Garnet to Blacktail Canyon and Galloway Camp

Day 11 was characterized by spectacular light and clouds, and a hike through the slot-canyon-like Blacktail Canyon. We had some nice rapids but the major one of the day, Bedrock Rapid, was a walk-around as it was too shallow and rocky for dories to run it with our weight. We had the most spectacular sunset of the trip that few saw, followed by a mad scramble to pitch a tent as lightning flashed in the distance. No rain came, except for about 15 minutes of light drizzle at 4:45 AM. But that is ahead of this Day 11 story.

Here is an overview of Garnet Camp in the morning. The boats are between the rocks to the left. The kitchen is behind the bushes to the left of the circle of chairs. A number of pad and tent sites stretch out to the right. Across the gully to the left out of sight are some more pad sites. The photo is a 3-shot panorama. Can you tell your Schist from Granite across the river?


Here are two more photos of Garnet, both multi-shot pans. I cloned Roger out of the dory one; I’ll send him the version with him in it if requested.



Nick and Roger studied the chart, and trip leader Nick helped break camp.



Lew had to park his dory upstream because the beach wasn’t big enough to hold it. The reflections and colors this morning were great.



The clouds forecast a great day on the river. Now to just get everyone moving…


This was a day for nice scenes along the river and very interesting clouds.



Emma showed her rowing prowess while Duffy took it easy, again. On the right we approach our morning hike at Blacktail Canyon.



We hiked to the “dead end” of Blacktail Canyon and turned back, although Emma tried to scale the end wall. On the way back Roger discussed some of the geology of the area.


Here are some more photos of Blacktail Canyon. In the top pair the dead end is to the left. For scale, the large rock is 10-15 feet in diameter. The canyon continues with a left turn in the right photo.





As we traveled down river we experienced great light, reflections, and clouds. Finally we pulled out above Bedrock Rapid at 3:30 PM to scout it.





The boatmen scouted and decided in a few seconds that it was too rocky for our weight, so we walked. It then took them another 10 minutes to decide what route they might take. Roger ran it first and quickly loaded his boat at the end of the rapids.



We watched as Duffy and Nick took on some water coming through.



Here is a view at the bottom of Bedrock Rapid, and a shot of Stephen and Tony watching the action.



We pulled into Galloway Camp around 4:15 PM. I put down my ground tarp and laid things out to dry — a daily procedure. I hung a clothesline, for the first time, because tomorrow was going to be a layover day so the clothesline could stay up for two nights. I photographed what was looking like a potentially good sunset.



Suddenly I heard Roger yelling “Jim, Jim, Jim” from down by the river at the base of Galloway Canyon. Stephen, who had set up his site nearby, and I hurried down with cameras, but I left my tripod behind. When we reached Roger expecting to see a fish or something, he pointed behind us. The sun was lighting up a butte above the canyon in a spectacular fashion. I shot the two photos below handheld at ISO 800. The second is a 4-shot panorama since I left my wide angle lens at my camp site in the rush to get down to Roger. Stephen, Roger, and I were likely the only ones to witness the light show this night.



Six minutes after the above photo was taken the colors had changed as the sun set behind me. Stephen admired the photo Roger took and edited with his iPhone.



Please enjoy the slide show that follow from another fantastic day in the Grand Canyon.