 3 (5/24/2005)

 
Start (Mile #) Stop (Mile #) Miles
29 Mile Rapid (29) Red Bud (39 1/2) 10 1/2

Woke up at 5:00 a.m. and visited the bathroom (a.k.a. "the groover"). I then packed up and headed to breakfast. Today we had great pancakes, maple syrup, bacon, and juice. After breakfast we loaded up the boats and got ready to head out.

Today we say a few rapids and did a bunch of hiking. We started with a small rapid right out of camp. I was on Lucca's boat today. By the way, she hooked me up with some good athletic tape to help with the tendonitis in my elbow. After the rapid we paddled a little while and then pulled in. 

We hiked up the the canyon gaining a little bit of elevation. We stopped by a rock with petroglyphs on it. Swiss gave a talk about  the petroglyphs and the ruins of a nearby house. It turns out no one really knows what the petroglyphs mean. A medicine man says the spirits tell him what they mean. Each time he visits them they may tell him something different. In addition, we examined so shards of pottery Larry spotted. He made sure to return them to their exact location after we finished our talk. Nikki gave us a talk about her people and how sacred the area was. She must bring an offering to her ancestors when she visits such places. She must bring either tobacco or corn pollen. Nikki  had corn pollen that she harvested.

Part of the group (including myself) climbed up higher to a cave. We crawled through the hole one at a time to get a view of the south canyon. It really wasn't worth the hike and the heat. We then climbed down and around  and hooked up with the rest of the group and hiked up to another big cave called Stanton's cave. In the cave, archeologist found twig stick figures, lots of fossils and seeds. Only a small trench was excavated. This place is like a big store house of archeological treasures.  Too many people were entering the cave, so they put up these giant iron bars to keep people out. No digging is going on here now. They are preserving the place and may work here again when they feel major advancements have been made in archeological techniques and preservation.

We headed back to rafts and down the river a little bit to see a waterfall. Right near the waterfall we saw a Beaver walking along side the riverbank. At the waterfall, the water shoots out of  two holes in the canyon wall. It looks like a fire hose shooting water out. We climbed out of the rafts to take a little closer look. I didn't go too far. The area is covered in poison ivy. I did dunk my head in the refreshingly cool water.

We the paddled to Redwall Cavern. This is a vast chamber carved by the river. The floor is sandy. It doesn't like huge from the river, but you can walk a good ways back. We had planned to have lunch here, but 2 other groups pulled up and were also enjoying the cavern. We paddled a little further and found a nice shady spot. This spot had a mini cavern like Redwall. Lunch was cold cuts, fresh fruit, and cookies.

A little more paddling after lunch and then we pulled over for another hike. This one required some rock scrambling. When we got to our destination we found tons of fossils of Nautaloids in the limestone. The Nautaloids are the ancestors of the Nautilus. They look like a stretched out version of a Nautilus.  

Back to the boats. We ran a fun little rapid. This one had a big wave on it. We managed to go over the wave without it crashing on us. As we floated down the river, Lucca pointed out that you could see ancient river beds on the canyon wall here. You can see a cross section of the river. We paddled some more into the hot wind and finally ended up at camp.

We off-loaded the boats and found camp sites. Then Andrew, Kristina, and I hiked into a small slot canyon near camp. We took a few beers and enjoyed them while reading books. The dinner conch blew so we headed back to camp. At camp, Kelly was giving a talk on water rights and how everyone is fighting for their share of the Colorado water. Nikki provided insight about the Navajo's and their struggle to reclaim their water rights. Nikki just completed her first year of PhD studies. She recommended a book called, "Cadillac Desert ". It is about the West and the struggle for water.

Dinner was great again tonight. We had wild Silver Salmon. Larry did a great job cooking the fish. We had a choice of plain or blackened Salmon. I gave Larry a hard time about Silver vs. my favorite, King Salmon. Several people did not realize there were so many varieties of Salmon. We also had what Larry calls, "true wild rice",  It's picked and canned by Native Americans in Minnesota. The brand is called Canoe. It was really good. Definitely different tasting than your standard wild rice. Dessert was site made peach cobbler cake. It was yummy. I had seconds! I found out that Swiss grew up near me. She was from Yorktown, VA.

After dinner we played cards. Andrew, Kristina, and I played with our headlamps on. This attracted a cricket which kept buzzing us. Gnats started attacking us a short time latter. It got bad enough that after you played your hand you would turn off your head lamp. The bugs would then go after the person whose turn it was. Andrew killed us tonight, he was on fire.

It was warmer tonight when I went to bed. I started off laying on top of my sleeping bag and liner. I even dipped a bandana in the water and put in on to help cool me. By the end of the night it cooled off and I went from on top of my bag, to inside the liner, to inside  the liner and sleeping bag.

 

Kristina still snoozing

Swiss giving talk on petroglyphs  and pottery

Native American building

Nikki

Waterfall shooting out of wall

View after hiking up and crawling in confined area

Lucca

View from Stanton's cave

Andrew & Nikki in cave

 

Rafts being moved

Shot from back of Redwall Cavern

Look at me!

Nautaloid  hike

A Nautaloid

Hanging in a canyon

Ah the hardships (note beer)

Dinner