Grand Canyon Rafting Trip: Day 5

Mile 118 – 137

Woke up to a beautiful morning. Today we had omelettes for breakfast. I’m telling you, the food here is way beyond what you’d expect out camping! And to consider they’re cooking for 29 people, food for 7+ days (including a short trip they picked up right after us), and managing to keep it cold and fresh while out in 100+ degree temps. It’s impressive.

Mornings are my favorite on the river. It is so peaceful sitting on the raft (when we’re not going down a rapid). We have our coffee and energy drinks and just take it all in. I started up front on the raft and got some morning rapids. Even in the warm temps, getting wet in the morning can get cold! By now, the kids were calling dibs on the “Princess Seat” which is at the back of the raft next to the guides. This seat fits two people and is a little higher up than the rest of the bench which fits 5 people. We adopted our new friend Charmaine, who sat with us every day. Charmaine came on the trip solo, which we all thought was awesome. We did not begrudge her being a Packers fan (she’s from Madison, WI). Charmaine had awesome stories to share, having spent 25 years in the army as a physical therapist. Of course I talked her ear off about all of my running injuries (something I’m sure is so annoying to PT’s!). In any case, she had great suggestions for me!

Today we took 3 hikes. The first was into a slot canyon where Zach told us a story about the canyon and then we did a silent walk all the way back.

Or next stop was a short hike to a waterfall. We had so much fun standing underneath it, getting wet, clean and cool!

Took a lunch stop and had sandwiches. We were all deciding that braiding hair was the way to go. If you were lucky enough to get a brush through your hair by now, best to get it in a braid! By the end of the day many of us had braids, including Ryan and Zach!

Our last hike was to another waterfall, Deer Creek Falls. We had a storm coming in so we didn’t proceed further which would have taken us to a bigger waterfall. I didn’t mind. The cloud cover was giving us some cooler temps, and we ended up with a lot of time to relax at camp.

We managed you outrun a storm that seemed to be chasing us down the river. Our next camp was a big open space which was great for hanging out and games on the beach. We’ve all really settled into the camping life now, only occasionally cursing the sand! Katie and Ben hiked up to a cave that was just above our camp. Further into the cave there were a ton of bats! Played lots of frisbee, beersbee, and catch on the beach. Being disconnected has been so so good. Nothing to do but be together. So many good chats, and great fun with our whole group. I can see the kids being so proud of themselves for doing these things that are so outside of their normal day to day life.

My hair seemed slightly improved from standing in the waterfall so I skipped bathing in the river, and opted for wipes instead! Baby wipes and facial cleansing wipe – highly recommend!

I was psyched to find that someone took a picture of the toilet! So here’s the “low down” on how you do the bathroom on the river. (tell me you have not been wondering about this?!). You pee in the river, which I will say is much easier for dudes than us ladies. We got a demo on day 1 on how to do this somewhat discreetly. The guidance included saying “if someone’s looking at you then they’re weird and not you”. For everything else, there’s the toilet that gets hauled on and off the raft each morning and evening (thank you so much to our guides). The toilet was placed discreetly away from camp, and there was a “key” (t.p. inside a Tupperware) placed next to a hand washing station at the entrance to the path to the toilet. If the “key” was there, the toilet was available. Sometimes you had a nice view of the river!

That night we slept outside and never got rain. There were a million stars overhead and it was awesome. Later that night the river rose (from flash flooding up river) and the Aussies found themselves sleeping over water! They had to break down their camp and move to higher ground. I didn’t realize that the river came up pretty close to us but we wound up being ok. Sleeping outside was so great. This was the only night that I actually got inside the sleeping bag. The temp was perfect, no bugs (thank you, bats).

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