Thursday, May 3, 2018



Change over at Phantom Ranch. Everyone is saying goodbye to some and welcoming in the replacement customers. The people that are leaving have a steep hike ahead of them all the way up to the top of the plateau/ rim of the Grand Canyon.

Jassik (guy in the white on the right was quite a character. Always joking around with a thick eastern European accent and always seemed to be offering me a beer while I was rowing. Made the trip a hoot. I use to keep his phone messages for years so I could listen to him yuck it up.

Looking back upstream towards Zoroasters Temple (the spear shaped peak in the background) as we are anchored downstream from  Phantom Ranch

On the trail up to Phantom Ranch, a little series of cabins and a ranger station at the bottom of the canyon that backpackers can stay at on the "Rim-to-Rim" hike.

We had to kill some time so I thought Ray and I would take a hike up to the Ranch to get some fresh lunch (and a beer and a diet coke for me) . The hike was dry, but short, but we had a fresh water creek next to us to dip into. hiking companion

NOT my hiking companion...A beautiful 6 foot coral rattlesnake we happened on next to the trail. kept our distance but watched it as it twisted its way through the stones and brush

Approaching Phantom Ranch. Nice little break from sitting on the rafts for a week.

Phantom Ranch in the afternoon light. 

Back in the boats and leaving Phantom drop off point.

Jimmy whipping through a small (3) riffle after Phantom Ranch. Even fairly calm rapid sections mean you have to match your oar technique with the flow and amount of water. It was informative learning all of this and drawing all the action made me concentrate on the whole rowing process 

Jassik clowning around on the back of a oar boat. We would all try to change up into different groups with different guides every day to get to know each other for comradery 

Jimmy taking a working lunch on a flat section of the river. A lot of times he would just stand and row the boat in circles to see the panorama of the canyon.

I was rowing off-and-on with Jimmy and being the big baby that I am I suited up in some day-glow wet gear for some cold May white water. The clothing was more annoying than the cool refreshing waves so I ditched them. I look like a human fire plug.

Trinity Creek riffle moving into a large set of good size and fun rapids. Granite Rapid is right up ahead.

Calm spot before Salt Creek camp. Landscape changes quickly from huge, steep metamorphic walls of sharp spires dropping directly into the Colorado and then open out into sandstone bluffs and 

Approaching Hermit Rapid ( 8 - 17 ft. drop) A really nice kicky piece of whitewater. This drawing is of a line of rafts lining up to "go right" along a lateral set of waves and when we got to the bottom we almost flipped the oar boat.

Beautiful water in one shot, gorgeous sky in the other. Granite Camp is located right at the mouth of the rapid. Very pleasant spot with a soft sandbar and a nice canyon up Monument Creek. 

Heading up Monument Creek gorge. Hiking up boulders and stones of all sizes and colors. They were washed down from all the way up from thousands of feet above onto the Grand Canyon plateau 

My hiking partners were Ron & Anne. We just sort of wandered through the shale corridors looking for a spring of fresh water.  

River stones and very hardy desert bushes covered the stream beds. The air was really brittle and the canyon was amazingly quiet except for the crunching of my boots on the rocks.

Boats unloaded and camp has been set up at Granite Rapid.

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