Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 13 - Below Fossil to Football Field Camp

The view from the Paco Pad on Monday morning was magnificent. The calls of a Peregrine and the smell of bacon from the kitchen just added to the moment.

Squeak and I joined Izzy for another great day on the water. We had a couple smaller rapids and then the class 6 Specter which we ran without scouting, avoiding the hole near the top.
We stopped to scout Bedrock, a class 7 rapid. There is a very large rock in the center of the river, right where the river turns. Lots of large cobble on river right which keeps you from running too tight to the right side. The info was "whatever you do, avoid going left of the rock." Of course, almost all of the river's current was pushing to the left side.

All of the boatmen were nervous about it. There wasn't any banter during the scout.

Izzy and I had formed a pretty good team. Often times she would start by backing into a rapid (since pulling is much more effective than pushing,) and I would spot for her, calling out the moves. In this case, I called too soon, we hit a rock that spun the raft, losing precious time and momentum. After sliding off the nose of Bedrock, we headed down the left channel. Two spins in an eddy and some nervous high-siding later, we came out the other end, wet but right side up.

There's a pretty good video of another trip's left hand excursion on YouTube.

After clean runs through Deubendorff (another 7) we got the dories lined up ahead of the rafts so that we could get some photos.

Doug rowed Susie with Helen in the back seat

while Leif rowed Doug's raft so that Nate could take pictures.

After the pictures we ran Tapeats Rapid (a 5) where Doug had a close encounter with a rock, cracking the floor of Susie right along the centerline.

We passed Deer Creek as the wind came up. We'd hoped to stay across from there but there was another group already there. Continuing on, we found most of the yellow rafts that had launched a day before us were at Pancho's Kitchen

so we ended up at Football field where the last yellow raft was in the process of fixing a puncture. A bunch of the guys emptied out Susie and rolled her up on a pair of paddle raft thwarts so we could check the bottom. As I had expected, there were no punctures of the fiberglass. It had flexed enough to let the plywood floor crack but the fiberglass was intact. Repairs will wait until the boat dries out after the trip.

The tent went up hoping for some protection from the blowing sand. It would have been smarter to sleep on the boat!

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