Monday, April 7, 2014

Day 8 - Lava Canyon to Hance Creek

Each morning, before loading the raft, either Izzy or I would pump up the floor. The perimeter tubes rarely needed air but the floor had a slow leak and needed to be pumped up each day. Because of the valve location, we needed to do that before we started getting serious about loading the raft.

The back of the raft (looking forward) had the supply of Diet Coke that fueled our Captain as well as a folding cot and one of the kitchen tarps. As we got closer to finishing the load, several large bags of gear would also go under the net and if the kayak wasn't being used, it would be loaded upside down on top of the cargo net. The back hatch (under the yellow Paco pad) held ammo cans with dry and canned food for days 16-20.

The front hatch held three 20 lb. propane canisters for the kitchen and lanterns as well as a couple small cases. The case holding a marine battery for powering the IT office was yet to go in its place.

In the cockpit (looking aft), three jerry cans for water were on one side with two ammo cans of extra food and an ammo can of personal gear for folks joining the trip at Whitmore Wash on the other side. The ice chest held frozen food food for days 16-20.

The most important piece of gear was in the black tube on the back hatch. That's where Izzy stored her wooden bass flute. Every now and then you would hear native American music wafting though camp in the evenings.

Cece rowed Susie Too again

while Helen joined Craig in the Flavell II, hoping to get pictures of Susie in action.

We ran Lava Canyon rapid (class 4) right after camp, and Tanner rapid (class 4) three miles later.

We stopped to scout and film Unkar Creek Rapid (class 6). Nate (video), as well as Dave and Izzy (photos) walked well down the rapid to where they thought they could get the best photos, especially of the wood boats. I stayed at the top with the remaining rafts.

Tony, with Pam Mortenson in the high-priced "view" seat went after Robb to set up safety at the bottom. Tony's line was just right of the center of the tongue and looked to be dry, at least for the top portion that I could see.

Cece in Susie Too ran just left of Tony's line, catching more of the wave train but seeming to stay dry as far as I could see.

Craig and Helen in the Flavell II caught more of the wave. I'm betting Craig was protected by the splash guard and suspect Helen got soaked and had plenty to bail at the bottom.

After Unkar and a stop for lunch, we drifted on down to Nevills Rapid (class 6) which we read and ran without stopping.

Camp for the night was just above Hance Rapid on river left. This camp is popular both with river trips and with hikers. I chose to go the simple route, foregoing the tent so that I could watch the stars.

We were settling in when the moon rose over the cliffs upstream from our camp. Hoping for an earlier start tomorrow morning since we have a bunch of biggies coming up.

We're on the groover team today. Picked a nice spot not far from camp with a great view of the river. Nothing like a great view to enhance groover time!


  1. Really enjoying your log of events. Following along on the HRBA blog, also. I can only imagine what an experience this must have been.

    1. Glad you're enjoying it. It really was a very special opportunity to see the canyon from a different perspective and watch Susie Too in her element. I'm hoping that Helen gets the rest of her blog written but I know she's swamped since she got off the river. Glad you're enjoying her perspective on the Historic River Boats Afloat blog.