Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Day 11 and 12 in the Grand Canyon: Rocks are cool and the real world has double bacon cheeseburgers.

The Final Camp
Day 11 and 12 in the Grand Canyon passed in a bit of an exhausted blur and its not because we found hidden treasure.  Averaging 20 miles a day and doing a few big hikes had started to wear all of us down.  Even the unstoppable Mike Hipsher said that once he got off the trip he was going to sleep for a week.  I had moved past the sore phase and into the great feeling of complete weariness that covers your whole body.  It's nothing that will stop you and you happily move with it because you know all the great things you have done to get to that place.

Packing and Unpacking the Stinger XP from Shaneslogic on Vimeo.

Pumpkin Springs:  I wouldn't go in there.
In the last two days, the lava flows are visible the entire day.  They form all sorts of amazing contours and formations.  Smart people describe them like this:

From the Arizona State University page.

"What many people do not realize is that the western Grand Canyon lies on the edge of the Uinkaret Volcanic Field. During the Late Cenozoic (65 Million - present time), molten rock made its way up a giant fault system in the region called the Toroweap, and now the landscape above the canyon is peppered with cinder cones and lava flows.  The most famous cone is named Vulcan’s Throne, and it sits on the North Rim directly above Lava Falls. This mile-wide cone formed from material that came up the Toroweap Fault. Lava flowed into the Grand Canyon all the way down to the Colorado River creating a lava dam five- to six-hundred feet high. The resulting lake backed water up to Lees Ferry!"

The fine community at Wikipedia told me a little more, with a lot of links to follow:

"Lava flows from the Uinkaret volcanic field that have cascaded down into the Grand Canyon, damming the Colorado River, have been used to date the canyon's carving.[3] ...

The Colorado River was dammed by lava flows multiple times from 725,000 to 100,000 years ago.[5] While some believe that these lava dams were stable, lasting up to 20,000 years and forming large reservoirs,[6] others think they failed quickly and catastrophically as massive floods.[7] Lava flows traveled downriver 76 miles (121 km) from river mile 178 to 254."

Lava Flows and Formations
Those miles cover the rest of our trip from Lava Falls (mile 179) to the take out at Diamond Creek (mile 226).  Constantly in view for the remainder of our trip were lava flows and cinder cones.  I spent much of the waining time on the river wondering visually through the rock formations.  

Warm Camp!
Taking out at Diamond Creek was a great way to slowly reintroduce ourselves to the "real world". The take out was no where near civilization and the trip back to reality starts with a slow bumpy ride up a rocky river bed to pavement.  Even though we had reached asphalt, we were still in the middle of the desert.  The roads got bigger and a few houses were mixed into the landscape.  Then a highway with signs and businesses, and then we saw it... an A and W restaurant.  I know right now you are thinking, grooooossssss!  At that moment we were all thinking bacon double cheese burger, and a root beer float.

Bacon Double Cheeseburger and a Root Beer Float!

Here is a link to the rest of the photos from Day 11 and 12 in the Grand Canyon

Its a trip of a life time.
Make sure you do it someday.


Diamond Creek Takeout

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