Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Grand Canyon (Day 16) - Whispering Falls

The following post is from the journal I kept of my recent adventure upon a 21-day private river rafting trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon from Lee's Ferry to Diamond Peak (about 230 miles) that took place between April 18th and May 8th, 2012.

May 3, 2012

It's dark. I'm freaking tired. Too tired to even set up my tent. I thought I might sleep on the boat tonight, but nixed that idea because we're camped in the middle of a freaking rapid and the water is not calm or quiet. This camp side is called Olo Canyon. The moon is almost full. It's so freaking bright that I don't need my LED headlamp to see clearly. To hell with it - I'm going to put on my sunglasses and sleep out in the open tonight. Oh, and did I mention I just drank three beers and a bunch of wine? Yup, this post should be interesting. . .

Today was a damn good day! LOoooong, but good. We hiked Kanab Creek Canyon all the way to Whispering Falls. It took more than 6-hours in total and as a result we got to camp super late in the day. I must say that the payoff at Whispering Falls was truly epic and absolutely beautiful. Several times, we almost turned back as it was much further than Bob or Butch remembered. I'm glad we didn't. After some difficult hiking/climbing we reached the place and with perfect timing. It's a long narrow pool of crystal clear water with a trickling waterfall into it and it probably only gets about 30 minutes of sunlight a day. We nailed it perfectly as the sunlight glistened into the pool. Twenty minutes later it was in the shade. Bob and I speed hiked the way out and got a chance to chat it up during a couple of beers at the boat while we waited for the rest of our group to arrive.

I'm so tired right now that I wish I could write more as it was such an amazing hike. On the way in I played a game with the Grand Canyon to see if I could make it all the way to Whispering Falls without getting my trail running shoes wet. This often left me way behind the group, but I would eventually catch up as I jumped from boulder to boulder and took extremely difficult routes rather than traverse the creek 500 times. This is probably why I'm so damn tired. On the way back I blasted through the creek at full speed and it felt so refreshing.
 Kanab Creek
Resting during lunch break at Kanab Creek

 My new bed!
The waterfall at Olo Canyon

Long story short - tonight I'm sleeping on a borrowed air mattress from Robert and Athena, who are sleeping on their cots instead. My air mattress, a Kelty "Good Nite-Airbed" that is made for camping, started leaking the second night of this trip and eventually got to the point of not holding any air last night. During the entire trip I've had to get up every 2-3 hours and manually pump the air mattress back up. It's been a shitty experience, but I've been determined not to let it ruin the adventure. Last night I ended up sleeping on rocks as all my efforts to patch it failed. Tonight I'm stoked to be on a mattress that seems to be holding air just fine. Looking forward to a good night rest!

 Swimming at Whispering Falls
Big Horns that Robert and Athena spotted along Kanab Creek


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