Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 13 - 'early music - late beat down''

Anne looks over camp and watches the sunrise up the canyon

I wake early and can hear the guitar playing. I open the tent and look out. Way up high above the camp on the hill top Antoine is sat playing his guitar. The sun is shinning brightly ahead and there is a lot less wind. It's only 7.30am but it is already an awesome day. I've been meaning to wash some clothes for a few days especially since our hikes/runs in phantom ranch and deer creek. I wash some clothes and put together a make shift washing line with Chuck. Then have a quick shower (wipes) , shave and hair wash on the side of the raft.  Feeling fresh and clean for the first time in 9 days I then play football with Antonine and Anne and within minutes i'm sweating and have fallen in the sand!
Time to get clean
Shower time canyon style
We have a very slow start to getting onto the water, being overtaken by our first group, The Dorys. When we get on we are once again quickly blasting away the miles. It's hard to believe we have been paddling the same river for the last 9 days non stop eddy line boils and whitewater and we have only just reached the halfway point. Surreal!
New Friends
We stop in an awkward little eddy line, on the inside corner of a bend halfway down a grade 4 rapid, for lunch and too explore another awesome side canyon and creek. This time it's dry suits on and proper canyoning/ exploring. Unfortunately Robs hurt his ankle during the eddy attainment, crushing his foot between the raft and the bank. He's ok but hobbling a lot. We climb, scramble, salmon slide and jump our way along the Mata Creek for 2 hours before continuing on our way. 
Claire and Chuck exploring the canyon

Canyon adventures
Excited and distracted by the creek we relax as we come across our final G6 of the day. Chatting with Chuck as we approach the rapid she mentions that we need to avoid the middle of this rapid as it contains a big hole. As we get closer we see the rafts disappear down the run and we see the boys clearly signaling for us to go down the middle on this one! Thinking we must have been mistaken we head for the middle line and  an easy tongue leads us down past a big wave on the left and then bang! I hit the massive hole at the bottom in the middle. I roll up and look back to see Chuck hit it to. She disappears, reappears and then surfs out the massive hole. We laugh and reflect on the rapids as we watch the boys head left and easily miss the hole! Turns out later that Scout had seen the top of the rapid. Given the signal then walked further downstream and only the. Seen the massive hole. JB and the Frenchies raft had also ran straight through the hole. Luckily everyone came out safe and even better it was all on film.

Definatly not the best line!!!
Not long after we arrive at our camp for the night. We are not the only ones here. 'Last Chance' as its appropriately named is the last campsite before Havasu Canyon. We join 3 other groups and set up camp amidst the trees and rocks at the bottom of the opening. One of the members of Toms group pops over with freshly baked corn bread for us and we watch back on the video and reflect On another amazing day in the canyon.  We find out more about the canyon, Tom Martin the legend Grand Canyon rafter (who's spent the equivalent of over 3 years in the canyon doing over 60 Trips!) and loads of other exciting canyons, climbs that are around and about us.
Scout takes some amazing photos as its almost a full moon and once again the whiskey comes out. Before we know it its 10.30pm and well and truly time for bed!

' What is there to see and do today?' JB
'Not alot' Rob
The magnitude and size of the side canyon