a r i z o n a  &  u t a h  2 0 0 9


Grand Canyon dory trip, April 14-May 2, 2004

Kathleen and I spent 19 days traveling 280 miles down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  The six 17' wooden boats we rode in are called dories.  We also had three baggage rafts to help carry our supplies and gear.  This particular trip was significant for a couple of reasons:  This year marks the 40th year of operations for Grand Canyon Dories.  It also marks the 35th year for O.A.R.S. - the parent company of Grand Canyon Dories.  To commemorate this occasion we had the honor and privilege of traveling the length of the Grand Canyon with the founder of Grand Canyon Dories, Martin Litton.  Martin is 87 years old, is an acclaimed environmentalist credited with helping to save the Grand Canyon from two proposed dams, and rowed most of the river on this trip - including Lava Falls, the fiercest rapid of them all.  Also joining Martin and us for this celebration was George Wendt, owner of O.A.R.S.

Participants on the entire 19 day, 280 mile trip were:  Doug & Kathleen from Seattle; Pal & Fritz from Meadow Vista, CA; Mike & Kathy from Independence, CA; Frank from Moreno Valley, CA; Letty from New Orleans; Cosette & Duane from Independence, MO; and Vernita from Kansas City, MO.

Traveling 187 river miles in 16 days (from Lees Ferry to Whitmore Wash) were Devon from Woodland Hills, CA; and Pat & Dennis from Golden, CO.

Joining us for the first six days and 87 miles (Lees Ferry to Phantom Ranch) of the adventure were: John & Mary from Oakland, CA; Jim & Melba from Hallettsville, TX; and Harriet from San Francisco.

At Phantom Ranch we picked up Hope & Clark from Cleveland; Beth from Denver; Lee from Tacoma, WA and his daughter Chris who lives near and works in Mt. Rainier National Park.  Also joining us at Phantom Ranch was O.A.R.S. owner George Wendt.  They were part of our trip for 10 days and 100 miles before riding a helicopter out at Whitmore Wash.

Joining our trip at Whitmore Wash for the final 3 days and 92 miles of the journey was Roger from Methuen, MA; Anne from Concord, MA; Kathleen from Palo Alto, CA; Kathleen's son Paul from Lauderhill, FL; and Bill and his son Kurt from Boston.

Also on our trip was Kevin and Kurt, writer and photographer respectively for Outside Magazine.  Their article appears in the June 2005 issue of the magazine here.

The amazing boatmen on our trip were: the incomparable Martin Litton from Portola Valley, CA; Bronco Bruchak (our Trip Leader) and Rondo Buechler - both from Mesa, CO; Ote Dale, Duffy Dale, Tim Dale & Curtis Newell- all from Flagstaff, AZ; Eric Sjoden from Whitefish, MT; Ryan (Howdy) Howe from Big Sky, MT; John Blaustein (J.B.) from Berkeley, CA; and George Wendt from Angels Camp, CA.  It goes without saying that aside from the natural splendor of the canyon, they make the trip special - through their knowledge of the canyon - it's history, geology, flora and fauna; by their amazing wilderness cooking skills; and most importantly, by their friendship and camaraderie.  They are all amazing people and we were lucky to have them as our guides and companions along the river.

Here is what we saw on our adventure:

Note:  These are extremely small and low-resolution photos compared to the originals.  If you are interested in obtaining high-quality copies of any of these photos, please contact me to make arrangements to have them emailed or snail-mailed to you.

A further note on photographic equipment.  These images were for the most part shot using a Canon D-60 digital SLR camera using primarily a Canon EF L 17-40mm lens.  Other lenses used were a Canon EF 28-135mm IS and a Canon EF 75-300mm IS.  Some photos - particularly those shot from within the boats - were taken with a Canon PowerShot S400 digital camera housed within a waterproof case.  All images have been resized and in many cases retouched using Adobe PhotoShop.

Click on an image to see the full-size view.  Use your browser's 'back' button to return to this page.

Martin Litton makes final preparations aboard the Sequoia prior to departure from Lees Ferry.

Kathleen is ready for her second Grand Canyon Dory trip in as many years.

Once underway we pass the Vermillion Cliffs on the right as we begin our descent into the Grand Canyon.

Getting ready to pass under Navajo Bridge.

The old (top) and new (bottom) spans of Navajo Bridge. The old bridge is for pedestrians sightseeing.

A condor soars near the bridge. Note the tags on the wings.

Looking back upstream at 10 Mile Rock, which appropriately is 10 miles downstream from the launch at Lees Ferry.

The boats pull into the beach for our first night's camp at Hot Na Na Wash.

'Nuff said.

Dry bags (or 'white bags').

A portion of our mighty fleet.

Sandstone at Hot Na Na Wash.

Checking out the first 'real' rapid of the Grand Canyon, House Rock Rapid.

Martin scouts House Rock Rapid.

Kathleen, Harriet and Devon look over the rapid at the scout.

Bronco and the Yampa prepares to run House Rock Rapid. On board with Bronco is Pal, Fritz, Kevin and Vernita.

The Yampa negotiates House Rock Rapid.

Eric and the Virgin in a trough in House Rock Rapid. In addition to her boatman, the Virgin today carries Pat, Dennis, Duane and Cosette.

John Blaustein (J.B.) negotiates his raft through House Rock Rapid.

John is the author of The Hidden Canyon, a photography book that has defined a Grand Canyon river trip for over 25 years.

The stern of the Dark Canyon, Ote Dale's dory.

Slime covers a pool in a grotto in North Canyon.

Frank, Doug and Bronco enjoy the shade of North Canyon.

A big horn sheep looks over our lunch stop at North Canyon.

Approaching Indian Dick Rapid (also known as Native American Richard). See if you can spot the topographical feature that lends the spot it's name.

Devon and Letty enjoy the fruits of Ote's labor as she rows the Dark Canyon through the Marble Canyon section of the Grand Canyon.

Our camp for the second night at Cave Springs.

I've found the cave - now where are the springs?

Looking across the Colorado River from camp at Cave Springs.

J.B., photographer and boatman.

Relaxing at Cave Springs camp.

Duane, intrepid river runner and one of Martin's first customers in 1971.

Duane also has the distinction of having been on the trip Edward Abbey chronicles in John Blaustein's book The Hidden Canyon.

Martin Litton, boatman, founder of Grand Canyon Dories, environmentalist, and story-teller. Not necessarily in that order.

Frank, Mary & John enjoy making new friends along the river.

Ote Dale, boatman, artist, mother and all-around cool woman (not necesarily in that order).


Eric (boatman of the Virgin) blows the conch to call us to dinner.

The view from camp.

Martin at the oars of the Sequoia.

Stanton's Cave. Prehistoric floods deposited driftwood in the cave, even though it lies hundreds of feet above the current river level.

Sedimentary rock formations near South Canyon.

The Virgin and the Shoshone float down past South Canyon.

Vasey's Paradise. Vasey's Paradise is nourished by a large spring that flows from the side of the canyon wall.

Looking back upriver towards Vasey's Paradise.

Harriet and Letty enjoy Eric's boatman skills aboard the Virgin.

Approaching Redwall Cavern, formed when the pre-dam river carved away at the limestone during flooding episodes.

Our fleet beached at Redwall Cavern.

Looking out towards the river from the back of Redwall Cavern.

Another view from inside Redwall Cavern.

More of the interior of Redwall Cavern.

Duane attempts to get a word in edgewise with Rondo aboard the Shoshone. Also onboard are Cosette and Vernita.

Fritz and Pal enjoy riding Duffy's dory, the Paria. Duffy's mom is Ote, making our trip a family affair.

Martin rows the Sequoia through Marble Canyon.

The Marble Canyon section of the Grand Canyon.

The Bridge of Sighs.

Design on the back of the Virgin.

Martin shares the story of how he helped to stop the construction of the Marble Canyon Dam in the mid 1960's.

A pile of tailings from test holes bored by the Bureau of Reclamation can be seen in the upper right corner of the photo.

More from Martin's discussion of the proposed Marble Canyon Dam.

Bronco listens to Martin's talk.

Martin Litton.

Marble Canyon.

Ancient bridge used by Anasazi to travel between the river and the rim.

Looking upriver from above our camp at Eminence Break, river mile 44.

Prickly Pear cactus in bloom.

Looking down upon our camp at Eminence Break.

The view downriver from Eminence Break camp at first light.

Dawn from camp at Eminence Break.

Floating downstream towards Saddle Canyon.

Martin rows the Sequoia between Eminence Break and Saddle Canyon.

Marble Canyon.

Toad in grotto at Saddle Canyon.

Saddle Canyon.

John gets an assist up to the grotto in Saddle Canyon.

The grotto of Saddle Canyon.

Enjoying the cool quiet of the Saddle Canyon grotto.

Visible is Mike, Rondo, Kathleen, Tim, Eric, Ote, Curtis (red hat), Duffy and Bronco.

Below the Saddle Canyon grotto.

Heading downriver at approximately mile 50.

Doug rows the Virgin between Saddle Canyon and Nankoweap.

Hanging out at the graineries at Nankoweap.

This is one of the truly special places within the Grand Canyon.

Nankoweap Wall.

Kathleen and Doug enjoy the afternoon at Nankoweap.

Maybe this will be our Christmas card this year...

Duffy rows Kathleen, Doug and Frank (Little Yellow Riding Hood) downstream from Nankoweap towards the Little Colorado River.

Beamer's cabin along the Little Colorado River.

The Little Colorado River. Due to high concentrations of calcium carbonate in the water, the stream takes on a light-blue tint.

Fishery biologists explain their work to our group.

The Little Colorado River.

The Little Colorado River.

The confluence of the Little Colorado and the Colorado Rivers.

Salt leaches through the layers of Tapeats Sandstone just below the confluence of the Little Colorado and the Colorado Rivers.

Rondo rows Kathy, Devon and Mike in the Shoshone.

Beautiful rock formations of the Grand Canyon Supergroup viewed from a hike along Lava Canyon.

More exquisite rock formations along Lava Canyon.

Ote explains the geology of the Lava Canyon area.

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon serves as Letty's backdrop.

Igneous rocks, (dark colors) and sedimentary rocks (lighter colors) contrast with cottonwood trees along Lava Canyon.

Comanche Point (center formation).

Desert View tower as viewed from camp just above Lava-Chuar Rapid.

The view upstream from Lava-Chuar camp.

Frank waits for the conch to signal that dinner is ready.

Comanche Point and Desert View from Lava Chuar camp.

Evening light on the Pallisades of the Desert and the Shoshone.

There are plenty of strange birds in camp most mornings. Today is no exception.

This morning we awoke to a wild turkey (unfortunately not the kind you can drink) scratching through our kitchen and looking for scraps.

Zuni Point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Bronco rows Kathleen in the Yampa near river mile 71.

Sedimentary rock formations along 'Furnace Flats', an area of the canyon that can get extremely hot during the heart of summer.

Hance Rapid, the first of the major rapids we'll face on our journey.

The tailings from John Hance's asbestos mine can be seen in the upper left corner of the photo.

Camp just above Grapevine Rapid, river mile 81.5.

Harriet, Martin and Kathleen relax after a day on the river.

Devon shows of her "My First Backpack", a gift from Martin who is essentially her Godfather.

Letty and Kathleen aboard the Virgin with Eric rowing through the Upper Granite Gorge.

A Grand Canyon Expeditions 'baloney boat'. Unfortunately, motorized craft are allowed in the Grand Canyon.

Approaching the Kaibab Suspension Bridge at Phantom Ranch.

Enjoying lunch at Phantom Ranch.

Pictured is Pat, Kathleen, Mary, Jim and Letty. Sitting in the background is Melba and John. Mary, Melba, Jim and John will leave the trip here at Phantom Ranch while the rest of us continue down the canyon.

Phantom Ranch, 4750 feet below the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Glad I don't have to hike up the trail tomorrow!

'Dr. Seuss' Century plant leans over the Bright Angel trail as we walk back to the boats.

The Bright Angel Suspension Bridge.

Ote, Frank, Pal, Fritz and the Dark Canyon splash through the tailwaves of Horn Creek Rapid.

A rubber raft from a private Grand Canyon trip negotiates Granite Rapid.

The view upstream from our camp just above Granite Rapid.

Boatman Ryan (Howdy) Howe multi-tasks in camp above Granite Rapid.

John Blaustein (J.B.), Bronco, George Wendt (owner of O.A.R.S.) and Martin enjoy the afternoon in camp aboard the Sequoia.

When was the last time Bronco enjoyed a hot shower? Perhaps the cup is appropriate?

Heading downriver below Granite Rapid but above Crystal Rapid.

Upper Crystal Rapid.

Lower Crystal Rapid and the 'Rock Garden'.

Doug & Kathleen pose in front of Crystal Rapid.

Kathleen & Letty in front of Crystal Rapid.

Crystal Rapid in its entirety.

Floating downriver, happy to be 'ABC' - 'Alive Below Crystal'.

The Powell Plateau looms over the river near mile 105.

Ote plays with Agave plants on a hike above our camp just below Bass Rapids.

The view upriver from the pinnacle above Bass Camp.

Fritz gets between Pat and the edge above Bass Camp.

Devon, Kathleen, Ote and Pal enjoy a rest and the view from the top of the ridge behind Bass Camp.

The boats at rest at Bass Camp.

Evening light on Evans Butte, as seen from Bass Camp.

Walking up Shinumo Creek to view the falls.

Letty in front of Shinumo Falls. Last year we went swimming here, but this morning it's a little too cold for such antics.

Doug in front of Shinumo Falls.

Pal and Fritz at Shinumo Falls.

The Shoshone at the mouth of Shinumo Creek.

'Oh My God! It's Waltenberg!'

J.B. lets Dennis row his raft.

Unburdened of Dennis, Pat enjoys the scenery from the backseat of Ote's Dark Canyon.

Monument Fault, mile 115.5.

Elves Chasm,

Doug prepares to jump into Elves Chasm while Frank tries to get used to the cold water.

Doug splashes down into Elves Chasm.

Frank takes the plunge into Elves Chasm.

The view of Conquistador Aisle from Whimpering Point, mile 119.

Lee, Chris, Ote, Kathleen, Devon, Pat, George and Dennis enjoy the view of Conquistador Aisle.

Conquistador Aisle.

The views are prettier while enjoying a lukewarm Keystone Light.

Camp at Whimpering Point.

First light on the rim above Conquistador Aisle.

Second light on the rim above Conquistador Aisle.

Third light on the rim above Conquistador Aisle.

Fourth light?

Boils in the river. 'Rio Colorado' means 'Red River' in Spanish, but since Glen Canyon dam the river almost always runs cold and green.

Martin in the Sequoia at Blacktail Canyon, looking down Conquistador Aisle.

Pat spans the 'Great Unconformity', where a gap of 650 mllion years exists in the rock strata.

Eric explains the Great Unconformity to our group.

Pat & Dennis in Blacktail Canyon.

Duffy enjoys the peace and tranquility of Blacktail Canyon.

Ote props up a rock in Blacktail Canyon.

Devon in Blacktail Canyon.

Kathleen is about to get sucked into the vortex that is the Great Unconformity.

Devon, a professional singer by trade, sings for us utilizing hte perfect acoustics of Blacktail Canyon.

Frank listens to Devon sing.

Letty taking in the aura of the canyon.

Martin seems mystified with Ote's meditation.

Layers of Tapeats Sandstone in Blacktail Canyon.

More strata in Blacktail Canyon.

Kurt and Kevin, our photographer and writer (respectively) from Outside Magazine take in Blacktail Canyon.

Martin and Kathleen pose in front of Conquistador Aisle.

Dories and Conquistador Aisle.

Pat, Dennis and Hope view Conquistador Aisle from the Virgin.

Letty enjoys the ride aboard Curtis' raft in Conquistador Aisle.

The Virgin floats down Conquistador Aisle.

The canyon at mile 127.

Dark Canyon parked for lunch just below Nevill's Nemesis Rapid. After the soaking he received we renamed the rapid Dennis' Nemesis.

Martin's Navy approaches Specter Rapid, mile 129.

The boats parked upstream of Bedrock Rapid.

Due to the water level and the nature of the rapid, clients walked around the rapid while the boatmen ran their dories through empty.

Eric takes the Virgin through Bedrock Rapid.

Eric in Bedrock Rapid.

Behind Eric you can see water on the other side of the island. Conventional wisdom is to never go 'left at Bedrock' unless you know what you're doing and you're in a rubber raft.

Rondo enters Bedrock Rapid in the Shoshone.

The Shoshone in Bedrock Rapid.

Rondo loves his job.

Martin watches Ote set up for Bedrock Rapid.

Ote's boat must be dirty since it needs another boat wash.

Ote pushing through Bedrock.

Ote standing on her footbrace pulling on the oars.

The Dark Canyon slides though the right side of Bedrock Rapid.

Bronco enters Bedrock Rapid.

Bronco and the Yampa in Bedrock Rapid.

Tim slides the Sequoia through Bedrock Rapid.

Duffy brings the Paria through Bedrock.

Duffy makes it look easier than it is.

Ruins of an Anasazi storage area in Stone Creek Canyon, river mile 132.

Grotto near the head of Stone Creek, about 3 miles from the river.

Devon poses in the grotto.

Kathleen in the Stone Creek grotto.

Doug holds up the canyon wall in the Stone Creek grotto.

Stone Creek grotto.

Wall texture in the Stone Creek grotto.

Scarlett Monkeyflower along Stone Creek.

Looking down on Tapeats Rapid and the junction of Tapeats Creek with the Colorado River.

This was the first portion of a 9 mile hike up Tapeats Creek, then up the Thunder River, then across the Surprise Valley, and then back down Deer Creek to the Colorado River.

Tapeats Creek.

Taking a much needed break at the base of the Thunder River falls.

Thunder River falls.

Thunder River is a major spring that bursts from the side of the limestone walls.

Thunder River is one of the few instances where a river flows into a creek.

Looking east from the top of the climb to Surprise Valley.

Looking west across Surprise Valley, approximately 2000 vertical feet above the Colorado River.

Looking east across Surprise Valley.

The 'patio' at Deer Creek.

Deer Creek narrows.

Ouzels play in the falls at the patio at Deer Creek.

Deer Creek.

Anasazi hand prints within the Deer Creek canyon.

The Anasazi believed that one's spirit jumped across Deer Creek at death, moving from one realm to the next.

Sedimentary layers within Deer Creek Canyon.

Deer Creek.

The view East from the top of Deer Creek Falls.

The Colorado River and our boats waiting for us below.

Eric enjoys the air conditioning at Deer Creek Falls.

Evening light looking downstream at mile 137.

Seagulls fly past the rock walls near mile 137.

Boats tied up at Pancho's Kitchen Camp, mile 137.

Camp at Pancho's.

Hope and Clark.

Lee & Chris.

Kathy & Mike.




Tapeats sandstone layers above Pancho's Kitchen.

George shares his river-running experiences.

Our boatmen pose for photos under the overhang at Pancho's Kitchen.

Our boatmen hope for an endorsement deal from Smokers oars.

Kathleen and Doug with Martin Litton.

Martin, ever the prankster, toys with Frank.

Vernita and Martin.

Anasazi ruins at mile 137.

Layers in the overhang at mile 137.

Kathy and Mike enjoy the shade while contemplating the history of the canyon.

Ancient Anasazi storage room.

Fritz learns about the geology and anthropology of the canyon.

These giant rubber 'baloney boats' belong to a science expedition we occasionally ran into along the river.

At about mile 141 we encountered some backpackers who were attempting to hike along the river on a 100 degree day.

We gave them a lift down to Kanab Creek, saving them hours of miserable toil. We were also nice enough to feed them lunch. These are the luckiest backpackers on the planet!

Mouth of Kanab Creek. Here Maj. Powell ended his second Grand Canyon expedition and hiked up and out Kanab Creek.

The umbrellas keep the hot sun off the decks of the dories, below which much of our perishable food is stored.

Big horn sheep family moves along the canyon wall at mile 145.

Upper Olo camp, mile 145.

Moonrise over Upper Olo camp.

Lee doesn't need a headlamp to see at night.

Downstream of Upset Rapid.

Pulling into the 'harbor' at Havasu Creek.

Letty is worn out from a tough morning of riding in a dory.

The 'harbor' at Havasu Creek.

Havasu Creek.

Havasu Creek.

Desert Canyon Cave Bear.

Havasu Creek.

J.B. negotiates the 'Big Kids Pool' at Havasu Creek.

Travertine deposits along Havasu Creek.

Can you spot the automated monitoring station hidden in this picture?

Havasu Creek.

Ocotillo above Havasu Creek.

Kevin rows the Paria past mile 163.

Duffy and the Paria at mile 163.

Lower Tuckup camp, mile 165.

How many boatmen does it take to cook breakfast?

Tuckup camp, mile 165.

View upstream from Tuckup camp.

National Canyon, mile 166.

National Canyon.

National Canyon.

Frank explores National Canyon.

National Canyon.

Fritz looks for Pal much to Dennis' amusement in National Canyon.

Lee enjoys the shade and peace of National Canyon.

Chris holds up the walls of National Canyon.

National Canyon.

National Canyon.

National Canyon.

The Hualapai Indians are proposing to build a road from the rim to the river through National Canyon.

Devon enjoys a siesta in National Canyon.

Ote gets some down time in National Canyon.

National Canyon.

Mike rows the Dark Canyon while Ote enjoys a break.

The upstream wind was fierce this afternoon, so Ote certainly enjoyed the brief respite provided by Mike.

Martin rows the Sequoia past mile 176.

Ote rows the Dark Canyon past Vulcan's Anvil.

Vulcan's Anvil, remnant lava tube of an ancient volcano in the middle of the river.

Lava Falls, mile 179. Only two rapids in the Grand Canyon are designated 'falls' - Lava and Granite.

Tim, Rondo, Ote, Curtis & Duffy scout Lava Falls.

After beautiful runs through Lava, Rondo, Duffy and Ote form the 'safety boat' for the second group to run the rapid.

Duffy 'ABL' - Alive Below Lava.

Ote sure seems relaxed now that she is ABL.

Rondo waits for the second group to attempt Lava.

Kathleen, Frank, Mike & Chris wait for the second group to run Lava Falls.

Lava Falls. Luckily this photo proves that the photographer is also 'ABL'.

Eric, Cosette, Beth, Kurt & Duane enter Lava Falls aboard the Virgin.

The Virgin emerges from behind Pillow Rock in Lava Falls.

I see a boat but no people...

...now I see people but no boat!

All present and accounted for and 'ABL'.

Martin rows Curtis, Kevin, Ryan & Devon into Lava Falls aboard the Sequoia.

At age 87, Martin is by far the oldest person to ever row Lava Falls.

The Yampa emerges from behind Pillow Rock.

George has a clean run through Lava Falls.

Martin and his elated crew below Lava Falls.

The Virgin below Lava Falls.

Camp at Lower Lava Falls, mile 179.5.

Chris helps herself to the punch after an exhilerating day on the river.

Beth, Kathleen and Chris enjoy being 'ABL'.

Frank's 'ABL' stands for 'Appetizers Below Lava'.

Duffy, Martin and Devon engage in some 'Lava Follies'.

One of the boatmen on our trip admits to loosing more brain cells partying on the beach below Lava Falls than anywhere else.

As some of our friends will be leaving the trip at Whitmore Wash (mile 187), we pose for a group photo before they depart.

Here's the same photo, this time with Doug in it.

(Due to the restraining order, Doug and Pal can't be in the same photo at the same time.)

Beth, George, Hope & Clark depart in the Paria while Bronco prepares to push off in the Yampa with Dennis, Pat, Chris, Devon & Lee.

Happy trails, friends!

Hell's Hollow, mile 182.

Martin and the Sequoia on their way to Whitmore Wash.

Martin and the Sequoia.

Martin and the Sequoia.

Mile 183.

Martin rows the Sequoia past mile 184.

Basalt columns along the river at mile 185.

Looking downstream towards Whitmore Wash, mile 187.

View downstream from Whitmore Wash.

On the beach at Whitmore Wash.

Here we meet the six joining our trip who have just been helicoptered in while the nine who left us were being helicoptered out.

Anasazi pictographs at Whitmore Wash.

Boats and beach at Whitmore Wash.

Y.T.D. (Young Tim Dale) clutches his newly found seat cushion on the beach at Whitmore Wash.

During the windstorm the previous night, the seat cushion had been blown out of the boat and into the river. Duffy found the cushion in an eddy on his way downstream. This made Y.T.D. very happy.

Curtis rows the Shoshone while Kathleen does some boat maintenance.

Vernita and Cosette enjoy the shade provided by Ote's umbrella aboard the Dark Canyon. Frank toughs it out.

Mile 193.

Frank, Ote, Cosette & Vernita glide through mile 193 in the Dark Canyon.

Parshant Wash, mile 199.

A (bath)room with a view. Our toilets are known by several names - 'the unit', 'the groover', 'J.B's tent stakes', etc.

Lizard on rock at camp, mile 202.

Cliffs above camp, mile 202.

Pictographs at mile 202.

'Scorpion' pictograph, mile 202.

Eric discusses the geology of the canyon at mile 202.

Kathy, Bronco, Anne, Roger and Kathleen 2 listen to Eric discuss the area's geology and history.

Mike listens to Eric's talk.

Kathy enjoys the breeze and the shade of camp at mile 202.

Rondo loves his job.

Rondo and Bronco watch 'boatmen's TV', otherwise known as playing with harvester ants.

Camp, canyon, and river at mile 202.

Camp and canyon, mile 202.

Ote talks about plant life on a pre-breakfast 'coffee hike' at mile 202.

I can't remember the joke, but I'm sure it was funny. 'Coffee hike' at mile 202.

Mile 205.

'Baloney boat', just above Granite Park, mile 209.

Ote smells the Sand Verbena, an especially fragrant flowering plant found in the canyon.

Kathleen, Mike and Kathy enjoy the view from Granite Park.

Trailing Four O'Clock.

Ancient willow tree at mile 209.

Legend has it that Indian leaders met under this tree to discuss how they were going to avoid being rounded up by the U.S. Cavalry in the late 1800's.

Martin adrift in a sea of rubber.

While having lunch an O.A.R.S. raft trip deadheading out of the canyon (all their passengers had flown out at Whitmore Wash) shared the rest of their beer and booze with our trip.

Mile 211.

Pumpkin Spring, mile 213.

Flowers, Shoshone, mile 215.

Field of Teddy Bear Cholla on bench above Point Camp at mile 222.

Looking North (upriver) from bench above Point Camp, mile 222.

Pal & Martin at Point Camp.

Pal, Martin & Fritz, Point Camp.

Fritz breaks another chair at Point Camp.

Fritz attempts to blow the conch signalling dinner is ready...

...but fails miserably, much to our delight.

Kurt, Bill, Roger & Anne enjoy the fire at Point Camp.

Frank relaxes around the fire while Rondo attempts a beer commercial.

Now we're camping!

Tim reads a story while we sit around the fire.

Morning light viewed upstream from Point Camp.

Morning coffee club with Kathleen, Kathy, Mike, Martin & Pal.

Ote leaves us so she can attend an important family event.

Goodbye, Ote! Thanks for all you did for us on this trip!

Diamond Peak, mile 224.

Rondo entertains Vernita, Letty, Kathy & Mike aboard the Shoshone.

Rondo loves his job.

This is Rondo's favorite spot to take a drink of water in the whole Grand Canyon.

The Paria, Virgin, and Sequoia approaching Diamond Creek, mile 226

Bronco and Duane aboard the Yampa, just above Diamond Creek.

Approaching Diamond Creek.

The best thing about Diamond Creek is being below Diamond Creek.

Mile 228.

Travertine Falls, mile 230.5.

Our fleet - minus one dory (Ote and the Dark Canyon) and one raft (J.B.).

Travertine Falls.

Letty soaks in Travertine Falls.

Travertine Gardens, mile 231.

Honeymoon Rapid, mile 232.

The boat-eating 'fangs' of Honeymoon Rapid.

Martin discusses the fight against the once-proposed 'Bridge Canyon Dam' at its site at mile 235.

Preparing to run our last rapid in the Grand Canyon, Bridge Canyon Rapid, mile 235. Below here all rapids are submerged under the water of Lake Mead.

Buoy at Separation Canyon marks the limit of upstream motorized travel.

Bronze cenotaph marks the location where three of Powell's party left the trip at Separation Canyon - never to be heard from again.

Conventional wisdom holds that the three were murdered by Mormons once they reached the rim.

Separation Canyon.

Fluted schist below Separation Canyon, mile 240.

The 2 rafts and 4 dories are tied together and the combined barge is given an engine for motoring through the 40 miles of slack water of Lake Mead.

On our last day on the river a jet boat arrives to transport us the remaining 40 miles of our journey.

Our boatmen wave farewell as we depart on the jet boat.

A private raft trip camped along the river, mile 246.

The river has turned back to it's natural reddish-brown color as it stirs up sediments from the bottom of Lake Mead.

Vestiges of tramway used to transport bat guano from bat cave 800' above the river to canyon rim.

Like most mining operations within the Grand Canyon, the enterprise failed.

Frank looks relieved after discovering the bathroom aboard the jet boat.

Suddenly the canyon walls drop away at mile 276.

Rounding the corner at mile 276.

Looking back at the Grand Wash Cliffs, marking the end of the Grand Canyon.

Another view back at the Grand Wash Cliffs. The slot in the center of the cliffs is where the canyon ceases to exist.

'Bathtub ring' evident around Lake Mead.

Dories awaiting their next trip at the Grand Canyon Dories boathouse in Flagstaff.

Kenton Grua's Emerald Mile, hanging from the wall of the Flagstaff boathouse.

In 1983 Kenton 'Factor' Grua - along with Rudi Petscheck & Steve Reynolds - rowed the entire 277 mile length of the Grand Canyon in 36 hours, 38 minutes, and 29 seconds.

If this looks like something you'd like to try for yourself,

book your trip now through O.A.R.S. at


Home | ESD Standardized Testing Opt-Out | c h r i s t m a s  2 0 0 6 | c h r i s t m a s  2 0 0 8 | c h r i s t m a s  2 0 0 8 | c h r i s t m a s  2 0 0 9 | c h r i s t m a s  2 0 1 0 | c h r i s t m a s  2 0 1 1 | c h r i s t m a s  2 0 1 2 | c h r i s t m a s  2 0 1 2 | j o h n  w e s l e y ' s  1 s t  y e a r | j o h n  w e s l e y ' s  3 r d   y e a r | j o h n  w e s l e y ' s  3 r d  y e a r | j o h n  w e s l e y ' s  4 t h  y e a r | j o h n  w e s l e y ' s  5 t h  y e a r | j o h n  w e s l e y ' s  6 t h  y e a r | j o h n  w e s l e y ' s  7 t h  y e a r | j o h n  w e s l e y ' s  8 t h  y e a r | j o h n w e s l e y ' s 9 t h y e a r | j o h n  w e s l e y ' s  1 0 t h  y e a r | Disney Cruise Lines through the Panama Canal! | Disney Cruise Lines through the Panama Canal! | j o h n ' s  p h o t o s | 2 0 1 2  M T Y A A  M a r i n e r s | 2 0 1 3  M T Y A A  L i o n s | 2 0 1 3  M T Y A A  F a l l  B a l l | 2 0 1 4  M T Y A A  R e d  S o x | T e a m  H o t  W h e e l s | v i s i t o r s  t o  a l a s k a | m o t o r r a d | v i s i t o r s  t o  a l a s k a | v i s i t o r s  f r o m  a l a s k a | g o r g e  c o n c e r t s | S C I  a t  h o r n i n g ' s  h i d e o u t | N W S S  a t  h o r n i n g ' s  h i d e o u t | l u n a r  e c l i p s e | s u n  p e a k s | a d v e n t u r e s | a r i z o n a  &  u t a h  2009 | a r i z o n a  &  u t a h  2 0 0 9 | g r a n d  c a n y o n  2 0 0 3 | CPC

This site was last updated 08/15/07