Colorado River 2022:
Day 10 - Las Vegas


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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]

Saturday, July 2, 2022: On our last morning, we needed to pack up camp quickly, so breakfast was kept simple: English muffins, sliced tomatoes, melon and pineapple, hard-boiled eggs, hot and cold cereals, and yogurt.
What was left of last night's chocolate cake appeared as well.
It was the last time we'd be washing our dishes in the bucket line and stowing the clean plates in the mesh bag hanging below the table.
We went back to our camp to break down our cots and pack our brown and gray bags for the last time.
But first, let's get a picture of one of the cicadas we'd heard during the week.
One last groover visit, ...
... and one last beautiful groover view.
We had our equipment gathered ...
... and were starting our bag line by 6:30 AM.
It was our last chance to drink any remaining beverages we'd brought along, so Matt helped himself to a beer while Dann got out some of his family's cans.
With Brendyce's permission, Tom took this opportunity to photograph the boats a little closer ...
... so we could reproduce it in LEGO form when we got home.
Here's the pilot's area on the Awatubi, ...
... and there it is on the Boucher.
Here's the chicken coop, ...
... and the community bag, gray bags, and brown bags.
The Awatubi carried the groovers and gear in its hold, ...
... whereas the Boucher's hold contains the community cooler.
Zach passed out some leftover bottles of Arizona Gunslinger hot sauce. Here's Jared posing with the bottle that ended up going home with us.
Daniel led the boats in a round of Happy Birthday for Tom, ...
... then we sang another round when we learned that it was Big Al's birthday too. Happy Birthday Tom & Alex!
A true professional, Alex went right back to her duties after being serenaded.
We pushed off from shore at 7:15 AM, much earlier than other days.
We still had some whitewater ahead of us. Here's Granite Spring Rapid at mile 220.9.
We passed Mile 221 campsite where we had camped on our last night in 2006.
There's beautiful Diamond Peak in the distance.
The top of Diamond Peak is same elevation as Lees Ferry, which gives you an idea of how much elevation we've dropped over the last week.
This is the Diamond Creek USGS cable car at mile 225.4.
At mile 225.9 is the Diamond Creek take-out where Debbie's 1978 trip ended. The dirt road from here is 21 miles long and connects to Route 66.
Here's Diamond Creek Rapid.
This great blue heron welcomed us to Lower Granite Gorge at mile 227.3.
At mile 230.6, we passed Travertine Falls. Debbie was here once in 1980 and hopes in vain to return someday.
Check out that rock falls formed from travertine drop by drop over millions of years.
Ahead is Killer Fang Falls Rapid at mile 232.
There's a very vicious-looking rock outcropping that gives the rapid its name, but by the time we got a picture of it, it no longer looked very menacing, unfortunately.
The rocks were absolutely gorgeous in this area between Bridge Canyon Rapid and Gneiss Canyon Rapid.
This gigantic boulder would look lovely in our front garden. Sure, it's the size of our dining room but that's not the point.
Jennifer wanted a picture of her and son Tyler. With a photo-sharing site available for use after the trip, several of us served as trip photographers for our fellow passengers.
At mile 238, we passed a dynamite storage cave. The wooden door had recently fallen off of it and was standing upright on the rocks just below it.
We had a pit stop at Bridge City campsite at mile 238.7, ...
... and snacks immediately after.
Yes, Debbie is indeed holding Nutterbutter cookies, Mother's Circus Animal Cookies, and three Tootsie Pops. We all grieve the impending loss of the river in our own way so don't judge.
Back on the river, we floated with the two boats tied together while we continued snacking.
It would be hard to see this trip end after getting to know so many great people.
The crew shared some parting thoughts with us, starting with Zach.
Brendyce read us a poem written by a previous river trip passenger.
Craig, Siobhan, and Alex each took their turns.
Debbie got a picture of siblings Jennifer and Daniel as they reached the end of their first river trip together. They had each been on trips in their youth with their father and uncle and a sister each, but this was their first time together running the river they both love.
As we approached Separation Canyon at mile 239.8, we knew our trip was quickly ending.
Just downstream, a jet boat was waiting for us at mile 240.5.
We got off of our boats ...
... and transferred to the jet boat along with our gear.
Then it was time for thanks and hugs and such.
It was hard to say goodbye to this amazing crew: Zach, ...
... Brendyce, Alex, ...
... Craig, and Siobhan. Each one of them contributed a lot toward making this an amazing experience.
As our crew pulled away to start a 5+ hour journey downstream, ...
... Captain Gina gave us a safety briefing.
We were off at 10:00 AM, ...
... and waved at Brendyce and Alex (who was driving), ...
... and Zach, Siobhan, and Craig.
Here's the Lava Cliff at mile 246, ...
... across from Spencer Canyon campsite where Debbie camped on her last night in 1980.
In just eight minutes after departure, we had covered five miles for an average of 37 miles per hour.
The landscape was quickly opening up. At mile 252.8, we crossed over what used to be Reference Point Rapid but is no longer visible due to Lake Mead filling in.
We spotted Triumphal Arch in the distance at mile 257.
We slowed down a bit to pass and greet this oar group.
We saw several helicopters around as we traveled through the Hualapai lands, ...
... including at the Upper Hualapai Boat Dock at mile 262.3.
Just downstream is Lower Hualapai Boat Dock.
Here's pretty Tincanebitts Canyon.
Colorful layers of sediment were being carved away by the river.
At mile 265.5, we could see the Grand Canyon Skywalk way off in the distance (in the center of this picture on the top of the distant canyon wall), and passed the word up a couple of rows.
We zoomed in some more, ...
...and even more. Here's the Hualapai Grand Canyon Skywalk where we had been eight days earlier.
We could see Guano Point and its pair of towers for the bat guano cave gondola.
We completely missed seeing the bat guano cave so we took a Hail Mary shot and got lucky enough to just barely get it - it's the dark shadow next to the boat's cab at about elbow height of the assistant pilot.
By now, we were at mile 270.
Here's a really cool sediment pattern..
This is Travertine Bluff created from Grotto Spring at mile 276.8.
Up ahead were the last of the cliffs, which meant we were leaving the Grand Canyon soon.
Up ahead at mile 280 is Pearce Ferry. We had covered 40 miles in just over an hour.
It was shortly after 11:00 AM when we reached the Pearce Ferry low water take-out, built in 2010 due to Lake Mead's dropping levels.
We formed one last bag line to get all of our gear off of the jet boat, then got a briefing from two GCE employees about what was going to happen next.
We transferred our personal gear from our brown bags to brand new GCE-branded red and blue duffel bags.
The dirt road bus wasn't fancy but it did have sweet, sweet air-conditioning.
By 11:30 AM, we were heading up the dirt road past the old highwater take-out area, ...
... and through the desert.
Twenty-five minutes later, we transferred our gear to a motorcoach.
Debbie snuck a quick picture of the end of the dirt road - the same one that had stopped us the last time we were here in 2018 in a borrowed minivan.
The GCE crew handed out a lunch to everyone, consisting of a turkey sandwich, potato chips, bottled water, and sugar-sprinkled coconut cookies. Once again, we ate like we hadn't been fed in days.
We got a glimpse of Lake Mead ...
... then we passed by the overlook at Meadview where we had stopped in 2018.
Tom used his phone to do a quick filth check. Looking pretty good for not showering in a week!
As expected, we stopped at Dolan Station (formerly Star Country), where we had stopped after our 2006 trip and which we had driven by eight days earlier. We learned that this is the place that made our bag lunches.
We all descended on the place to use their restrooms and buy many things.
They have Diet RC? Take our money!!
It was a tiny place with a surprisingly large selection.
There was something for everyone so we all left with bags of snacks.
Here's a peek into our grocery bag: Two Diet RC Colas, Payday, cacuhuates (candied peanuts), pralines, mole paste, peanut M&Ms, Chick-O-Stick, and Reese's Crunchy snack cake.
Jill and Jared treated us to a large beer, so they toasted us with two Corona Premiers and we enjoyed a Modelo Chelada Mango y Chile.
We passed the Mohave County wind farm, one of Arizona's Wind Energy Zones.
Near Hoover Dam, we spotted the old road that takes you right over the dam.
Since our last trip, the new bridge on US-93/I-11 was completed so we got to use this route for the first time and get a great view of Hoover Dam.
We drove through Boulder City and saw this big, uh, chicken at the Boulder City Trading Post.
We went flying past the Nevada State Railroad Museum ...
... and Chilly Jilly'z for the third time each in the past eight months.
We were back at the hotel at 2:30 PM. Shauna: "Is this camp?"
We had one last opportunity to shop at the Grand Canyon Expeditions store, so of course we took it.
We picked up a pair of hoodies, two stickers, a cool canyon horizontal sticker designed to wrap around a water bottle, and our very own copy of "There's This River..."
Our rooms were ready for us on arrival so we picked up our stored luggage and scattered throughout the hotel to our individual rooms.
When we were all cleaned up, we headed next door to Gordon Biersch Brewery.
We were happily surprised to see Sam, Steve, Chris, Alex, and Dan there and we were seated in the booth next to them.
We started out with beer samplers all around.
Next, we ordered a round of Vitamin V for everyone as repayment for sharing theirs with us on the trip. Cheers!
The restaurant manager was especially friendly.
Mmmmmm, dinner.
We were finishing up dinner around 7:00 PM when siblings Daniel and Jennifer came in with their spouses.
Daniel's wife Jenn captivated our tripmates at the next table over while we chatted with Daniel and Jennifer. Jenn was wearing the river dress she had asked Siobhan if she could keep on dress-up night.
Before leaving, Dan, Steve, Chris, Alex, and Sam stopped by our table to say goodbye.
What a fun family!
After dinner, we met up with Dann and Cheri's family in the bar. As they were leaving at 8:00 PM, Daniel stopped by with some toilet paper to let us know that the bathroom is available and we laughed and laughed.
We had a great time hanging out with Shauna, Marty, Brooke, Dann, and Cheri.
Around 9:00 PM, Jim and Jennifer stopped by to stay goodbye to all of us. What a good-looking couple!
Speaking of good-looking couples, here are Dann and Cheri.
Dann and Cheri headed out too. We thanked them for being such great travel partners since the moment we met them in the hotel pool eight days earlier.
Here's birthday boy Tom, super hammered. Thanks for the beers, Shauna!
Happy Birthday, Tom!
We had such a great time with Shauna, Marty, and Brooke but by 10:30 PM, it was time to laugh our way back to the hotel and get ready for our travel day tomorrow.

Day 11 >


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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