New Mexico Rivers
Whitewater Report (slow load!)
Western Snow Levels
Rivers of Interest
How it Starts
Grand Canyon - Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek - June 27, 2011 - Page 2
d) My brother and I, and our families, except for Ted, had rafted the Grand Canyon once before on a non-commercial trip launching on June 5, 2009. Mike had also done the whole canyon before that on two separate non-motorized commercial trips, each one doing half of the canyon. David and Tracy had done several rafting trips on the Verde previously including a 4-day trip from Childs to Horseshoe with Mike, Ted, and I, as well as some other overnight rafting trips. David, Tracy, and Tom are professional chefs and instructors at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale. Tracy and David have competed in and won many televised cooking competitions on the Food Network. David and Tracy considered organizing the food for this trip, but were busy preparing a cake for the Mayor of Scottsdale before our trip, so we had PRO pack the food. PRO also did our shuttle and provided the rafts, kitchen, water filter, groover, etc. We had used PRO for our 2009 trip, and they had done well. This time, we got bids from four outfitters. In the end, PRO gave us a discount which made them the low bidder and clinched the deal. Although we had a few minor gripes, we were happy with their services and equipment and would use them again as long as they were cost competitive. David and Tracy also supplied a GPS (which was lost part way through the trip) and a sat phone. We provided the major first aid kit and a hand washing station. Michelle is an RN and served as chief medical officer for our trip. Michelle also handled all of the coordination with PRO, got the bids from the other outfitters, and generally took the lead roll in planning the trip, which was a lot of work.
e) Food and Jobs – David and Tracy did most of the food preparation during the trip including keeping track of where the food was on the rafts, managing the coolers, figuring out how to use the kitchen equipment that PRO provided, checking the inventory of food stuffs, reviewing the menus, cooking instructions, and lists of ingredients that PRO provided, and planning the meals in advance to make sure ingredients were pulled and ready at the right time. Tom also prepared a number of fantastic deserts in the Dutch oven. They all did a fantastic job in this capacity and the food was outstanding. This is a big job and the rest of us appreciated not having to worry about it. Michelle and I did prepare one easy dinner, and the cooks were excused from dish washing, groover, and water filtering responsibilities throughout the trip. I thought it worked well to have this degree of specialization in the tasks performed rather than having everyone do everything and no one be particularly well skilled or trained at their task. Initially, we just let people volunteer for the non-food jobs. Part way through the trip, however, the group decided that this was not working because there was some resentment (warranted or not) that other people were not working enough and because too many people were trying to do the same job at the same time, which was inefficient. In the end, groups of three (other than Tracy, Dave, and Tom) rotated daily through the jobs of groover, water filtering, and dish washing. By that time, everyone pretty much new how to do these tasks, and was able to get them done efficiently without much help from other groups.
f) Each person was responsible for bringing their own snacks on this trip and we packed our snacks and a few other items in two 4-gallon buckets with Gamma Seal lids. The buckets were easy to get into, and kept the food secure from animals, but the buckets always had a little water in them. I had glued one of the rings on one of the buckets, but both buckets seemed to leak. We kept the food dry in the buckets in Ziploc bags, usually double bagged. I could have used more snacks, especially sweets, and more Ziploc bags. Next time, I plan to order a big bag of hot tamales and bring more soda and Tang. I brought two beers per day, which was twice what I drank. Generally, I went hiking from camp instead of drinking beer and did not have enough time after hiking to drink and still get my other responsibilities completed. I gave a few beers to David, Glenn, and Tom, but brought most of the extras home.
Boatmen dont get old. They just get a little dinghy. - ARTA warehouse sign, circa 1973