Archive for April 8th, 2010

The Dream Trip: Camp 4, March 2

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

We stayed in the tent until 7 am. It is really easy to do. I wake early but with no peops (boatman slang for passengers) to take care of and a warm wife who likes to cuddle and talk in the morning, why should I get up? It was another beautiful spring day beginning with bright splashes of color high up on the snow dusted Kaibab and echoing down in the narrow limestone depths of Marble Canyon. I rustled a breakfast up of muffin, egg, sausage and cheese sandwiches with cold apple crisp on the side. Rigging was getting better every day. By this morning Lee was feeling up to taking down the tent, organizing the kitchen and taking down the stove. She was basically back to normal (for five months post surgery) but tapping it light and working at keeping her back warm. With Lee’s help we were on the water by 11 am, no record but not bad for two old folks who slept in. It was finally starting to sink in that I was on vacation, not down there to take care of people and make miles.
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Our morning consisted of floating through the great depression. I had to kind of wake up for 36 mile and President Harding rapids but not really. Lee loves this section of Redwall with its spooky looking forms. She says it has always reminded her of Mordor. Not being into Tolkein it has never done that for me. For some reason I tend to think of the Pleistocene. I imagine huge condors with 17′ wingspans dropping out of the sky with dead things to feed their voracious offspring in the many limestone caves in that section. Very soon we started seeing the Muav Limestone which is the beginning of the Tonoto group. Right about that time we also started seeing the Temple Butte Limestone here and there in these cool lenticular shapes that show where an ancient river ran across the flat plain that the Muav was then. I imagine a braided stream in a very damp landscape.
As we were making our “crack of 11 am” pull out into the river’s current I looked up stream and saw a few bright yellow boats pulling into Redwall Cavern. That, I guessed correctly, was Sunday’s launch. I wanted to talk with them and see if they had any better information than ours on what the March flow regimen would be. The water had gone down on the weekend which is to be expected but was not really following the tidal pattern I had become used to over the past decade or so of working down there. Talking with them would have to wait.
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At around 3:30 we pulled in at another camp that neither of us have ever used. At mile 47 on river left just above Saddle Canyon is a sweet camp up a bank and back against the Muav overhang called Duck and Quack. I don’t know why, it just is. It is a beautiful and very quiet camp. We were able to get derigged and set up inside of 50 minutes and had lots of time to relax and get dinner on. We ate one my favorites, Tom Ka soup (chicken in coconut milk) with green salad. Lee made bisquits in the DO and we had those with butter and home made jam.

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Even though it wasn’t really cold and wet we broke out a little of our wood supply for a nice blaze and sat with it for a while.