NATIONAL CAMP to DIAMOND CREEK - Mile 225
Lining up for Gateway Rapid, a relatively small piece of whitewater
Slipping through Gateway Rapid/172 miles downstream from our beginning at Lees Ferry.
A protruding blocky stone "nose" overhanging the boats, guides and crew as drift down the Colorado. Seems the geology of the canyon changed at every turn at the bend of the river.
Right upstream from Upper Cove at about 175 miles. Jimmy took over the oars today. I remember that Ray and Dean also jumped into the oar boat because we would be lining up for Lava Falls Rapid, the largest whitewater drop later on in the day
In smoother section of the river Jimmy gave over the oars to me for a while and rowed the canyon for a few miles while jimmy soaked up the morning sunrays. He taught me the physical process of standing, rowing and having someone shove a camera in your face.
Below Red Slide this is looking upstream to Upper Cove Canyon to a massive stacked "birthday cake" of limestone cliffs. Vulcans Anvil and Lava Falls Rapid are right up ahead
Just passing Vulcan's Throne and looking back to Lava Pinnacle. We pulled the boats over to the right shore above Lava and scout the pull in and course through the tongue of the rapid.
When you drop into the tongue of Lava Falls Rapid the boat almost seems to go vertical. The bottom just drops out and you dive into the foam and it envelops the front of the boat. Jimmy took this standing up. He said he has run it so many times its the only way to do it with some random adventure.
Obvious I was riding this oar boat like a bucking bronco through the 30 seconds of Lava and all I could get is the most fleeting sketch which I worked up later getting Jimmy's face and body during some "downtime" later in the calm sections of the river
Right in the middle of Lava. You can see Ericas mother (wearing her Viking helmet) disappearing into the spray and waves in the back/left. Its just as wild as it looks.
Jimmy got quickly back up and rode out the bottoms of Lava Falls. Standing like a champ and dancing on the baseboards.
Slipping down the river and negotiating the small rapids and dropping farther into the canyon. Its very quiet and peaceful with hardly a noise outside of the occasional plane roar and bird chirping.
A couple of nice little portraits of Jimmy during a slow portion of the river. By now all of my cameras are almost done in by water and sand and just don't work well so all I have left is my sketchbook.
Getting near the end of the trip at about the mile 200 mark. The Walls, though occasionally large were starting to open up into broad washes and gullies.
The last portion of the trip was spent getting things packed and organized and just taking in the sights. It was a grand 2 week trip with a million things we saw and experienced.
One of the last drawings a day or two before we hit the Diamond Creek take out at Mile 226.
The last night before we rowed to our take out we all got together and cooked and cleaned for the entire crew. They didn't have to lift a finger and we all had a great time. The crew said they had never heard that that had ever happened before on any river trip to any group of guides and crew. In in the back cleaning dishes...I'm a lousy cook.
The two "Davids" opened up and played some great guitar tunes and whacked out some great singing. Everyone joined in and had the last little booze we had left.
Thought I would finish up our trip with our original group portrait. It was a great trip. I would recommend it for just the sheer comradery, nature beauty and adventure.