Parashant to Pumpkin Springs and Mile 220 Camp

Our journey through the Grand Canyon was almost over. Twenty-one miles today to our last campsite of the trip.

It drizzled lightly at 5 AM. I spent some time before and after our breakfast of egg inside garlic bread photographing near the end of Parashant Wash.

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Stephen and I waited for the others to assemble. While waiting I took a photo of the beach just downstream of where we made camp. We pushed the dories off the beach that had grown in size overnight and floated out into the morning sun.

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We ran some rapids, floated other times, and passed some impressive lava walls.

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Shortly after noon we reached Pumpkin Spring and its travertine bowl. Travertine, a form of limestone, is deposited by hot springs, building up and forming interesting shapes. The water is warm and inviting, but it contains very high levels of arsenic, not to mention concentrations of copper, zinc and lead. Definitely not for drinking, and none of us chose to bathe either. Below you can see Tony taking a close look.

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KayLee and Emma kept their distance. The beach at Pumpkin Spring made a great lunch spot.

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While waiting for lunch, I took some photos. The pattern formed by a wind-blown plant was interesting, as were the colorful reflections in the river.

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As we were loading our boats after lunch I got a shot of us reflected in Duffy’s glasses.

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We cruised downstream. I noticed Crazy Charlie abandoning his raft leaving it to drift downstream in the slow current as he climbed the ledge above the river. Why? Rather than try to figure it out I readied my camera and made the sequence of a well-executed back gainer seen in the slideshow below. Amazingly Charlie landed not too far from his raft. I guess he knew what he was doing after all.

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On the left is a photo of wet Charlie after regaining his raft and all the essentials for our last night.

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We ran some nice rapids, Stephen got a great bow ride, and we passed more rocks. There were a lot of “rocks” on this trip.

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We made camp at Mile 220 Camp, not a very creative name. Charlie celebrated the night before Halloween in his unique style.

Meanwhile I photographed some interesting rocks embedded in the floor of the canyon.

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Dinner for the last night was filet mignon, carrots, onions, mushrooms, and salad. A fitting ending to a fantastic journey.

After dinner, as the group lingered around the campfire, I was able to make a last image of the Milky Way positioned nicely over our campsite.

At 2:00 AM I made a photo of part of the Milky Way with my point-and-shoot just to prove it could be done. LX7, 24mm(eq), ISO 1600, 8 seconds, and f/1.4.

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Please enjoy the slide show that follows of other photos from Day 17.

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