It’s 5:45 AM; most of the camp is asleep. The photo below left is lit by the 93% waning gibbous moon. You can perhaps make out stars in the sky.
I got up early to say goodbye to Sandy and Dick. They left with Rondo and another couple who departed unexpectedly to get flown out by helicopter. Mark, Jake, and Kathy will also leave the group today at Phantom Ranch, and five new adventurers will join us.
This is a transition day. We will travel barely 4 miles downstream. We will have an exciting rapids in the afternoon, but much of the day will be spent waiting.
At 8:20 the sun is peeking around the corner upstream.
After breakfast I wandered around the camp photographing the granite (below) and schist.
At 9:45 we finally departed for the quarter mile trip to the boat beach below Phantom Ranch, seen in the photo below. The bridge is the Kaibab Suspension Bridge built in 1928. After lunch we will pass under the newer (1970) Bright Angel Suspension Bridge before picking up five new adventurers plus boatman Lew and Nick’s girlfriend, Cassie.
Stephen and I virtually sprinted up Bright Angel Canyon past Phantom Ranch. We had too little time to explore it as we would like before having to return to the dories by the appointed time of 1 PM.
We picked up Renee and the four Martins and proceeded downstream with Lew now rowing the 4th dory. We cruised through Pipe Springs Rapid, an easy warm-up for the new folks. Then we stopped to scout the serious Horn Creek Rapid. Here are Duffy and Lew pondering the route.
Here is a brief slide show of Roger running Horn Creek.
We stopped at Crystal Camp for the night. I set up camp along the beach with Pat to my left with the nice clothes line and Tony and Nick to my right. I cleverly put some of my things on the rocks and other stuff up against them. This proved to be a mistake since this was the only really windy night we had. Sand blew down from the rocks and covered me and my gear. I had fine sand in my eyes and mouth all night.
I managed to absorb a little geology when I wasn’t taking photos. I learned to not take my schist for granite. I believe in the photo below that the pink rock is granite and the black rock is schist. I hope someone will let me know if this is not correct.
Stephen brought his iPad which was a big hit the whole trip. With electrons supplied mostly by Roger’s PV cells, he was able to show still photos he took each day and also some movies shot by others. Clockwise from Stephen are: Tony, Roger, Nick, Jill, Pat, Stefanie, and Duffy.
Before the moon rose about 30 minutes later at 7:45, I manage to make a 7-shot, 180 degree panorama of the Milky Way. At the top of the image are the cliffs behind me as I face the camp fire at the bottom of the image. The middle of the image is looking straight up.
Here are a few more photos from the day.