Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.


Last Day (Day 8) on the Colorado River April 30

This was our last day on the river.

Somebody took a photo of me to show where my favorite seat on the raft was.

A couple of days before (on 2 of the few warm days we had) I rode in the very front (twice – once with John and once with Kathy) so I could experience getting really wet ( I did) and feel more of the excitement of the rapids.  It really was exciting.  The first time I was glad to have JJ right behind me so I could lean back on him. The second time the water hit my face really hard and I didn’t have glasses on my face.  I could feel the rush of the water, but I couldn’t open my eyes.  I loved being up there, but the water was too forceful to allow me to hold on with one hand so I didn’t get any photos.

I actually absolutely enjoyed riding up high in the back for the views. I also thought it was much more comfortable than sitting either in the front or on the bottom of the back.  Nobody else seemed to want this spot so I was very lucky.

It was my last day to photograph the rock formations.

I took several views of what I think was Diamond Peak.

There were still a few rapids in front of us and we did  get wet.

This may seem like too many photos, but I wanted to record as many memories as possible.

I needed a close-up of that one.



I think Ken was really enjoying this one.

Even though I was sitting up high, the water splashed the camera.  I am happy that I bought the waterproof camera – especially since my Lumix jammed a couple days ago – probably from the sand.

We stopped for our last chance to pee in the river before we got onto the jet boats.  Okay – probably TMI but I couldn’t resist.

Just before it was time to get off our rafts, Emily read us our last story.  She had told us many stories along the way.

Duffy read the list of the 10 Best Ways to Prepare for a Grand Canyon River Rafting Trip With Grand Canyon Expeditions to us.

10.  One week before the trip, have a yard of sand delivered to your home.  Sprinkle liberally in your bed, dresser drawers, on kitchen and bathroom counters.  Fill your salt shaker, sugar bowl and cereal boxes with sand and use them as usual.  Place garbage can lids of sand in front of  your fans and run them continuously at maximum speed.

9.  After renting a projection TV, illuminate the walls and ceiling of your bedroom with old Dracula movies, especially the snake, spider, lizard and bat infested scenes.

8.  Have your friends form a long line then, systematically pass the entire contents of your home out of the front door and into the back door of your house.

7.  With an industrial size brush and a bottle of bleach, wash, rinse and sterilize the hubcaps of your car thirty minutes after sunrise and immediately after sunset every day for eight days.

6.  With a large meat tenderizer, practice beating beer cans down to the diameter of a hockey puck.

5.  Sit on the hood of your car while riding through the car wash.

4.  Line the bed of your sandals with sandpaper and spend two hours per day on a Stair Master.
3.  Drape the allotted contents of your brown grocery bag on the bushes and rocks in your backyard.  Twice a day practice changing while your neighbors watch.

2.  With twenty- seven friends standing in the shallow end of your swimming pool, practice looking nonchalant as you carry on a conversation and pee simultaneously.

1. Crap in your upstairs waste paper basket, then, with your pants still around your ankles, run downstairs and pee in the tub.

It gave us all a good laugh.

At mile marker 279 Ken took a selfie.

This is what he wrote on his Facebook page.

“Here I am, at Mile 279 — the last river mile — at Grand Wash Cliffs, Ready to say goodbye to the Grand Canyon, and even readier to say hellllllllllo to my first shower in a week! ”

We unloaded the rafts for the last time and loaded everything onto the jet boats.

Our guides all waved good-bye.

I took a final photo of the rock formations.

Then it was the 6 hour ride back to Las Vegas (first in a bus that could make it though the rough road and then the comfort bus.

One more photo of Sue in another geologist t-shirt.

I wrote to Emily and she sent a copy of the poem that Duffy read to me.

Here it is:

Ten Best Ways to Prepare for a Rafting Trip With Grand Canyon Expeditions

10.  One week before the trip, have a yard of sand delivered to your home.  Sprinkle liberally in your bed, dresser drawers, on kitchen and bathroom counters.  Fill your salt shaker, sugar bowl and cereal boxes with sand and use them as usual.  Place garbage can lids of sand in front of  your fans and run them continuously at maximum speed.

9.  After renting a projection TV, illuminate the walls and ceiling of your bedroom with old Dracula movies, especially the snake, spider, lizard and bat infested scenes.

8.  Have your friends form a long line then, systematically pass the entire contents of your home out of the front door and into the back door of your house.

7.  With an industrial size brush and a bottle of bleach, wash, rinse and sterilize the hubcaps of your car thirty minutes after sunrise and immediatly after sunset every day for eight days.

6.  With a large meat tenderizer, practice beating beer cans down to the diameter of a hockey puck.

5.  Sit on the hood of your car while riding through the car wash.

4.  Line  the bed of your sandals with sandpaper and spend two hours per day on a Stair Master.

3.  Drape the allotted contents of your brown grocery bag on the bushes and rocks in your backyard.  Twice a day practice changing while your neighbors watch.

2.  With twenty- seven friends standing in the shallow end of your swimming pool, practice looking nonchalant as you carry on a conversation and pee simultaneously.

1. Crap in your upstairs waste paper basket, then, with your pants still around your ankles, run downstairs and pee in the tub.

My random reflections on this amazing trip in no particular order:

  • I am very happy that I completed this amazing adventure.
  • I sure wish I had not forgotten the waterproof Grand Canyon River Guide with me on the trip because it would have been much easier to do these posts.
  • Better weather would have made it more enjoyable. Emily probably negotiated many of the rapids in in a way that kept us from getting too wet.  It would have been more fun to hit them hard.
  • I think we had to skip several hikes (either due to the weather or an assessment of our abilities). That was a bummer.
  • I also believe we missed  going into some canyons because of the danger of flash flooding.
  • The food they prepared in the dessert was great.
  • I enjoyed the company of the people in our group.
  • Hauling heavy bags on and off the rafts was hard on my body but I needed to do my part to help. This was not good for my body; I came home with sciatica.  Luckily my osteopath has put me back in alignment so I am okay.
  • Emily, Duffy, Mija, and KIrsten were wonderful.
  • By the last day I finally learned how to put  up my cot and break it back down without assistance from Ken, Audrey, and Ann.
  • A part of me wishes that I had done a float trip instead of a motorized trip.  Yet, I think the rapids would have scared the pants off of me and I am not sure I could have taken 16 days in the sand – especially with the problem of keeping a CPAP machine clean.
  • I am one of the relatively very few people in the world who are privileged enough to raft through the Grand Canyon.

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7th Day on the Colorado River – May 29

We woke up to this absolutely peaceful, stunning sunrise on the wall of the Grand Canyon.

Sue wore another geologist t-shirt.

Ken took a photo of Audrey’s feet in the sand just to show to their neighbor kids that she was willing to have her feet in the sand.  Aud doesn’t like doing that.

Mija was securing the  ammo boxes onto the raft.

We were on our way and it was a beautiful day.

The views in the Canyon continued to amaze me.  I took so many photos this day.


Duffy soaked everybody in his raft again.

Another waterfall.

Ken called this photo he took, “Bacon Rock.”

And he took this one of a schist covered with barrel cacti.

Dave is either two fisted drinking or getting ready to throw one of them to us.

Great sites.

We passed by this orange colored barrel looking thing (near mile 213) and Emily said that the water pooled behind it is laced with arsenic.  It is called Pumpkin Springs.

We docked so that some of us could jump off the rock.  Emily said that we would have to be able to swim to a rope and climb up.

Kathy, Emily, and Mija did the jump.

The travertine bowl drips the bitter water into the river.

I just took the photographs but wished I had had the courage to jump.  It was not like me to pass up and adventure.

We still had more rapids.

And more views.


Docking today meant hooking into the rocks.

Today we covered another 37 miles and docked at mile 220.

Our small happy hour group gathered near Audrey’s and Ken’s tent.

I set up my cot to sleep outside but near the tent so I could keep the CPAP machine inside. I was so happy that I was going to be able to sleep outside again tonight.

For our last dinner Duffy cooked steaks.

We also had baked potatoes, salad, and another great dessert.

The pink sky was a treat.

Everybody enjoyed the last supper.

This was the last time we had to wash dishes.

Mija came up to me and said, “You do have a trendy side mullet.  I had not idea what she was talking about.  She said that on the first day, she had told Emily that my haircut was a trendy side mullet but because I had my sunhat on my head, Emily thought that I had my hair pinned up. I must have had my hat off tonight for a while and Mija was so excited to tell Emily that she was right.  I have never heard that phrase and it really made me laugh to hear my haircut described that way.

Emily took us on a walk to see where somebody had marked a high water level from 1993. Emily knows who did this but we won’t say.

Ken Kane sent me this very interesting information about this high water mark.

For anyone who has read The Emerald Mile, this date will ring a bell. 7/1/1983 was near the end of a massive spring runoff that nearly compromised the Glen Canyon Dam. The dam operators sent as much water as possible over and around the dam in order to save it. This caused the runoff into the Colorado below the dam and through its 277-mile course to the Grand Wash Cliffs to reach epic proportions. The runoff ballooned from the normal 12,000 cubic feet per second (about what we experienced during our trip) to the 92,000 cfs noted on the rock.

This rare event inspired the dory Emerald Mile to make a speed run through the canyon at the end of June 1983. The same trip that took us eight days, it did in a little over 36 hours — a record that hasn’t been touched in the 36 years since.

This rock was barely out of the water on 7/1/1983. When we walked to it during our trip it was perhaps 200 yards from the river and 10 feet above it.

This was my last chance to photograph the cacti and flowers.

What a nice ending for this day.  It was a beautiful night for sleeping.

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6th Day on Colorado River – May 28th

One of the first things we saw this morning was Kirsten and Duffy standing on their hands.

I didn’t catch a photo of Kirsten when she was actually walking on her hands.  Amazing.

Of course we had another bag line and Ken photographed us.  By now we were counting down how many more of these we had.

It hasn’t warmed up very much yet but we were in our first rapid.

Sue was teaching us. I think she was talking about what she said was the unconformity.  I think I amazingly remember the word she said, but I cannot explain it other than there are gaps in the intervals of time spans that are represented in our knowledge.

Yep, we were getting wet in the rapids.

Even when the walls of the Canyon are not really colorful, I loved photographing them.

Duffy is certainly getting everybody very wet.

It would have been amazing to have been there when these rocks tumbled down.

I loved the water flowing over these rocks.

More beautiful moments.


Mija was such a jokester.

There is a little kayak in this photo.  It amazes me that it makes it through the larger rapids

I could never do that.

I will likely never be in the canyon again so all these photos will be in my blog to bring back these beautiful, serene moments.

It was a real treat to see these bighorn sheep on the shore in the distance.

Audrey and Sue are having a good time today.

We are on another walk up a slot canyon.  Of course I had to do my favorite thing – take many photos.

This was clearly one of my favorite places.  I loved the rocks and wish I could have taken a few home with me but I had to settle for photos.

I asked JJ to stand under opening in the rock so I could take a photo showing the size.

This was another place where I could have stayed for hours.

It was nap time for Ann and Sue.

We docked at Cove (Mile 173).  We made about 37 river miles today.

We celebrated Linda’s and Mike’s birthdays at dinner tonight.

Duffy sure makes a great cake.

This was definitely a good day on the river and walking around in the canyon..

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5th Day on Colorado River – 4/27

We woke up this morning to a wet day with actual hail – unusual for Memorial Day.  Starting out with the bottom of my pants wet and sandy was not very exciting.

I went down to the river and just washed them off.  We were going to get wet anyway.  Audrey was dressed for the wet and cold…

… as were Pat, Mike, and Liz.

But, wait! Is that sun coming through in the distance?

Not really.

It was Mija’s turn to brush her teeth on the raft…

… and braid her hair.

I don’t know whose hand that was sticking out of the tarp but Liz was clearly wet.

Aud did not look very happy.

Then we ran a rapid.  Sue looks like she is hanging on in Duffy’s raft…

…and Ken looked like he had fun going through that one.

I love these rock structures.

Everybody was pretty cold and the weather looked ominous…


…so we made an early stop.  Kirsten led us in warm up exercises.


Audrey was trying to dry her pants that got wet in spite of the rain pants.  I laughed out loud as I was uploading this photo.


We walked around after lunch and saw these beautiful flowers.

Ken took a great photo of a Sacred Datura rolled-up before opening.

It was a quick lunch and we were on our way again.

Rain or not we had great views of the canyon …



…and rock formations.

If we wanted to fill a water bottle, we had to get onto the edge of the raft.

There must have been some sunshine because this rock formation is slightly reflecting in the water.

I love the pink color in the rocks.

I am pretty confused about where we actually had lunch but I know we must have docked again because we saw more fossils…

…and we climbed up a hill to watch some smaller vessels come through the rapids.


It must have been very exciting (and totally wet) to go through in those small boats.  I know there was a kayak down there but I didn’t have my Lumix with me to zoom in close enough.

We took a walk up the creek-bed through the water (we were wet anyway) to see a small waterfalls.  I think it was Stone Creek Falls .  I love taking photos of the people so I was clicking away…

Panoramas of waterfalls make the water look strange.

I wish I could remember but I think this was Stone Creek Falls.

Wet  and cold were the words for the day.  

Food was served under the umbrella.

In spite of the weather, the views were great.

What a cool cave in the rock.

That passage was a bit narrow.

Ken took a photo of this Pirate Dory.

I may be very confused but I think we also walked to Deer Creek Falls because the time stamp on the photos was different.

Getting back from this one was even wetter.

Bernie and Eliaine were happy even though we were so wet and cold.


We stopped early (after only about 17 miles of river) at about mile 137.  Emily said the campground was called Football Field.

Funny how the sun came out just as we docked.


Most people in our group set up camp pretty close to the water.


Even Emily/Mija and Duffy/Kirsten even set up tents on their rafts.

Ann and I found a pretty secluded spot.


Sun Setting on the rocks was so beautiful. It even reflected into the water.

A great ending to a rainy, cold day.

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4th Day on the Colorado River – 4/26

Taking down our campsites was a  morning activity for all of us.



Ann and I had finished so Ann was helping Bunny who had her own tent.

Kathy had her own tent and was able to quickly take hers down so she had a bit more time.

Stretching was a good thing to do.

Liz amazed me when she did pushups.

We had to be sure we secured the dry bags correctly.

We stuffed several dry bags with tents (3 to 4 in each bag).

Everything had to be brought down to the rafts.

Loading the rafts was made easier when we all helped but it was still a lot of work.

Climbing onto the raft took some work and balance.

We went through 4 rapids before we were almost at Kaibab Suspension Bridge which was built in 1928. You can see it in the distance.

I zoomed in the camera lens to see the people who were crossing the bridge.

I can’t remember what this was but I like the photo.

Duffy and Emily docked the rafts. We were ready to walk up to the bridge.

Filling up our water bottles with water that did not have chlorine in it was a treat.

Audrey, Ken, Ann and I were ready for the short hike to the bridge.


The Kaibab Trail Suspension Bridge was the first span across Colorado in the Grand Canyon… It’s a foot and mule bridge only.  This is the path that we walked to the bridge.

The Kaibab Bridge is also on the outskirts of Phantom Ranch, where many rim-to-rim hikers spend the night. We could have walked from here to Phantom Ranch but we didn’t go there.  I thought about the time Bill, Erin, and I stayed at Phantom ranch after riding the mules down from the South Rim and how I had wished that I had walked down instead of riding.

After crossing the bridge I saw Ken taking a photo of the bridge with the rafts below…


…so I took a photo of him.

 The Kaibab Bridge is over 90 years old, but there is archaeological evidence of indigenous peoples having lived near present-day Phantom Ranch almost 1000 years ago.


Some of us took a lot of photos of the view from the top.

Sue was wearing one of her great geologist shirts.  We were bound to see Schist today.

It was fun to take the short hike to the bridge.  We got to stretch our legs for a bit after riding on the rafts.

We were back to the rapids in less than a mile. I am not sure which rapid this was, but Cher sure was having fun.

I learned from Ken and this photo that this is a Travertine formations. The green in the foreground is vegetation, but the dark green on the cliff is mostly Travertine limestone

Emily often brushed her teeth on the raft.

We just finished the run through the rapid and were waiting for Duffy’s raft.

They sure were having fun.

It must be much more exciting for this small rafts – especially the kayak.

Very shortly we were in another rapid.


I am thinking the rapids must have been Pipe Springs Rapid followed by Horn Creek Rapid.

Sue and Liz were sure enjoying this.

Here comes Duffy again.  We were in calm enough waters for me to take these with the Lumix camera so I was able to use the zoom and get clearer photos.


They sure got wet.

We stopped for another great salad wrap for lunch.

With time for me to take photos of a cacti…

… and for our guides to relax a bit.

Everyday there were more wonderful rock formations.  Oh, Sue, I wish you were here to identify these as I write the post.

I love the way these look like trails through the rocks.  Ken wrote that the wavy lines in this cliff are granite dikes which forced their way within the schist.

Kathy was sure having a great time.

Liz was in her favorite spot on the raft.

The views of the canyon while going through the rapids were awe inspiring.

I love this view of the drop …

…and more rock formations.


Wouldn’t it be fun to do the rapids in this dory?  That is what my brother-in-law, Mel, did as the 3rd trip he took through the Canyon.

I wondered how this great rock just sits there without falling off?

I don’t know how this boat was left on the rocks.

Another day of rafting came to an end.  We unloaded the raft, set up camp, and were ready for dinner.

This was quite the day.  There are not many more beautiful places to eat dinner.

We were camped at mile 120 – Michael Jacobs – and we again hit the sack pretty early.



3rd Day on the Colorado River 4/25

Ken caught a shot of the moon rising over the cliffs.

Audrey, Ann, and Elaine were chipper and ready to begin the day of rafting..

Ken is bringing his “Pee Pot” down to the river to wash.  We each are given one every night to keep near our tent.

Sue was always trying to teach us something about the canyon.  This iwas the chart for the day.

She gave us a lesson on the names of the formations at each level …

…using an anagram.

Then she showed us the anagram that the rafting community uses to remember.

We had to walk in the water to get on the rafts this morning so Nancy Chase was determined not to get her feet wet.

Elaine and I sat together on the raft.

I had a great seat on the raft because I was sitting up high and I just kept taking photos. I was using 2 cameras.  If I was not nervous about getting the camera wet, I used the Lumix.  If it was possible that we may get splashed, I used the Fuji waterproof one.  I think I may be posting some photos for this day out of order.  That happens when I use 2 cameras and cannot upload them until after the trip..    Oh well, they are all great memories of the trip for me.

There was a rapid very shortly after we began our day.  I think it may have been Nankoweap Rapid which can have a drop 25′ over the course of the rapid.  Emily again demonstrated her skill.

Then just a couple miles later was Lava Canyon (Chuar) rapid which was much smaller.

Sue Holmes was her in her regular cherry mood.  The gloves are to protect her hands.

We were just cruising down the Colorado enjoying the sites.

LIz was in one of her favorite seats.


I think these may be limestone layers that rose in Marble Canyon

The ducks were far away and pretty small in this photo, but just for the memory I am posting it.

Emily and Mija got very excited and I  zoomed in the camera lens to see what was exciting them.

It was the robin’s egg blue at the Confluence: where the Little Colorado River flows into the Colorado. Emily said that they weren’t expecting this surprise because they were expecting the water to be mucky.

They docked the rafts and told us that because the water was clear, we were going to be able to take a swim.  A couple of us climbed up the rocks to take some photos.  Ken got a great shot of the confluence.

We had to take photos of each other…

… and desert flowers.

Audrey and I were excited.

We used a variety of clothing choices for swimming.

I am the smallest looking person in this photo. I had to dip down deeper for this photo because I chose to go naked on the top.  The current was strong and Sue Holmes helped me get out of the water.

Ann wasn’t going to go in the water in her clothes but when she found out that I took my top off, she immediately went for it.

Ann surprised me when she swam further out than anybody else had gone.


I read that the turquoise blue color of the Little Colorado was from the high alkaline content and minerals in the water.  We are so lucky that it was not mucky today.  Some of us had to have one final photo taken before we left this oustanding spot.


We continued on down the river.  We were now officially and geologically out of Marble Canyon (which is also in Grand Canyon National Park) and had officially entered the Grand Canyon.

Just past the confluence, Emily told us about the 1956 Grand Canyon TWA-United Airlines mid-air collision.  The FAA was created as a result of this accident.

Very shortly after lunch we stopped for lunch.


I loved what we think was a Desert Spiny Lizard that joined us at our lunch spot.  Ken said it was about 10 inches long.  It hardly moved so it was easy to take photographs.

Our lunch spot had great views of plants and more – including Audrey.

I loved our lunch spot.  After lunch I continued taking many, many photos.  Going over them for this post makes me aware of the variety of the formations.  I love them all.

The people in Duffy’s raft were covered in the tarps as he negotiated the rapid.

The views just kept coming.

Sue stood on the side of the raft to give a talk about the geology.  I sure wish I could remember what she said. There were people on the trip that really could follow all of her lectures.  I was not one of them but I thoroughly enjoyed her.  Sometimes she rode on Emily’s raft and other times on Duffy’s.


How in the world did these branches get stuck in the rocks?

I could see that we were coming to another rapid soon.

This photo might be soon after he came  through a rapid because many of them are still covered up with the tarps.  He must be giving a talk to them.

We sure got wet on this one.  Of course the people in the front were the wettist but it did splash all the way over the bags and soaked us in the back.  I am not allowed to sit up high through these but I hold on with one hand and hold the camera over my head.

I am not sure, but this may be Duffy’s raft just finishing Hance Rapid.  It drops 30 feet in 1/2 mile and was at the start of Granite Gorge.

And here we are getting soaked again at another rapid.

The water was churning.

… and it got us.

Sometimes Emily could maneuver just perfectly and actaly keep us partially dry.

It was time to call it a day at Mile 80 p Grapevine Campsite. I believe we went through 10 rapids today.

We have another great place to put our tent.  We still had some organizing to do.

Kerstin and Duffy are busy working on salad and dessert.

Tonight we had 2 lizards hanging around at the bathroom spot.  They sure aren’t bothered by humans.

They decided that the rocky path to the secluded bathroom had to be moved to make sure nobody would trip over the rocks in the night. So Duffy set up an umbrella to shield the view from the people in line.

So here is how the bathroom works.  They set up a toilet and a large pee pot in a secluded spot (usually with a great view).  The toilet paper is kept in a bag near the wash station.  If the bag of paper is there, we knew not to go up to the toilet. When the paper was returned, we knew the next person in line could proceed.  It was important to pee only (or at least mostly) in the pee pot or in the river.  If that didn’t happen, we would run out of space in the toilet.  What fun.

What a calm, peaceful evening at the end of a great day.




2nd Day on the Colorado River 4/24

Duffy was greeting us this morning with his colorful hat.

Ann was in the tent.  My shoes were near the corner of the tent and still a bit wet.

How many times do you get to wake up to this?

Ann is  getting ready for the day….

… and Ken and Audrey are almost packed up.

I love this photo Ken took of their neoprene socks and shoes.  Quoting Ken, “There’s nothing like slipping into wet neoprene socks and dripply shoes to start the day! ”

Personally the neoprene socks and gloves were one of my very best purchases for this trip.

We all have breakfast together.

I love the duck tape that Sue Tanges gave to Dave to repair his rain suit.

Emily started us off with a story – not a great photo of her but a memory.

Sue started us with lessons.  She gets even colder than I do so she is totally bundled up for the day.

We have loaded the rafts and are ready tp go.

Ken is already taking photos.

We are entering a rapid and are happy to see the sunshine on the rocks ahead.

Here comes Duffy’s raft through the rapids.

They are all bundled-up.

The river must have been very high to wash up whatever is on that rock.

Emily always had such a great attitude.

Ken took a photo of the outboard motor within the raft, inside the rear “donut.”

He also took this photo of Bunny, Pat, and me admiring the “Awe-inspiring, (Ken’s words) sites.

Ken and I both took photos of Vassie’s Paradise Waterfall.  The rocks are covered with beautiful moss and ferns.  It was named Vassies in honor of a botanist that traveled on the river last year.


People who ride in the front of the raft get the wettest but most exciting ride.

Ann decided to rest for a bit.

When we stopped for lunch, we walked to the back of Redwall Cavern to take a couple of photos looking out.

Our geologist, Sue. pointed out fossils in the rocks.

Using a hand helps show the size.

How is that rock just sitting there.  I wonder when it is going to fall.

Our crew prepared lunch….

… then Emily demonstrated how to fold the tortilla into a cone to contain our salad and Kersten showed us how to fill it.

It was delicious.

We came to a small rapid….

… and held up afterwards so we could film Duffy’s raft coming through it.

Some people brought beers that they hand them off the back of the raft in a mesh bag.  Sue is enjoying hers.

More Agave.

And fantastic sights.


I wish I could remember what Sue told us about this.

We made it to mile 52 and stopped to cam at Main Nankoweap.  Duffy took a group of us on a hike up several hundred feet along a steep trail.  He pointed out this foot-bridge tucked into the rocks.  It had been created by the Ancient people

The views were spectacular…

Especially looking back down the river below.

We sure didn’t want to fall on this cactus.

These are some photos along the trail.


Our goal was to reach the Ancient Pueblo Granaries. I read that these granaries date back to Ad 1100. They are tightly constructed structureswhich protected food from rodents and preserved corn and seeds for long periods of time in the dry climate.  Duffy told us not to touch them because they could crumble and he pointed out one of them that somebody had touched and it was now a pile of rubble.

Katny had already climbed up to the granary and was happily sitting there.

Ken and I then climbed up to the ledge. We left our poles down below.  It was not easy.  This is Ken’s photo of Duffy standing below the ledge.  You can see the crumbled rubble of on the left dies of the photo not far from the windows.

Ken climbed up and I met him there.   The ledge where we sat was just big enough for to sit down – very narrow.


I looked at Ken and could tell that he was just about frozen. This is what he wrote on his Facebook page with this photo. “I’m smiling on the outside, but trembling on the inside!) My friend Curly (right) said she’d never seen ‘that look’ in my eye before. Getting up the last 10 feet to the hole in the wall put it there!”

I was the last one to climb back down to Duffy who was waiting to make sure that we didn’t fall over the ledge below. I was happy that I climbed up to meet them.

Ken was even happier when he got down off the ledge so safety.  I think Duffy was also happy for us to start on our way back down the trail.

For me was much easier for me to hike down than up because my lungs didn’t have to work as hard. It still took some negotiating because there were some pretty sketchy places were we had to negotiate over large drops. I almost had to sit down on a couple of the rock to make the next step.

I was pretty tired after doing that hike to the granary.  Ken and I decided that future hikes should be rated based on this one. Ken said we should call it the, “Duffy Dale Granary Rating Scale.”

It was a pretty chilly evening.  Nancy Chase is warming her hands over our cooking dinner.

It gets dark pretty early and it had started to rain a bit so we hunkered down into the tents.  I think we were in our tents by 8:30.

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Rafting the Colorado River through Grand Canyon 4/22 and 4/23

I am again writing a blog after (actually almost 2 weeks after)I finished the trip.

We arrived in Las Vegas in the late afternoon on May 22nd.  Ann and I took a Lyft directly to the pub to meet Audrey, Ken, Sue, and Liz for a bite to eat and Ann’s treat drink.

At 8:00 pm we went to our orientation meeting.  The presenter generated excitement but left a bit to be desired in her organization of the presentation.  So, of course, I asked questions.  We were given our dry bags (I got 2 because of my CPAP) and an ammo box so we could pack up all of our stuff.  We scheduled wake-up calls for the morning (mine was at 3:45 am) to get up, have breakfast and take off on our adventure.

On the way we stopped at both Walmart (where I purchased an extra dry bag for my backpack) and at a store where I purchased an extra fleece jacket.  Yes, extra fleece jacket because there was snow.

During the 6 hour drive, our geologist (Sue Tanges) began explaining about the geology of the canyon.  The talk was very quickly over my head.  Okay – back to 5th grade: sedimentary; igneous, metamorphic – but she was going way beyond that.  Thanks to Ken Kan and his posts on Facebook, I may be able to identify some of the photos.  I may use many of Ken’s photos (and credit him) because he did such a great job.

We finally arrived at Lee’s Ferry in Marble Canyon and loaded the two 14 passenger rafts. Looks like Ken is handing Aud her raincoat because we are going to be wet.

Everything is loaded and Emily is giving us final instructions.  These rafts are the largest vessels that raft through the Grand Canyon.

Emily Dale and Duffy Dale (cousins) were the leaders for each raft  We also had a a  “swamper” on each raft. Mija with Emily and Kirsten Dale (his wife) with Duffy.  It is amazing that the swampers are not paid any money for this trip.  They just rely on tips from the passengers.

I was on Emily’s raft so my photos are mostly of Duffy’s.  This is one of our first little rapids.


Okay. Keeping these photos in order is going to be very hard because I was using two cameras.

Was this bird poop or did Sue tell us something else.

The rock formations were amazing – so amazing that I could not stop taking photos.

Because of Ken’s notes I know that the bottom of these rocks are called “Desert Varnish, iron and magnesium deposits which turn the surface of the rocks black.”


I believe that this dory is “one of” the smallest vessels on the river.  The rapids would sure be more exciting in that.

This slide must have been something else.

These are my first couple of photo of a Utah Agave plant in bloom. The common name is Century Plant and they actually only bloom about once every 30 – 35 years and then they die.  I probably took 50 photos of these so they may show up again in this blog. I was just really excited about the first one.

More scenery:  We are so lucky to be here.


Our first camping spot was at Mile 17.  It is called “Hot Na Na.” We formed a human bag line (which Ken called the Drugery Line) to off load all of our gear. I think I have photos of this later in the trip. But on the first night we needed to gather around for demonstrations.


Emily demonstrated hot to put up the tents and put the cots together.

Sue, opur geologist, helped demonstrate how to wash our hands in the slightly chlorinated water and let them drip dry.  We were going to have to repeat this exercise more times than I want to remember.

Ken, Audrey, or and Cher were listening well.  Not sure they were thrilled.

Our leaders were preparing dinner as we struggled with our first attempt at setting up tents and cots. The tents were easy.  I struggled a bit with the cot, but Ann helped me so – success – yea.

What an incredibly beautiful place to camp.  I think I am going to repeat that phrase over and over again.

Meet Ann’s and my neighbor.  This cute little creature never bothered us.

In spite of the weather and the work, watching the reflection on the rocks brought a beautiful end to our day.

Life is pretty good and we are so privileged (another phrase I will probably repeat over and over again).