Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 14 - What a Day

Busy times at Havasu check out the differnece in colours at the Confluence
Clang, clang, clang! 'Time to get up' Rob wakes me and Scout up by bashing a tin pot outside our tent door. I jump as it startles me and Scout slowly stirs. Within no time we are up and ready and on our way again. This time to Havasu Canyon. We wait our turn above the eddy. Havasu Canyon is a very beautiful spot on the canyon and as such has a lot of visitors (relatively speaking). The eddy is only small and today has 18 rafts and 10+ kayaks all waiting to squeeze in and join the fun. We arrive 2nd and pitch up at the edge of the eddy behind a small island. Tom's group is already there. Scout tells Tom and his group that I am the World Champion and quickly the word spreads, before too long everyone knows. Tom asks me to sign his book beneath the picture of a kayaker (former slalom world champion) running Lava falls in a long fibre glass kayak which is pretty cool. In return he signs Rob's guidebook that he wrote.

Swopping signatures
Looking upstream at Havasu

Anne teaches Natalie how to kayak
Beautiful blue water in Havasu Canyon

Havasu Canyon is unbelievable. Crystal blue water formed by the calcium deposits from the life stone rocks meanders it way down the lovey gorge. We hike up 3.5 miles to the lower falls. Every 1/2 mile or so the path croses the river so within no time we are wet again but the cool water is a nice relax from the temperature in the gorge. On the way up Andy dislocates his little toe accidentally kicking a rock whilst wearing his saddles. Luckily Chucks on hand and quickly pops it back into place and tapes it together. We have lunch at the falls, laughing, joking, filming, swimming, jumping. Rob heads off on an adventure up the rapids and we watch the moonshine group arrive. Before long it's time to head on and me and Andy decide to head back down. Everyone else pushes on further up the river. An hour or so later we reach the bottom, after a few scary moments with things moving in the bushes as we walked through/ past along the way.

Chilling in a rock chair

Hiking the canyon
River crossing - keeping my feet dry

JB at Havasu Falls
Nice Relaxing Lunch Spot
Cooling down at the upper falls

At the confluence the moonshine boys lend me a Rockstar and I have chance to have a little play in the blue/brown water. I really enjoy being back in a  play boat albeit it a little big, looping and cartwheeling away. Are another hour or so I jump back onto shore just as Tom's group move on and one of the group a gets her raft pinned 1/2 way  down one of the rapids. Most of the groups already gone and unable to get back up and the raft. Along with her on the raft is her 10 year old daughter 'Natalie' who is already on her third trip down the grand canyon! With no one on hand to help we jump into action. Scout and James take the lead from the shore with Andy and Anne on the rock out crop. Working together they quickly pull the raft free attaching a line to the rafts frame and pulling it towards the shore. It is only after the stuck raft that we all begin to realize that Rob has still not returned or been seen since his adventure up the river. It is now 4.30pm. W also begin to acknowledge that our raft parking may not have been the best and the river level has dropped and we now have both out rafts stuck on a sandbank!

Freestyling at Havasu confluence
Working together we get them free and just as it gets to 5pm and we are starting to put together a plan to go and look for Rob he appears back over the cliffs. Exhausted, shaken, dehydrated but ok! He managed to get the 7 miles up to the Upper Falls before realising the time and running back getting lost along the way. Reunited we quickly load up and push on to the next campsite. It's now getting cold again as the sun is setting behind the canyon walls. The wind has also picked up loads and is blowing spray and sand everywhere. We hit camp which includes and armpit deep wade with the boats. Setting up camp in he strong winds is fun. Ted plays 'tent kites ' and Chuck and Andy make sand angels on the beach.

Tonight's camp is under a massive cliff next to a large stream outflow. Trees rocks fallen / strewn everywhere. Once again everyone's exhausted. We eat have an amazing massage chain. JB's awesome at massage, checkout the incredible reflections on the canyon walls created by  the full moon further down the valley and then bed. Again!

Suncream, massages and friends the key ingredients to a successful trip