Colorado River 2006: Day 6


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Thursday, July 20, 2006: The kids often camped together, and they weren't big fans of waking when the first call of "Hot Coffee!" was heard.
This photo gives you a little sense of scale of the overhang.
Here's a closeup of the cool rock formations that make up part of the overhang.
Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, English muffins, bacon, and fresh pineapple. After breakfast, we went through the line again, but this time it was to pack a picnic lunch for our day at Havasu Creek.
Mmmmm ... leftover kitchen scraps. The fish were waiting.
So were the birds. Many times we left our camps under the watchful eyes of ravens, who were looking forward to finding anything we had left behind.
After breakfast, it was time to pack up sleeping gear, dry bags, chairs, and mats.
Paul pulled a camera out of his magic knapsack and got a group photo of all of us. For reasons unknown, the knapsack didn't contain a fullsize tripod so we used Robert's instead. We're a mighty photogenic bunch considering we hadn't showered for six days. All four group photos are available here.
Goodbye, beloved Overhang camp!
Debbie got a second fire ant bite just before dawn. This time the stinger stuck in her skin, possibly because she brushed off the ant as it was stinging her. It left this cool mark on her skin which was gone by the next day.
We had a fairly uneventful stretch of river to cover before arriving at Havasu, so we had plenty of time to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Bob and Becky followed along with their river guide, while Audrey enjoyed a visit to the back of the boat. Ordinarily, she was up front for every rapid.
Doug had gained a reputation for being a water magnet, so here's a rare shot of him not getting splashed by a rapid.
The Bright Angel took a pit stop on the left side of the river (visible in the distance), so we on the Silver Grotto took a pit stop slightly downstream on the right. Apples and oranges were brought out for a snack.
A memorable camp from our 1980 trip was a place called "The Ledges." Connie pointed it out to us as we passed. This camp provides a series of flat rock surfaces just wide enough for a cot or sleeping bag. Good times.
This is just one of many giant cavern-like structures found high in the cliffs along the canyon.
We saw a mother Bighorn grazing on the river bank with her baby.
The calm waters provided Jill with a chance to nap ...
... and Kelsey did the same.
We arrived at Havasu Creek and walked alongside the creek. The path is narrow, but the view looking back to the creek below is gorgeous.
The trail goes up and down the cliffs along the creek.
We hiked to the point where the trail crosses the creek.
Some people chose to stay here and enjoy time in the shade and in the beautiful creek ...
... but most continued to the main attraction.
The view looking back down the creek was lovely.
After a short walk, we arrived at the playground of Havasu. It was all there: the big rock, the water chute, ...
... the jumping ledges, and the observation steps.
It had been 26 years since her last visit, so Debbie couldn't wait to get into the water.
Patrick, Billy, Kelsey, and Jill waded over to the observation steps and enjoyed their sack lunches before having some serious fun.
Bob and his kids swam in the stream just under the jumping ledges.
The water goes from deep to shallow quickly, so everyone can be in the water.
It's fun and beautiful -- who could ask for more?
Very few things had changed in the past 26 years. A water chute that swimmers could slide through had been blocked by some large rocks in a recent flash flood, but everything else was still as fun as Debbie remembered and she was well pleased.
Climbing to the top of the large rock turned out to be just as difficult as Debbie remembered, but with Tom's help, she made it after a first unsuccessful attempt.
Jill and Kelsey climbed the ledges but were smart enough not to jump from that height. Not shown: Debbie foolishly leaping from the ledge Jill is climbing onto in this photo. It turns out that the water gets shallow pretty quickly on the right, and Debbie ended up injuring her foot when she jumped.
Brian had the sharpest eyes and he spotted this little squirrel hiding in a ledge on our way back.
It was a hot hike back to the boat, and Debbie was quickly losing the ability to walk. However, with plenty of help from Sandy, Tom, and Bob, she made it.
If you're going to get injured, be sure to do it when your fellow passengers include a nurse, doctor, and medical student. By the way, x-rays later showed that Debbie's foot was not broken, just very badly sprained. Despite her injury, it was an excellent visit to one of the greatest destinations in the Grand Canyon.
Back on the river, we slowed down to enjoy another couple of families of Bighorn sheep.
After talking with Bob about his experience as captain of charter boats in the Caribbean, Connie correctly guessed that he would love the opportunity to pilot the boat for a short while. He loved it, and his family was beaming as he took the helm.
Soon it was time to pass snacks around again, which were always welcome.
More Bighorn sheep. They are beautiful, aren't they?
We took a quick stop for Connie to go "shopping." There's a hidden location where extra beverages and supplies are sometimes stashed for later groups to enjoy. Sadly, there were no groceries for us this trip, but it was a fun stop to make anyway.
We made camp around Mile 177, within sight of Vulcan's Anvil just downstream. The Schilling party called first dibs on the campsite closest to the boat since Debbie could hardly walk. This development did not prevent us from enjoying cocktail hour, however.

Dinner was shrimp stir fry, rice, and egg rolls, with gingerbread cake for dessert. We never went hungry!

Day 7 >


Colorado River 2006: [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Day 5] [Day 6] [Day 7] [Day 8]

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