Mile 94 – 118
It’s my birthday, and oh what a day! Major rapids, hikes, waterfalls, cards and cake. What more could a girl want?
Traveling on the river with our group is pretty awesome. Each time we are on and off the raft, the guides call a “fire line”. We line up to load and unload tents, chairs, cots, shoes, water and the kitchen. With 29 people it all goes fairly quickly. The guides have been serving up incredible meals, we eat snacks on the raft, and we drag a bag in the river to keep drinks cold.
Decided to sit in the front first thing for our first rapid which you could see from our camp. It was Granite Rapid, which is a class 8-9, and an 18′ drop, and it was awesome. (The Grand Canyon has it’s own rapid ratings, from 1-10, vs. the traditional I-VI) Tim was up there yelling “is that all you got?!?!” like he was Lt. Dan in the storm in Forest Gump. I was dying!
Our first stop was a hike at Boucher Creek. This was a wet hike, walking up a stream to a small waterfall. We climbed up behind the waterfall and then it would shoot us out with the water. It felt so cool and refreshing, and fun!!
Next was Crystal Rapid. Of all the rapids in the Grand Canyon, Crystal is one of the biggest. It is rated a 10 and is a 17′ drop. It’s particularly tricky to navigate around several large rocks. It was awesome!
Quick stop for lunch at this stop where we had Ceasar Salad wraps. This is what a typical lunch stop looks like.
Our next stop was a hike to Elves Chasm. This was another hike to a waterfall, this time with a deep pool to swim in. I’v said this before but…. It felt so good and refreshing! And swimming in a natural waterfall was such an invigorating experience for everyone. The rock colors on this waterfall were incredible.
Shortly after Elves Chasm we arrived into our next camp – Big Dune! Every life vest has a name on the back of it, some kind of milestone in the canyon and Tim’s was Big Dune! This camp was awesome. It was literally a big sand dune. We had an awesome space up against some really cool looking rocks. We threw the football, frisbee, bathed in the river, and relaxed.
We had awesome family time that night. The kids were all having an incredible time so far on the trip. Katie and Nathan who were reluctant, or initially not into the “roughing it” part of this trip, were making friends in our group and having a blast and truly taking in the experience. We talked about what this trip was inspiring us to do. The kids were sharing that this trip has shown them that they’re capable of more than they thought and I could see the pride and confidence that was growing. Tim and the kids all gave me very sweet birthday cards, and later the whole camp sang “happy birthday” as they surprised me with a cake! It was just beyond. Best. Birthday. Ever!!!!
That night we slept outside. It was awesome. Until the rain came and then it was chaos. This time the rain came hard and fast and by the time we got the cots inside the tent we were soaked! Katie and Ryan had no tent set up so they just grabbed their tarps and pulled it over themselves so they were fine!