The day began at the Pumpkin Springs campsite.
Pumpkin Springs, aptly named, has the shape, color and striations of a pumpkin.
As pretty as it looks on the outside, drinking the water in Pumpkin Springs could be hazardous to your health! It is the only water in Grand Canyon that the National Park Service advises people not to drink. It contains high levels of arsenic as well as other chemicals that contribute to its colorful exterior. We had a view of the water in the spring from the groover and it looked pretty nasty with a lot of green slimey stuff on its surface.
Before leaving Pumpkin Springs, someone (one of the paddle boat rafters, I think) decided that we needed to take a group photo. Great idea!
back row, from left: Tom, Nancy, DJ, Fred, Sue, Jason, Sarah, Russell, Dar, Becky, Tony and Carrie
front row, from left: Patrick, Dave, Mary, Tana, and Jim.
Also before leaving camp, we each packed our lunch for a hike later in the day. Apparently, the spot where we would be landing for the hike was not suitable for preparing lunch as usual.
We're still in the "lower gorge" where the canyon walls tower above us.
Travertine Falls, at mile 230.5
It was in one of those rapids, from mile 231 to mile 236, that we would have the only swimmers of the trip. By their own admission, the paddle boat crew had become complacent and a bit cocky, after all they had made it safely through Lava Falls Rapid as well as all of the other rapids in the Lower Canyon.
We watched, as if in slow motion, as their raft was carried up by a wave on the right. The right side of the raft went up further, nearly to the tipping point, and the three paddlers on that side simply dropped down, hitting the three paddlers on the left side and throwing all of them into the river. Somehow, Tom, guiding from the rear, managed to stay in the raft. The swimmers recovered quickly and made it back to the raft safely with only a few bruises and a good story to tell all of their friends and family.
Matt and the gang dropping into the rapid mentioned in the previous photo.
Pulling in to our last campsite, at mile 241.
The blue boat on the right is a jet boat that had brought a motor and other gear needed to take the rafts out later that night. It would return for us, our personal gear, and the rest of the camping gear the next morning.
After supper, the air was let out of the paddle raft and it was bundled up and put into one of the bigger rafts. The remaining rafts were then tied together. A big outboard motor was hooked up and they were driven off to the take-out point at Pearce Ferry, 40 miles downriver. Matt and Tom stayed in camp with us, but the other guides went with the rafts so everything could be unloaded by morning.
It was really sad to see KJ, Allison, Justin, and Chelly leave. Even though we knew we would see them again tomorrow, it brought home the fact that this trip was actually over. And most, if not all of us, truly did not want it to come to an end.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~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 14 - Pumpkin Springs to Mile 241," Kinexxions, posted November 13, 2014 (http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2014/11/day-14-pumpkin-springs-to-mile-241.html : accessed [access date])