Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 15 - 'Lava' or maybe not

Everyone's shattered this morning and consequently tensions are running high. This is now Day 11 in the canyon without a rest day, morning or afternoon. We've been pushing hard everyday to ensure we reach Diamond Creek in time to drop Chuck off and yesterday's 'rest' day was the most energy zapping day yet. As we set off everyone's confused as to how many days and miles we have left before Diamond Creek. We blast for 5 miles and then everything is called to a stop to check out another side creek.
Claire O chilling on the rafts, stress over, we have an extra day
I'm very confused that we are stopping especially as we have 60 miles to go including the biggest rapid 'Lava' and only today and 2 more days to do it in. Which means 20+ miles each day plus a big rapid! Soon it all becomes clearer we have today plus 3 days! So half the group disappear up the canyon for a climb and explore. I'm knackered so chill in the sun on the rafts with Rob, JB and Andy. We play goldfish and make the most of the break. Over 2 hours later the others return even more shattered than before. A split of the group up the creek brought tensions to a max but also act as the breaking point and after a couple of quick but important discussions every thing's dealt with and everyone is happy again. 
The dynamics of the group are unreal it is insane how well we are all getting on and how well we work as a team especially as most of us didn't know each other before and defiantly haven't travelled together before.
The team
Rob is 'Lance Corporal' soon to be promoted to 'Sergeant' Harris heading up the group taking charge off decisions and ensuring we are keeping to time. 
Rob leading the way
Chuck is the energizer within the group keeping morals high and ensuring everyone is awake and fully enthused. 
Chuck the 'super energiser'
JB is the peacekeeper and career looking after everyone ensuring their is equilibrium and that everyone is ok. 
JB 'Captain Go Pro'
Scout is photographer, filter, battery consumer and water pumper taking some incredible photos that will help us remember the magnitude of this incredible place. 
Scout the floating camera man
Antoine is the musician helping harmonize the camp.
Antoine always playing the guitar, even when sleeping
Andy is the muscles, the power and the entertainment. 
Andy styling Anne's shorts!!!
Anne is the explorer disappearing into the distance at every possible chance running, jumping, clambering up and over every rock and turn to see what can be explored. 
Anne writes up her me moires of another adventure filled day
I am the stores specialist ensuring that we have the correct food and supplies needed to keep energy levels up and going for the duration and of the course the smoker making sure everyone is happy and having fun. 
Claire O' 'where's the ....'
And then there's the Ted Piper! The Real Ted Piper, what more can I say! 
The Real Ted Piper
We make a pretty incredible team and that is a key component in making this an incredible trip.
The Motley Crew
Water wise there's not much to say today. It's all quite mellow, boil filled and flat. We cruise along sections with different groups catching up on story's from their trips. We are passed by our first motorized raft a massive beast of a boat that flys passed with loads of people on board. The motorized trips were only allowed to start trips 3 days after we left Lees Ferry . We expect to see several more soon. We leave the Indian reservation and Havasu area. It turns out that Havasu is one of the only if not the only inhabited creek left in the canyon. A few hours further up from where we turned back there is a settlement where a North American tribe still live. You can go stay there and visit the Havasu people and learn about their history, life and tribe. We pass a couple of groups again and push on albeit a little slower than most days. Covering 16 miles we stop 4 miles above Lava and set up camp on a great beach. After dinner we sit and enjoy Antoine's music. With Andy and Chuck on vocals and wine improvised songs are made up for each member of the group which have us laughing late into the night.
Sunsets on another great day in the canyon