Tyndall got excited about boating in Alaska. He found a used 14′ Otter, then a packraft. With the packraft, the options on a map unfold before your eyes. Soon, his desire for white water out paced my tolerance for risk. While he ran Six Mile, I rode down on my bicycle and met him. I am not an adrenaline junkie. I shrink before it.
The Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is beautiful and terrifying. The walls of the Granite Gorges are dark and moody.
Others’ opinions may differ. This is mine. The river is wild yet tamed. Remote but accessible. Pristine yet dirty. The flow is managed to feed our insatiable energy demand and the landscape has been altered by dams. Our gear was checked by a park ranger wearing at least two guns. He wasn’t going anywhere fast.
Tyndall and Jerami discovered that you can go left at Bedrock and emerge unscathed from the Room of Doom. Mike threaded the needle to the right of the Killer Fangs. Three boats ran through the hole on House Rock. Sometimes the river takes you where you didn’t intend to go, and sometimes, that’s ok. T it up and punch it through. A line may be Not Recommended, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Some people joined the Colorado River Swim Team. I swam half of Soap Creek Rapid after getting in over my head in my packraft. It wasn’t so bad. After that, I stayed in the big boat.
I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to spend 24 days with. Thanks to Jerami and Eloise for hauling our river gear down from Alaksa, and to Traverse for hauling it home.
Here are 24 photos for 24 river days. You won’t see any photos of big white water, but it’s there. For those stretches, I kept my camera safely tucked away and just held on.