Sunday, April 20, 2014

Day 21 - Two Hundred Twentymile Canyon to Separation Canyon

We got the earliest start of the trip by loading two of the kitchen tables the night before and by saving the dirty breakfast bowls to be washed later. It didn't take too long on the river before Diamond Peak showed up, signaling that the Diamond Creek road access wasn't too far away.

Natalie rowed much of the morning section, doing a wonderful job of reading the water and efficiently staying in the best current.

Robb's boat was loaded down with "stuff" that was going to be sent out at Diamond Creek including former rocket boxes of food that were now rocket boxes of trash and others that once stored firewood but now were full of solid waste. All that got replaced with fresh boxes of more food.

Diamond Creek was busy with our group sending out two people and excess gear while another group was derigging after their 225 mile trip.

We greeted 10 new people who came in on their own permit to travel with us. Most of them were friends or employees of Izzy or Helen's businesses. We appreciated fresh bodies to row the last five days.

For many, a Grand Canyon river trip ends at Diamond Creek but we wanted to see the whole canyon including the last 50 miles. We scouted both 231 and 232 Mile rapids but the whole group cleared them cleanly. The eddy edges were much more active than we expected for this area, perhaps because a lot of silt was flushed out during the "high flow" event last November.

We didn't stop at Travertine Canyon. At one point, this had been suggested as an overnight stop, but a fresh weather report was calling for big winds in the near future so we continued to get as many miles done as possible.

We often were in the shade with mountains and cliffs around us experiencing sunshine. The canyon was narrower here than it was a couple days ago.

Home for the night was Separation Canyon, the point where three of John Wesley Powell's crew called it quits in August, 1869 and hiked out, never to be seen again. Most tent spots were a fair distance from the kitchen and beach, with some of the new folks carrying their gear amazing distances.

The beach was shelved up so that it was about even with the tops of the raft tubes. Izzy almost always backed in to shore, making loading and unloading of the big stuff much easier.

Dinner was brats and burgers, ably cooked by Greg - watched closely by lots of hungry folks.

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