Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 20 - 'The best wave in the world'

Despite being shatter from the walk I struggle to sleep and wake up pretty early. We have a super chilled Morning relaxing, chatting and pillow fighting before packing up and setting off on our way.
Scout slowly coming to life
It's super windy and me and Anne are back on the oars. Anne sets of down the river and I get caught by a massive gust of wind and find myself going round and round the massive eddies. Eventually I make it into the flow but the prevailing head wind means I'm still making no progress at all. 
The view down the canyon from Annes raft

The view upstream from Claires raft
 About 2hrs later we arrive at our destination Travison Canyon a mere 4 miles downstream!!! The winds harsh again today and cold. We go exploring the canyon an awesome gulley cut into the valley. It's the weirdest rock I've ever seen super grippy when wet and unbelievably slippy when dry. We use the rope ladders to climb up the first few falls and find ourselves deep in the bottom of a sculpted gully at the base of a beautiful waterfall. The fall's about 40 foot high and we stand around taking photos and taking in the beauty of the place. 
JB at the base of the falls
Before we know it Antonines is off scrambling up the face of the fall. He just runs up the green slimed looking face. Its not long before Andy and Anne see what going on and join him scrambling and climbing their way up the steep, exposed face of the falls. Turns out Travistone rock is renowned for its grippy exterior especially when wet. The guys disappear of into the distance as the heavens open and a storm passes through. Me, JB, Rob and Ted head back to the raft to prepare lunch as Scouts keeps shooting photo and video capturing the magnificants of it all. 
Another incrediable side canyon and falls
Luckily the rain doesn't last long and doesn't cause a flash flood in the valley. Soon we are back on our way again. The weathers pretty terrible and the winds slowing us down loads. It's crazy because today is our last day of whitewater from tomorrow we will be paddling out the remaining miles on Lake Mead. The massive lake that has been created by the Hoover Dam. As we meander down the valley we come across our last rapid 'Suprise'. As we approach we see Rob shouting up ahead and we soon see why, smack bang in the middle of the top of this rippling flooded out rapid is one of the sweetest most perfect surf waves I have ever seen. I look around and everyone's excited. I spin the boat and start to paddle upstream lining up to catch the absolute beauty. I'm lined up perfectly, dropping down with very little speed. I hit it and I miss it, i'm gutted! For two reasons; one I just missed the chance to surf the 18 foot beast of a raft I am currently paddling and two 'i'm in the raft!' and not my fun runner or playboat. Before I have had time to think I am too far downstream to catch the eddy so I have to watch from a distance as everyone else surfs the best wave on the river. 
Scout maximises on the quality of the wave
Oh well! I'm gutted but not too much I am on the Grand Canyon and will be play boating for the next 5 months at some of the best spots in the World I can't really complain. 
The river flattens and rapids end as we head into Lake Mead
An hour or so later we all regroup. We find a great campsite and we spend the night hearing stories from Scout about exactly how sweet the wave was!!!