Colorado River 1978:
Day 6 - Deer Creek


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Colorado River 1978: [Day 1 - Utah] [Day 2 - Utah] [Day 3 - Marble Canyon] [Day 4 - Red Wall Cavern] [Day 5 - Little Colorado/Phantom Ranch] [Day 6 - Deer Creek] [Day 7 - Havasu Creek] [Day 8 - Lava Falls] [Day 9 - Diamond Creek] [Day 10 - Grand Canyon]

Thursday, August 17, 1978: Early in the morning, after the usual exploring, teeth brushing, face washing, and other ways of waking up, we ate our breakfast and got ready for a short hike.
Doug was temporarily detained by a little friend on his shirt. Early on Day One, the joke of our trip got started. Someone was marveling at the sights around us, and how Walt Disney really outdid himself on this ride - the scenery and animals were so realistic! It was a joke we never tired of and continually added to, especially at times like this.
We didn't know that our tiny campsite was only a short distance from famous Elves' Chasm - a small, tropical waterfall and pool. It couldn't have been designed better by Walt Disney himself.
To the right was a large boulder, and the pool was surrounded on 3 sides by solid rock. The first seven feet out into the pool were very shallow, but it suddenly deepened to about ten feet. On the far wall was the mossy, beautiful waterfall which fed the clear blue pond.
Inside the wall was a series of natural steps which led up into the middle of the rock formation behind the falls.
We all swam to the back wall, crawled through the tunnel, and jumped off the rocks into the deep part of the pool. It was almost too perfect!
A great time was had by all, then we returned to camp and were on our way.
We drifted down river for nine miles. We stopped at Fossil Rapid at Mile 125 for the first of two photo opportunities. The other boat went through the rapid ahead of us, then disembarked to take photos of our boat going through.
At Mile 132, we did the same thing in reverse at Dubendorff Rapid. We were on the first boat to go through, then we went ashore and walked to a small overlook to photograph the other boat going through.
Here they come!
In this photo, you can see riders on the front horns on either side, plus several people riding in the bathtub up front. Hoss, Alzado, and Hoss's girlfriend Janet were in back.
At Mile 136, we reached Deer Creek Falls. Joining us were two more Sanderson boats which contained passengers who, so we heard, were not enjoying themselves. We were grateful that we had such a fun group. Credit for our morale must go, in part, to five fun people:  Barbie and Eric, Bill (Barbie's brother), Debbie (a friend of Barbie's) and Roger (a friend of Bill's). They were all very nice and Roger was especially funny.
At Deer Creek, we ate lunch – ham sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly or cold roast beef. Doug, Bob, Marna, Jim, and I set off to explore the area. The falls were pretty but too powerful to stand under. We climbed rocks, walked in streams, and swam in a dammed-off section of water.
Meanwhile, many people in our group left for a hike to the top of the falls while we stayed behind. I eventually ended up doing this hike on our 2006 trip, so even though I didn't join this group, this photo, taken by my dad, is nearly identical to one I took almost thirty years later.
Water runs along these narrows leading to Deer Creek Falls. Like the previous photo, this one, also taken by my dad, is nearly identical to one I took in 2006.
The final destination for this leg of the hike is an area nicknamed "The Patio." It's a little oasis containing trees, shaded ledges, waterfalls, and a pretty stream.
This picture-perfect pool and waterfall is a great place for a refreshing splash. Here's Bob under the falls and here he is with Doug and me in the same spot on our 2006 trip. After spending some time at the creek, enough people wanted to leave, so a group of us left to go on to our camp, less than a half mile down the river. Those who went on the hike joined us later on the other boat.

Our camp at Mile 136.5, called "Overhang," was a large sandy area with a rocky overhang. It was really nice, and we ended up staying there again in 2006. When the rest of our group arrived, the pilots set to work repairing a hole in one section of one of the pontoons. That evening, the winds were strong and sand was blowing into the cooking area, so we got buckets of water to toss on the sand and mat it down. Later, "the kids" included all of us when Bob and John camped with us for the first time instead of their families.

Day 7 >


Colorado River 1978: [Day 1 - Utah] [Day 2 - Utah] [Day 3 - Marble Canyon] [Day 4 - Red Wall Cavern] [Day 5 - Little Colorado/Phantom Ranch] [Day 6 - Deer Creek] [Day 7 - Havasu Creek] [Day 8 - Lava Falls] [Day 9 - Diamond Creek] [Day 10 - Grand Canyon]

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