The Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Fall 2016 – #3


Part #2 ended with Bedrock Rapid, Mile 131. This 3rd and final part begins with Deubendorff Rapid, Mile 132. The links to Parts #1 and #2 are to be found at the end of this post.

Day 13 (con’t.)

Approaching Deubendorff Rapid, Mile 132

Approaching Deubendorff Rapid, Mile 132. In this view, a diabase dike underlies the Bass Limestone.

At 24 seconds into the following video of Deubendorff Rapid, I remark on a hole created by a big flat rock, which we pass to the left of.  It was this hole that knocked CJ out of her boat.

We had lunch at the mouth of Tapeats Creek, Mile 134.

Monkey-flowers, Tapeats Creek, Mile 134

Monkey-flowers, Tapeats Creek, Mile 134

Tapeats Creek and Tapeats Rapid, Mile 134

Tapeats Creek and Rapid, Mile 134

Owl Eyes Camp, Mile 135

Owl Eyes Camp, Mile 135

Our third lay-over camp was at Across from Deer Creek Camp, Mile 135 (nights #13 and #14). This camp provided the opportunity to hike up Deer Creek and over to Thunder Spring, in the Tapeats Creek drainage. James and Lisle made that hike, while others visited the “Throne Room”, where Deer Creek Spring issues from a cave, and the Patio. As they discovered, the spring was not running – another victim of the region-wide drought.

Across from Deer Creek Camp, Mile 135

Downstream view to the North Rim from Across from Deer Creek Camp, Mile 135. The odd-looking pinnacles are found along the edge of the Esplanade, in the Supai formation, and are called “The Mormon Wagon Train”.

Across from Deer Creek Camp, Mile 135

Downstream view from Across from Deer Creek Camp, Mile 135

Day 14

Looking across to Deer Creek Falls

Looking across to Deer Creek Falls from camp

Georgia enjoys the spray at Deer Creek Falls

Georgia enjoys the spray at Deer Creek Falls

Deer Creek, below the falls

Deer Creek, below the falls

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Monkey-flowers grow in the spray from the falls

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Rainbow in the spray from Deer Creek Falls

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Monkey-flowers again! Where there’s  water, there’s monkey-flowers

The Deer Creek Gorge and the trail to the Patio

The Deer Creek Gorge and the trail to the Patio. Photo taken in 1989.

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The Patio. Photo taken in 1989.

Deer Creek Spring, in the Throne Room

Deer Creek Spring, in the Throne Room. Photo taken in 2002.

Day 15

Sculpted Shinumo Quartzite, on the left at Mile 137

Sculpted Shinumo Quartzite, on the left at Mile 137. This is the only place in the Canyon that I’ve seen it.

Fluted Shinumo Quartzite, Mile 137, river left

Fluted Shinumo Quartzite, Mile 137, river left

Kathy, at Kanab Rapid, Mile 144

Kathy, at Kanab Rapid, Mile 144. At Kanab Rapid we enter the narrow Muav Gorge.

Next up was the scenic highlight of Matkatamiba Canyon.

The entry to

The entry to “Matkat”, just a few yards from the river

James, Lisle and Georgia

James, Lisle and Georgia

Rocky Mountain Bee plant

Rocky Mountain Bee plant

Cardinal flower

Cardinal flower

Running Bighorn ram

Running Bighorn ram

A rtare flower - Davidson's sage

A rare flower – Davidson’s sage

The creek, in the amphitheater

The creek, in the amphitheater

In the Matkat amphitheater. the creek runs over limestone slabs

In the Matkat amphitheater. the creek runs over limestone slabs

The creek, with reflections

The creek, with red silt and reflections

Below Matkat, Mile 149

In the very narrow gorge below Matkat, Mile 149. The Muav is seen below and the Redwall above.

Downstream view, Mile 149

The same gorge, downstream view

We came to Upset Rapid at Mile 150, and stopped to scout it.

Mark hits the top lateral high and hard, Upset Rapid, Mile 150

Mark hits the top lateral high and hard, Upset Rapid, Mile 150

The lateral shoved Mark to the right, towards the central hole. But he came out fine.

The lateral shoved Mark to the right, towards the central hole. But he came out fine.

Kathy, in Upset Rapid, Mile 150

Kathy passes to the left of the central hole in Upset Rapid, Mile 150

Ledges Camp, Mile 151

Upstream view at Ledges Camp, Mile 151, in the narrow Muav Gorge

Tie-off at ledges Camp

Tie-off at Ledges Camp

Day 16

Great blue heron

Great blue heron

Downstream view of Mt. Sinyella, on the Esplanade, Mile 152

Downstream view of Mt. Sinyella, on the Esplanade, Mile 152

Side canyon spring, Mile 152

Side canyon spring, Mile 152

Sinyella Rapid - much narrowed by a large new delta

Sinyella Rapid – much narrowed by a newly-enlarged delta

Limestone blocks in mid-stream, Mile 155

Limestone blocks in mid-stream, Mile 155

The wall at Mile 155

The wall at Mile 155

Downstream view of waterfall, Mile 155

Downstream view of spring-fed waterfall, Mile 155

We stopped at Havasu for a short while. It was running brown.

Downstream view at Mile 157

Downstream view at Mile 157

Downstream view to the North Rim, Mile 159

Downstream telephoto view to the North Rim, Mile 159. The red Supai is seen in the center of the photo.

Lunch at Mile 160, upstream view

Lunch at Mile 160, upstream view

Overhangs in the Muav, Mile 161

Overhangs in the Muav, Mile 161

Downstream view at Mile 161

Downstream view at Mile 161

Camp #16 was at Tuckup Canyon, Mile 165

Tuckup Camp, Mile 165

Tuckup Camp, Mile 165

The remote, at Tuckup Camp

The remote, at Tuckup Camp

Day 17

Fern Glen, Mile 168, was our first stop on Day 17.

Pool and chockstone

Pool and chockstone in Fern Glen

Reflections in pool

Pool and reflections

Maidenhair fern

The name-sake Maidenhair fern of Fern Glen

Travertine cone in Fern Glen

Travertine cone in the amphitheater of Fern Glen

Stairway Canyon, Mile 171

Stairway Tower sits in the mouth of Stairway Canyon, Mile 171. X marks where a fault created the Tower by breaking it off of the canyon wall.

The Stairway Tower summit blocks

The Stairway Tower summit blocks

Gaterway Rapid, Mile 171

Gaterway Rapid, Mile 171

After running Gateway Rapid, we pulled in to Mohawk Canyon Camp, Mile 171.9, for our camp #17. This was a short day, to allow for exploration of the canyon.

Day 18

Lava Day!!

Approaching Lava Falls, Mile 179

Approaching Lava Falls, Mile 179

Lava Falls, Mile 179. Kathy, about to drop in

Lava Falls, Mile 179, with a commercial boat in the bottom waves

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Lava Falls, same photo as above

Kathy, about to drop in!

Kathy, about to drop in!

The V-Wave. Jesse slid the boat over the left-hand part of the wave with hardly a bounce

The V-Wave. Jesse slid the boat over the left-hand part of the wave with hardly a bounce.

The bottom waves

The bottom waves

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With the Big Kahuna Rock in the foreground, we see Mark heading for the bottom waves

Mark appears from behind the Big Kahuna Rock

Mark appears from behind the Big Kahuna Rock, to end his run

We had no flips or swims in Lava, but Kathy had herself a big adventure. She got shot into the violent eddy that is found on the upstream side of Big Kahuna Rock, and was stuck there for as long as 5 minutes, high-siding for all she was worth. She was released after one oar departed the boat.

Son of Lava, Mile 180

Son of Lava, Mile 180

Lava meets limestone, Mile 183

Lava meets limestone, Mile 183

The Lava Cascade, Mile 185

The Lava Cascade, Mile 185

185 Mile Rapid

185 Mile Rapid

Our 18th camp was at Upper 185 Mile Camp

The Lava Cascade,from our camp at Upper 185 Mile Camp

The Lava Cascade, from our camp at Upper 185 Mile Camp

Day 19

The Whitmore Castle with the Whitmore lava flow behind, Mile 188

The Whitmore Castle, with the Whitmore lava flow behind, Mile 188

Schist islands, Mile 189

Schist island, Mile 189

Upstream view of Whitmore lava flow, Mile 189

Upstream view of Whitmore lava flow and the North Rim, Mile 189

Lava sits on schist, Mile 190

Lava sits on schist, Mile 190

Red schist and Tapeats Sandstone, Mile 190

Red schist and Tapeats Sandstone, Mile 190

Rock assortment - schist, Bright Angel Shale, lava and limestone, Mile 190

Rock assortment – schist, Bright Angel Shale, lava and limestone, Mile 190

Teddy-bear cholla

Teddy-bear cholla

Lava flow sits on river cobble

Lava flow sits on river cobble, having run down the river channel

205 Mile Rapid

205 Mile Rapid

Our 19th camp was at Granite Park, Mile 209, as we neared the Lower Granite Gorge

Granite Park Camp, Mile 209

Evening light at Granite Park Camp, Mile 209

Day 20

209 Mile Rapid

209 Mile Rapid

The hole at 209 Mile Rapid

The hole at 209 Mile Rapid

The following 8 photos are of the sculpted and polished diorite, at Mile 212

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Joe and Sara

Little Bastard Rapid, Mile 212

Little Bastard Rapid, Mile 212

Fluted Tapeats Sandstone, Mile 213

Sculpted Tapeats Sandstone, Mile 213

Fluted Tapeats Sandstone, Mile 213

Sculpted Tapeats Sandstone, Mile 213

Pumpkin Springs, Mile 213

Pumpkin Springs, Mile 213

Pumpkin Springs, Mile 213

Pumpkin Springs, Mile 213

Buttresses, opposite Pumpkin Springs, Mile 213

Buttresses, opposite Pumpkin Springs, Mile 213

Tapeats Sandstone pavement, Mile 213

Tapeats Sandstone pavement, Mile 213

Sculpted limestone boulder, atop sculpted Tapeats

Sculpted limestone boulder, atop the Tapeats, Mile 213

Polished Tapeats Sandstone pavement

Polished Tapeats pavement, Mile 213

Lunch, at 214 Mile Camp

Lunch, at 214 Mile Camp

Lisle goes off the jumping rock at Mile 214

Lisle goes off the jumping rock at Mile 214

The mouth of Three Springs Canyon, Mile 216

The mouth of Three Springs Canyon, Mile 216

A light-grey grano-diorite appears at riverside, heralding the beginning of the Lower Granite Gorge, Mile 216

A light-grey grano-diorite appears at riverside, heralding the beginning of the Lower Granite Gorge, Mile 216

Trail Canyon Riffle, Mile 219, with Upper 220 Mile Camp seen downstream

Trail Canyon Riffle, Mile 219, with Upper 220 Mile Camp seen downstream

 

Scouting Granite Springs Rapid, Mile 221. A flood in August increased the difficulty of this rapid considerably.

Scouting Granite Springs Rapid, Mile 221. A flood in August increased the difficulty of this rapid considerably.

Britt, scouting Granite Springs Rapid. Remember his clean white shirt, on Day 1? Well ... he never took it off the entire trip, and look at it now. He burned it that night.

Britt, scouting Granite Springs Rapid. Remember his clean white shirt, on Day 1? Well … he never took it off the entire trip, and look at it now. He burned it that night.

The streambed of Granite Springs Canyon, Mile 221

The raw-looking streambed of Granite Springs Canyon, Mile 221

Diamond Peak is seen straight ahead, Mile 222

Diamond Peak is seen straight ahead, Mile 222

Our last camp, #20, was at 222 Mile Canyon.

Mark, at 222 Mile Camp

Mark, at 222 Mile Camp

Our last camp, #20, was at 222 Mile Canyon

Sitting around the fire on our last morning in the canyon, at 222 Mile Canyon

Sand verbena, at 222 Mile Camp

Sand verbena, at 222 Mile Camp

Diamond Peak, Mile 224

Diamond Peak, Mile 224

The orange balls strung on a cable tell you that the end is near.

The orange balls strung on a cable tell you that the end is near!

We pulled in to Diamond Creek at 10 AM, right on time, . The Ceiba crew was waiting there for us, and it didn’t take terribly long to load the trailer. The drive up the newly-bulldozed “road”, which ascends the Diamond Creek streambed, was slow-going. Earlier in the summer, this route had been closed for two weeks, following a massive flood. And so we returned to civilization – what I call the unreal world. Here are the links to Parts #1 and #2.

Part #1: https://believesteve.org/2016/10/20/the-colorado-river-in-the-grand-canyon-fall-2016-1/

Part #2: https://believesteve.org/2016/10/24/the-colorado-river-in-the-grand-canyon-fall-2016-2/

About believesteve

I am a photographer and have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1
This entry was posted in Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Personal history, Photography, River-running (USA&Mexico) and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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