Sunday, April 13, 2014

Day 14 - Football Field to Upper Ledges Camp

In spite of the six minor rapids (classes 2 to 4) expected this morning, it looks like everyone has rigged for a flip and dressed for a swim, apparently with Upset Rapid (class 8) on their mind. Upset is scheduled to be our last rapid of the day.

In the long flatwater section after 141 rapid (class 2), Greg broke out the remains of his lollipop supply. The cellophane was a bit tough to get off since they'd been soaked in Grapevine, but folks still enjoyed them. Natalie was a real fan of his lollipops. Only Greg had a lollipop sponsor!

We picked up Leif after he swam in his kayak, just in time to get him a lollipop and put him to work rowing so that he could warm up.

After Kanab Creek rapid, the wind let up which everyone appreciated. It gave us a chance to enjoy the view and watch a Peregrine chasing another bird.

Sometimes it looks like the river ends, but we knew that wasn't the case because we hadn't gotten to Upset yet.

Upset had a massive cobble bar on the right side, a cliff on the left side, rocks to avoid, and most of all

a boat eating hole right in the center.

Nate set up to video the action. As usual, Robb led off, planning a line down the left edge.

He and Natalie easily skirted the hole and continued cleanly down the left side.

We weren't sure if Tony intended to go left or right of the hole. Perhaps he wasn't either. He entered the hole sideways facing the left wall.

And then started to get fancy,

 but maybe too fancy,

coming out upside down.
Greg (with Leif in the front seat) started a good looking line while Dave took pictures

but ended up heading into the hole.

The result was Leif's second swim of the day and Greg's second of the trip. I know that Dave had been clear he was hoping for some "carnage" shots, but Greg is arguably the best boatman on the trip.

This didn't bode well for those of us yet to run! As Izzy and I walked back to our boat, we watched one of the yellow rafts flip in the hole and another surf the hole for a long time before flushing out. Now I'm thinking we're going to swim but instead we run a great left side line, smiling all the way.

We made camp at the Upper Ledges site. Not spacious, but big enough to set up kitchen, groover, and a few tent sites. Izzy and I fixed dinner as the wind comes up, blowing my drying dry pants into the river, never to be seen again.

Home for the night was back on the boat. It really was much easier than schlepping gear and breaking it down again in the morning. I slept best the nights I stayed on the boat.

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