May 4, 2012
At this point in the trip there are a few pieces of equipment that have proven worthy and some that flat out suck. I keep thinking of that Grandma-type character that was a spokesperson for Columbia Outerwear a few years ago. She would be on the commercials showing some Columbia clothing taking a beating in some extreme weather condition. I feel like I've got the Columbia grandma beat out here in the Grand Canyon. Seventeen days and some things are beginning to break down.
To name a few, my Kelty "Good Nite Airbed" tops the list of SUCK and I know I mentioned it yesterday, but I thought it would make me feel better if I wrote that it SUCKS one more time. I can't describe with words the frustration I have with that piece of equipment. Kelty is a name brand that I've always trusted. Not anymore.
My Pelican Case has done an amazing job of keeping my Nikon D7000 dry and free of sand. My North Face sleeping bag (Cat's Meow) is also a decade old, but continues to keep me warm and cozy at night. Sometimes too warm. Before the trip I purchased a Patagonia "Nano Puff" jacket with Primasoft insulation. It's not waterproof, but the dang thing stuffs into its own pocket down to the size of a softball and only weighs a few ounces. It's proven plenty warm during chilly mornings and is beyond comfortable and durable. It's my new favorite all around jacket. I really need to create a list after this trip of what works and what doesn't. That way if there's ever a 4th river trip for me I'll have the list to remind me!
Today we paddled 20 miles! It took all day and we only stopped once for lunch. We passed up the popular Matkatambia and Havasu stops. Athena was really disappointed about Havasu and it was even worse that when we passed it there was not one boat there yet and the water coming out of the side canyon was a beautiful blue, kind of like the Little Colorado. We've all seen Havasu before except Athena and I kind of suspect that Butch and Bob were dead set on avoiding it from the start of the trip. I can't blame them as it's pretty much a mandatory stop on commercial trips so they've both seen it hundreds of times. Robert, Athena and I took turns rowing and passed the time playing silly games that you might play on a long road trip. We also drank a bunch of beer when we realized that our supply now is more than we'll ever drink during the rest of the trip.
I'm going sans-tent again tonight! Last night was the best sleep I've had in weeks on this borrowed air mattress that doesn't leak and leave me laying on rocks. It's also warmer outside at night now and not cloud in the sky so rain chance is low and amazing star gazing is high! The wind is a little annoying, as usual, but I've found a spot that is some what protected. This rock I'm sitting on is getting really hard and dinner is calling! Peace!
Finding out if it is possible to do a headstand on the bow of an inflatable raft in white water after drinking several beers.