Colorado River 2022:
Day 7 - Deer Creek


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Colorado River 2022: [Day 1 - Grand Canyon] [Day 2 - Grand Canyon West] [Day 3 - Marble Canyon] [Day 4 - Redwall Cavern] [Day 5 - Little Colorado] [Day 6 - Big Rapids] [Day 7 - Deer Creek] [Day 8 - Matkatamiba Canyon] [Day 9 - Lava Falls] [Day 10 - Las Vegas] [Day 11 - Heading Home]

Wednesday, June 29, 2022: Good morning, river! It's 5:15 AM!
Mmmmm, delicious French toast for breakfast, with bacon, melon, pineapple, and leftover spice cake.
Jill and Jared decided to race to see who could pack up their cot the fastest. They're off ...
... and Jill is the clear winner! Her fellow passengers cheered her victory.
As we did every morning and evening, we formed a bag line to load cots, chairs, brown bags, gray bags, ammo cans, and kitchen gear onto the boat.
While the crew got the boats ready to go, Siobhan read a story from "Up Sh*t Creek."
The moral of the story was "Don't break rhythm." It was hilarious and gross at the same time.
Siobhan and Zach had their second ammo can race of the trip. Zach wins again!
Every morning, a member of the family of nine would discuss with her other family members where they were going to sit. There were four comfortable seats on "the sofa" up front and room for more than that in the back. On this morning, after hearing the adults' plans for taking the sofa seats, Debbie stood her ground and insisted that we get the front quarter of the boat all day from now on instead of getting whatever they didn't want, and that the nine of them work out amongst themselves where they sit on the entire rest of the boat.
Just downstream from our camp, we passed a group camping at Blacktail Canyon.
We went around the corner and landed at the lower campsite to go on a hike into Blacktail Canyon.
Let's go!
Of course, Debbie had to look for tadpoles in the first pond we encountered.
Look how teeny they are! Except for the giant one on the left who is apparently their leader.
More walking further into the canyon.
Hi Addison!
Using Jared for scale, you can see how large these beautiful white rock seams are.
Here's Dann photographing a small waterfall in the canyon.
Pretty.
Debbie spotted a bunch of these cool bugs, called spotted diving beetles. They were nearly impossible to photograph because they move quickly but she got lucky.
Zach described Blacktail Canyon as being serene and he was right.
He and Siobhan both took advantage of the time to sit and listen to the canyon.
Debbie did too.
The view straight up is very cool.
Siobhan's rock eventually filled up with passengers.
Here's Tom, river runner and water sherpa.
We slowly meandered out of the canyon.
These rock formations were cool.
Brendyce spotted something in the crevice and coaxed it out.
It's a tiny red-spotted toad.
Yep, those are definitely red spots.
An hour after arriving, we were getting back on the river, ...
... and chowing down on snacks.
At mile 123.2, we watched kayakers run Forster Rapid.
There they go! This is where we coined the term "Lil' Baby ADYs" for "Ain't Done Yet," those unexpected splashes at the end of a rapid.
Look at the mighty horns on this bighorn sheep.
This is Fossil Rapid at mile 125.5.
There were a couple of bighorns hidden in this landscape.
Here's one.
We took a pit stop at Randy's Rock campsite at mile 127 to fix a loose bracket near the motor on Brendyce's boat.
At mile 128, we passed the salt formations that we visited back in 2006.
Just past the salt formations, black schist that looks like coal marks the beginning of the Middle Granite Gorge.
We had a twisty ride through Bedrock Rapid.
We took the recommended easy way on the right hand side of the split and our boat spun around as we ran it.
Halfway through the rapid, we were nearly backward.
Let's see what Brendyce does with the Awatubi.
She also went for the right side. Nice!
Here are Jill and Jared getting spashed by some Lil' Baby ADYs.
These two are so cute.
Here's the top of Deubendorff Rapid at mile 132.
... and Deubendorff Rapid again, looking upstream.
At mile 128.7, we stopped for lunch and a hike at Stone Creek, just as we had done in 2006 and 1980.
A very short hike up Stone Creek brought us to ...
... a beautiful waterfall.
We took turns being photographed under the falls.
Here are Dann and Marty, ...
... and their women, Brooke, Shauna, and Cheri.
Here are Steve and Chris.
Siobhan and Craig were married at this spot six years ago, ...
... so this is a very special place to them.
Tara found a great place to relax - right in the creek.
Addison never saw a wall he didn't want to climb.
After everyone was photographed, we headed back down the creek to the beach.
Here's Tom on the same expansive beach where we had enjoyed lunch before.
Lunch was served and it was sandwich day again. We got spoiled having freshly sliced tomatoes and cucumbers on our sandwiches.
There was lots of room for everyone to spread out and enjoy their lunch over the water.
Boats from Grand Canyon Whitewater pulled up to do their own hike up Stone Creek. While looking at them, someone spotted ...
... a family of bighorns racing down the canyon walls toward the river.
A dust devil raced upstream across the beach, so the umbrella shading the lunch buffet had to be taken down very quickly. We didn't get the camera out quickly enough to photograph it, ...
... so here's Tom making the hand signal for "dust devil" so we'd remember it. Oh, and those things on his hands? They're socks that he turned into fingerless gloves to protect his sunburned hands from the sun. Next trip, we'll be better about re-applying sunscreen on our hands.
Hey, Awatubi. What's up?
At mile 135, we passed Owl Eyes campsite, named after an unusual rock formation in the distance. We'll zoom in.
Good name, right?
Up ahead is the river's narrowest point, just 76 feet wide, at mile 135.6.
As we passed it, we were entering Granite Narrows.
This is Christmas Tree Cave at mile 135.9, named for delicate stalagmites and stalactites at the back of the cave.
A mile downstream, we came to Deer Creek Falls.
We immediately set off for a hike up to the Patio with Brendyce.
We walked over and through the streams that flowed down from ...
... the 150 feet high waterfall. But we weren't stopping here just yet; we'd come back and play after our hike.
The hike to the Patio is fairly steep. We took an alternate route up which bypassed a tricky area through some trees that had nearly stopped Debbie on our 2006 trip.
The view got better as we continued to climb.
Look how small our boats are!
This part was very steep and hot, ...
... so we took a well-deserved break for a minute.
This guy checked us out as we stood around his neighborhood.
Further up the trail, it was time for a photo stop. Brendyce did the honors for each group, one at a time.
Here we are, in the same place we were 16 years ago.
This time, we were happy to have Jill and Jared with us.
They got their picture taken too, ...
... and Brendyce snuck in a picture of herself too.
From this corner, it's a quarter mile hike to the Patio.
Let's go!
At several points along this section of the hike, there are hand marks on the rock, visible across the creek.
This area is sacred to the Paiute Indians, and these hands indicate a crossing over point.
The trail hugs the canyon wall and the gorge carved out by Deer Creek is right below it.
At some points, the trail is very narrow and care is required.
In the distance, lush green trees beckoned.
This is the entryway to the Patio, a pretty area ...
... with Deer Creek running through it.
Hike up the stream a bit and you'll find a small waterfall to stand under.
Here's Debbie ...
... and here's Tom.
Here's America's cutest couple.
Wait, cancel that.
Jill climbed around the side of the waterfall to check out what was above it.
There's our girl!
Jared was there to photograph Jill, ...
... and we were there to photograph Jared (and also Dan).
Here's Alex posing for senior pictures in the creek.
Snacks were served in the shade, ...
... then it was time to head back.
Off in the distance, we could see one of our favorite campsites, Overhang (now known as Pancho's Kitchen).
It's so much easier going down than up.
We took the more adventurous path as we got further down, negotiating a very steep and rocky drop with the help of some sturdy tree branches.
Getting closer. By now, another group had joined us and the yellow boats.
After our hike, we were rewarded with some time at Deer Creek Falls.
Here are Jill and Jared at the base of the falls, ...
... and here we are.
Debbie decided to swim as close as she could to the falls.
There she goes!
She made it as far as she could, but the water's force is strong and pushes back hard. In the 1970s, the pool was shallow enough to walk under the falls, but it had gotten much deeper over the years.
Jill and Jared tried next.
They were each rebuffed by the powerful falls and current, ...
... but they had a blast trying.
Two hours after our arrival, we departed. We got one last photo of Deer Creek Falls, ...
... and of the terrain next to it where we hiked to the top.
Off in the distance, Daniel pointed out a circus train formation.
There it is, zoomed in.
We passed our favorite campsite, Pancho's Kitchen, at mile 137.5, where we had stayed in 2006 and Debbie had stayed in 1978 when it was called Overhang.
There are three campsites on this stretch of land and someone had already claimed the middle one, so Zach passed it by. He explained that it isn't cool to take the middle campground unless you have to, but he was going to show good etiquette by not taking the spot next to it. We were disappointed but completely understood and trusted Zach's campsite choices.
Our girl has river legs like her mother before her, confidently moving around a boat in motion without hesitation.
Bighorn!
When we approached Fishtail Rapid, Zach said, "We have the option to go big or go small." Everyone: "Go big!" And we did. The Awatubi clearly chose the same option.
The kids rated the rapid as "Five ants out of five!" We were now starting to see Muav Limestone at the river level.
Sometimes, the rocks look like they were chiseled out of a quarry with perfect 90-degree angles.
Here's an unnamed rapid at 140 Mile Canyon, the start of the Muav Gorge.
Enough with the bighorns already! Just kidding. Every single one must be photographed.
At mile 144, we reached Kanab Creek, ...
... and pulled into Kanab Creek campsite just below the creek.
We found some lovely waterfront property, ...
... and Marabeth and J&J made their camps along the shore too.
Our camp had a lovely view.
Here's Jill and Jared's setup.
At cocktail hour, we drank the last of our beer. For people who repeatedly calculated that 12 beers would be enough, but ended up bringing 36 at the last minute, you'd think that we wouldn't have run out by the fifth night, but you'd be wrong.
The river gods once again gifted us with a random beer floating in the water, so Marabeth got this one, a fruited sour from Odell Brewing appropriately named Sippin' Pretty.
Siobhan was nice enough to show off her gorgeous ink for photographer Debbie.
Our beers gone, we made cocktails with one of the bottles of 99 Something that we brought. Cheers!
Our evening appetizers were chips and guacamole with two different types of salsa, ...
... and of course, a trusty bottle of Arizona Gunslinger hot sauce.
Shauna was charged with watching Daniel's beer while he had to go do something and she did a great job. The beer was still upright and had not floated away on her watch.
The 20- and 30-somethings were hanging out at Matt's Bar, ...
... where he was serving up Vitamin V.
Don't mind if we do, thanks!
Cheers!
For fun, Siobhan pulled out a bag of dresses and other dress-up gear, and we all got ourselves purtied up. Here's our good-looking family, ...
... and here's Dann and Cheri's good-looking family.
Craig was rocking his floral print frock.
With everyone dressed up, it was definitely time to take a group photo, so we set up our camera with a timer to get a nice one ...
... and a ridiculous one. Larger versions of each are here and here.
Jared! Look out for Matt behind you!
Since it was such a party atmosphere, our little foursome had our second 99 Something cocktail.
Zach blew the conch shell for dinner, then he pretended to blow the conch shell so Debbie could take a picture of him blowing the conch shell.
The dinner theme was Mexican.
Big Al dished out warm corn and flour tortillas ...
... which we filled with beans, chicken, onions, bell peppers, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, and salsa.
The Dutch oven brownies disappeared quickly. Don't worry - we got some and then later remembered to take a picture.
At 7:30 PM, dinner was over and we got a brief but strong rainshower. We all ran to get our gear covered up ...
... as did the crew.
These brothers weren't bothered by a little rain.
Marabeth was amused by Tom's concern about getting his dress wet.
The rain was over quickly and we started the process of winding down for the evening.
We were all in bed and it was very dark out when it started to rain again at 9:15 PM. Crew members stopped by to see if we wanted a tent. We were rolled up in our tarps and expected to wait it out so we declined.
When Brendyce and Alex checked with us again a few minutes later, we had changed our minds.
Marabeth's site right next to ours wasn't wide enough to hold a tent, ...
... so we set up hers right next to ours on our little strip of land. Craig helped us set up both tents quickly then went on to help others.

The dark camp glowed from a dozen different flashlights and headlamps as everyone else did the same thing. It was well worth the effort because the rain lasted at least an hour or so.

Day 8 >


Colorado River 2022: [Day 1 - Grand Canyon] [Day 2 - Grand Canyon West] [Day 3 - Marble Canyon] [Day 4 - Redwall Cavern] [Day 5 - Little Colorado] [Day 6 - Big Rapids] [Day 7 - Deer Creek] [Day 8 - Matkatamiba Canyon] [Day 9 - Lava Falls] [Day 10 - Las Vegas] [Day 11 - Heading Home]

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