Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day 4 - Shinumo Wash to Buck Farm Canyon

The sun started to light the cliffs across the river as people started to stir on the morning of Saturday, March 8th. There was some upstream breeze blowing which caught my attention but it went away after the sun hit the river.

The kitchen crew started fixing pork sausage and scrambled eggs. Their coffee was hot and stout.

I arranged to ride with Helen in the Susie Too for the day. There were no significant named rapids but there are some nice riffles that any other river would be proud to claim.

It took a while to get organized this morning since five of the group were going to do a loop hike that involved leaving a raft at Shinumo Wash and another downriver near Vasey's Paradise so that they could hike and rappel from the downriver location back to the raft left at Shinumo Wash.

The rest of the group was finally on the water about 11:30 a.m. with a first stop planned at Vasey's Paradise.

The boats that had empty water jugs stopped at Vasey's to fill up our drinking water supply. Susie Too waited for them in a lower eddy.

After filling the water jugs, our six remaining boats continued on to Redwall Cavern. It doesn't look so large from the water,

but once inside, the huge scale becomes very apparent. We ate lunch here,

and shot a video segment while we waited for the hiking group to catch up.

Once the video was completed, we continued drifting downriver, looking back every now an then for the hiking group.
We stopped at the site where the Marble Canyon dam had been planned. The dories on which our replicas were based made this trip in 1962 and 1964, and produced a video and book that were instrumental in getting the construction of two dams in the Grand Canyon stopped. If this dam had been built, it would have created a lake all the way back to Lees Ferry, burying the Redwall Cavern, Vasey's Paradise, and other areas of incredible beauty.

We made camp at Buck Farm Canyon. My team was on dinner duty but we had to get creative since the food we were planning to use hadn't arrived. Chili became the main course.

Turns out the hiking group had experienced an emergency and Shy was airlifted out of the canyon after falling and hitting his face on a rock, breaking at least one tooth and badly cutting his face. Once he was airlifted out, Cece and Stef had to complete the loop hike so that they could bring the raft left at Shinumo Wash downstream.

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