Grand Canyon - Day 1 - Wednesday 4/21/21

Our Grand Canyon trip began with a 3:00AM wake up call in Las Vegas, followed by a Grab & Go breakfast and a shuttle ride to Bolder City Airport (BLD) and a short flight over Lake Meade and to the south of the canyon to Marble Canyon Air Strip (MYH).

We put in a Lee’s Ferry (0 Mile) with our guides: Joe, Lauren, Macay (mah-k-eye), and Dan. The trip started with a few riffles at 1 through 6 Miles, bringing us to Badger Creek & Soap Creek Rapids. I rode out front on the “rack” as opposed to the Princess Seats or the Chicken Coup. No one could ride in the mouse trap during rapids (area between the big metal storage lockers), nor the stern of the boat that was reserved for the Guides who piloted the J-rig raft (named for Jack Currey a founder of WRE).

At 13 Mile Rapid we stopped at the Ledge to make introductions by meeting the 30 guests and 4 crew. Guests included 4 physicians and 2 CPAs among a variety of other occupations. There were husbands & wives, mothers & daughters, fathers & sons, groups of friends, and singles looking to take advantage of Willie Holdman’s photography experience in the canyon.

We saw Frank Brown’s Inscription and navigated a few more rapids before lunch just before House Rock Rapid. We had Curried Chicken Wraps for Lunch.

After lunch, Rich joined me on the Rack as we  navigated a few more Rapids before stopping above North Canyon Rapid for the night.

The site started as very windy and we debated tents or cots under the stars. Given that the tents wouldn’t stay up we settled on “under the stars”, our preferred sleeping arrangement.

I was exhausted, so I skipped the hike up the dry falls in favor of settling into camp. Dinner was grilled chicken, that was delicious followed by lemon poppy seed or blueberry cake.

The latrines (one tented and one open air) were placed off to the side of camp. I’ll rate the open air one of the least favorable placements given my experience at Philmont. The latrines were for solid waste only, as everyone’s as the pleasure of peeing in the river. At stops the protocol was skirts up (river), pants down (river) to give the females privacy.

The first night, the moon was gibbous (a bit over half) and it didn’t set until about 3:00AM. I awoke  about 4 and got some shots using my Ricoh underwater camera, by using a timer and placing it on rocks of different slants and angles.

24 hours passed and I was enjoying every minute of the first day of my Grand Canyon Trip and wish to thank Rich Celotto for inviting me, and Steph Cassella for organizing our group over the last 3 years.

Whoo-Hoo I’m looking forward to more rapids, hikes, sights, and sounds as I switch over to Canyon time.