Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Day 8 - Part 2 :: Crystal Rapid to Mile 119 Creek

Wednesday, September 24th. Having made it safely through Crystal Rapid, rated 10+ and one of the biggest we would encounter, we still had 20 miles of river to cover and 17 more rapids to run!

Approaching Tuna Creek Rapid (5), less than a mile downriver from Crystal Rapid.

Fred and Sue, in Matt's raft, start through Tuna Creek Rapid.

The paddle boat crew follows Matt's raft around the bend and through Lower Tuna Rapid.

It was just a nice, easy, little, roller-coaster ride! In the next half-mile we would go through 100 Mile Rock Rapid (5).

Back into calmer waters for a short time.

In the next 4 1/2 miles we would encounter "the Gems." Ranging from just a little splashy to a wild roller-coaster ride, they were a lot of fun! Agate (2-4), Sapphire (7), Turquoise (3-6), 104 Mile Rapid (5-7), and Ruby Rapid (7) were their names.

Chelly going through one of the "Gem" rapids.

Stunning. Colorful. Man is such an insignificant creature when compared to the magnificence of Mother Nature.

Barrel Cactus thrive in this section of the Gorge, which is an arid, desert environment. So unlike that of the the upper canyon where the banks of the river were covered with Tamarisk trees and other green vegetation.

Eight more rapids would follow with the biggest being Serpentine Rapid (6-8) and Waltenberg Rapid (6-9).

In one of the short sections of calmer waters, the paddle raft crew played "hunker down." The object was to maintain your balance while pulling on a rope to unbalance your opponent.

Strength has little to do with it... it's all about balance and agility!

At about mile 117, we stopped for a hike into Elves Chasm where a waterfall and big pool of water awaited those who ventured over the trail, which included some big boulders that had to be overcome.

As the rest of the group ventured forth, I was directed to a smaller, lower waterfall and pool where the guides filled storage containers with fresh water.

A soft, salmon-colored light reflecting off the canyon walls blanketed the area. I was fascinated by the big boulder on the left.

A closer look revealed that it was composed of fragments of smaller stones.

Nearby, another boulder also had small rocks embedded within.

Our campsite at Mile 119 Creek was just ahead. It had been an incredibly exhilarating day with 19 rapids "conquered" in just 22 and a half miles. We looked forward to an evening of rest, relaxation, refueling, and rehashing the events of the day.
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Note: The page Grand Canyon Raft Trip lists all of my posts published about this Grand Adventure!

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Day 8 - Part 2 :: Crystal Rapid to Mile 119 Creek," Kinexxions, posted November 5, 2014 ( : accessed [access date])

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