Grand Canyon - Day 4 (5/25/2005)

Start (Mile #) Stop (Mile #) Miles
Red Bud (39 1/2) Kwagunt (56 1/2) 17

It was another early start today. Up at 5:00 a.m. For breakfast today we had french toast, sausage, and fruit. There was even some raisin bread french toast, my favorite.

Today was going to be a few rapids, but nothing like day 2. We loaded up the boats and headed out. I was on Larry's boat today. Larry told as about a women, Georgie,  who had a rafting company. She came up with the idea of lashing a bunch of WW II pontoons together and adding a motor. The same basic concept is used today. Although the rafters use a different kind of pontoon.

We rafted for a bit and pulled in. We hiked up a bit to see the remains of Bert Loper's boat. Bert died at 80 paddling the canyon in his home made boat. He had a heart attack going through a rapid. The boat crashed and his friend on the boat swam to safety.  They speculate Bert had a heart attack. Bert's body was not discovered for many years. He wanted to be buried in the canyon, so he got his wish for a period of time. Not much remains of Bert's boat today. Larry told us about a group he is involved with that is working to preserve  the early boats that floated the river.

We went a ways down the river and then pulled in for lunch. We had the guide's favorite lunch today, taco salad. After lunch we went for a hike into a canyon. It was pretty hot today. I was right behind Kent. He set a good pace. We climbed up for a while and then entered a stream bed. We changed from hiking boots to sandals. We continued up the stream through some pools (no swimming today). To reach the final destination we had to do some rock scrambling. The guides were there to help us with hand and foot holds. The end point was a cool shady canyon that ended with a waterfall. We hung out for a while and then headed back to the rafts.

Back on the river Larry had us use his traveling  paddle style. Two people paddle and the other four people rest. I was sitting opposite of Bruce. So after the first group finished, team 2 (Bruce and me) started paddling. I guess  I  ticked Larry off when I called it rowing instead of paddling. He tacked on extra time for us to paddle.  Because of my whining, Larry tacked on even more time. Bruce did not seem happy about this. I on the other hand was loving it. Team 2s turn came up again, so Bruce and I started paddling. I tried to get Bruce to paddle harder so we could catch another boat. I kept vocalizing for him to row harder. He didn't seem to be following my lead. In fact, I think he paddled even slower. The other boats were laughing at me trying to goad Bruce into high gear.

Our first two choices for camp sites were already filled with other groups. So we headed further down river and got to go through a nice rapid. Our third site was available, so we pulled in. The campsite was a nice sandy beach with a large pool of warm water. The river had been higher during the day and had receded leaving a shallow pool of water that the sun had heated up to a nice warm temperature. Everyone jumped in to take a nice warm bath.

Larry had to patch a hole in his raft. The center tube in the front  had gone flat. It had a bunch of patches already on it.  Andrew and I watched as Larry attempted to fix the leak.  Larry eventually rounded up the materials he needed and applied a patch. We will see if it holds air in the morning.

Tonight was steak night. Chad setup the grill and cooked up some awesome NY strip steaks. They were quite tasty. For desert tonight we had a version of pineapple upside down cake. Kent is going to lead a hike at 5:00 a.m. up the canyon for those wanting to go. I signed up for it. I've been up at that time every day.

The weather was warm so we camped closer to the river. It was not as warm as last night. I fell asleep pretty fast.

Kristina getting ready for action


Bert Loper's boat

Another view

Listening to

Lucca talk about

Bert Loper

A hike

With some rock scrambling. Bruce




The other Andrew



Swiss, Kelly, & Chad

The destination

of our hike

Kent in the waterfall

Shots from


Ellen cooking

Chad grilling steaks

Larry fixing holes