Saturday, March 29, 2014

Day -1: Headed to Lees Ferry

When I volunteered to help Helen and Tony build a dory, it was simply to enjoy building yet another boat, help a favorite river friend, and bring some complimentary skills and experience to the build team. I didn't have any expectation that I'd have an opportunity to share in the boat's maiden trip. When an opportunity to join the trip opened up about three weeks ago, BJ encouraged me to jump at the chance even when she had no interest in seeing the canyon from the water.  280 river miles over 25 days through one of the seven natural wonders of the world!

With both my river gear for 25 days on the river and camping gear for a couple nights of tent camping for BJ and I at Lees Ferry, we headed north a day earlier than absolutely necessary because I wanted to see Tom Martin's GEM replica. Tom made a comment to me a couple days before the opportunity to join the trip opened up which was a very positive influence in my decision to join the trip.

We stopped in Cameron on the way north at the Cameron Trading Post for our customary Navajo Taco. It was really tough leaving most of the fry bread on the plate but I respected my low carb diet to the extent possible. As we head down the river, that may be a bit tougher.

Tom Martin's group was on the ramp rigging an assortment of six rafts and his GEM replica when we arrived at Lees Ferry. Tom is the author of "Big Water, Little Boats" as well as the best of the Grand Canyon river guide books. He is a font of knowledge and stories and experience.

Here's a picture of his dory replica. We're planning to cross paths with his group at least a couple days on the river.

BJ and I as well as a couple others who are going on our trip went to dinner with the group for their last supper at Cliff Dweller's Lodge. Good food and great conversations.

Tomorrow is rigging day for our group.


  1. It appears that you made it through alive!! Looking forward to reading about the trip.

    Some blogger was posting recent pictures of the canyon.....I wanted to say "look for the paddlers!" but restrained myself.

    1. It was a wonderful trip with a few exciting moments. Hope the posts will be representative but it will be hard to describe the reality.