Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day 3 in the Canyon: Feeling Small in a Big Place

Feeling Small down in the Bottom of the Canyon
Day 3: We started to gel as a group.  I have a feeling our late night party in Yonton's hotel room the night before putting on the river may have set the tone.  The Truth serum brought out the camaraderie in all of us.  It takes a little luck, social flexibility, and empathy for those in your group to come together as easily as ours did.  It seemed the 3rd day was when everyone felt as though they could deal.  Packing the boats was coming a little more easily.  The cold was cold, for lack of a better word, but manageable.  There were still nerves in some of the group about the whitewater but those were more known fears than the big questions that people had before the beginning of the trip.  By day 3 most of us had used the groover so that was behind us.

View From the Granaries
We traveled from Mile 42 at Buck Farm to Mile 65 at Lava Chuar Camp.  Between those points are lots of classic stops, hikes, and photo ops.  The walls are towering.  I always try to get the shot that shows how big it is but obviously its impossible to get that one.  First stop this day was the Nankoweap Granaries.  Its an awesome spot to sit up high on the wall of the Canyon and think about living in that Nankoweap Delta a thousand years ago.  They farmed on the floor of the canyon during the winter and moved up on the rim during the summers to follow the more moderate temps, kind of like nomadic kayakers of our time following the endless Spring.  Supposedly these "Ancestral Puebloans" built fires in the granaries, mudded them in, and then sealed the door with a big rock held in place by vacuum and mud?! and it worked and stored, protected, and preserved the food for long periods of time?!?!  I am blown away.  I have a hard time keeping stuff from rotting in my refrigerator.

Dutchies at the Granaries
The next stop was the Little Colorado River or LCR if you are hip to Canyon terminology.  At this place the water is not the right color. Something about travertine and limestone dissolved in the water makes it that way.  All I know is that everything looks awesomer sitting in it.

Just outside the mouth of the Little Colorado River

Here is a link to all the photos from Day 3 in the Canyon.

The Canyon is awesomer daily.

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