Colorado River - Grand Canyon - Diamond Creek to Pearce Ferry - Part I

Paddled the lower Part of the Grand Canyon from Diamond Creek to the new Pearce Ferry boat ramp on October 2-5, 2010 at 9320, 9340, 10,100, and 9720 cfs (on the four days respectively), with Michelle, Maya (16), Ted (12), Gene Couch, Lucy, Richard Dziubla (67), Father Patrick Farley, and Hartley and Leslie Johnstone. Hartley rowed our 14' Baltik raft (Flipper) with Mike's frame and Leslie and Richard as crew (with paddles), Gene paddled his 16' cat with Lucy as swamper, Michelle, Maya, and Fr. Patrick paddled inflatable kayaks (Tomcat Single, Bandit Single, and Tomcat Tandem), and Ted and I paddled hard shell kayaks. We had not paddled the Colorado in kayaks (hardshell or inflatable) very much before this trip, and it was our (Michelle, Richard, Gene, and my) second time on this section. We had done it at this time of year two years previous, but had not taken the kids. For our first time, the river was brown.

We used our two 4runners, towed the 4x8' trailer that we recently purchased, and had the vehicles shuttled. When we picked up Richard in Chino, I noticed the fender bolts were hitting one of the tires on the trailer. We removed the fenders. As we approached the put in, we noticed that the trailer tongue was bending from the tongue weight. We went on slowly, and after take out packed the trailer with less tongue weight. It made it home to Phoenix ok.

It was hot at the put in until it started raining, but did not rain a lot that day. A hole had worn through one tube of Gene's cat, which he patched with wonder tape. It held for the trip. We were slow rigging the raft as this was our first time using the frame. Hartley had not rowed a raft before on white water, but did very well the whole trip. He had rowed a row boat on flat water and had ocean sailing experience and had whitewater canoed as a kid. Michelle and Maya each swam in Diamond Creek rapid, but did not have bad swims. We stopped and hiked up Travertine Canyon and camped at Travertine Falls. I flipped on an eddy line below Travertine Canyon, but rolled up on my first try. That was my 12th unplanned flip on a river (combat roll opportunity) this year. (Of those 12, I got 10 on the first try, one on the second try, and pulled the skirt for one.) The eddy lines and funny water were challenging. When I was upside down, the water was cold, but not shockingly cold.

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