Morning of the second day - at Hot Na Na Wash.
The tall yellow cooler in the above photo was our drinking water with lemonade and Gatorade mixes available. Water for drinking and food preparation was river water that had been treated to remove the silt and make it potable. Fresh water was also obtained from springs and creeks.
One of the other challenges, sometimes, was simply getting into or out of the rafts! There was quite a bit of silt in the river and if you stood in one spot long enough, there was a good chance of losing a shoe when you tried to move. And because the river rose and dropped with "the tide" during the course of the day, the "leading edge" of a landing site could be extremely slippery. Sometimes there was no leading edge. Sometimes there were rocks. It could be awkward, to say the least. It definitely wasn't graceful, but somehow we all managed.
The four tubs to the right are for washing dishes. It was a four-step process: brush off the scraps, wash in hot soapy water, rinse in hot water, and a second rinse in water with bleach added. The "cloth" hanging in the front of the table where Patrick and Allison are working is where the metal plates and silverware were held after washing. To make it easier to wash them we generally used the metal plates as a support for paper plates.
The white buckets were used for a variety of things. The kitchen scraps were put in one. Uncooked food was later disposed of by dumping it in the river, which sounds strange but it was standard practice since the food was biodegradable and could also be eaten by the fish and birds. The small blue mats beneath the tables helped to keep food scraps out of the sand.
Other buckets were used for temporarily holding packaging material and other trash. It was later compacted as much as possible for storage in the raft. Everything that was brought in was carried back out. Everything.
Patrick and Allison preparing fresh fruit for supper.
Suppertime also gave us homemade desserts. Justin's pineapple upside-down cake was awesome as was the chocolate cake, lemon cake, chocolate chip cookies, brownies and other delectable sweets. A wonderful way to end every remarkable day!
Breakfast usually included ham, bacon, or sausage along with pancakes, French toast, or scrambled eggs. Occasionally a casserole was created from supper the night before and sometimes, depending on what was scheduled for that morning, we might just have bagels that had been lightly toasted along with a variety of toppings. Granola and cereal were also always available.
While on The River, we had all the comforts of home - food, water, shelter, a place to sleep, and toilet facilities - just not quite what we were used to! If you've ever used a "pit toilet" or port-a-potty, well then, you have some idea of what The Groover was like. Actually, it wasn't as bad as some of the facilities I've used while traveling!
The Groover was a converted World War II Ammunition Case. When sealed, it was water tight - a very important aspect since it had to be transported in the rafts along with all of our other gear. So called "The Groover" because when first used for that purpose it had no seat and when the "job" had been done and the person stood up, it left a groove in their bum. Thankfully for us and everyone else who has had to utilize it, someone adapted a regular toilet seat to fit.
The thing with peeing in The River is that men have it so much easier than us women. We were all pretty shy about doing it for the first few days, then it became second nature. Eyes were averted as needed, you simply answered nature's call. This may sound gross, but there were times when I was already completed soaked that I simply walked into the river, sat down in the water, and let it flow... yes, we got relief just about any way we could!
There was also the matter of changing clothes, particularly in the evening when everyone was out and about. The only time I set up a tent was if it looked like rain so my "site" was simply out in the open, sometimes in a bushy area, but seldom in an area with any privacy. Did you know there is a way that you can sit down on a paco pad and change pants without anyone seeing anything besides your bare legs? Yep, there is.
Well, this post is already way too long but I wanted to cover some of these things before continuing on with the rest of the journey. Sue has two very nice blog posts covering some of these topics, and more, including additional photos of the campsite areas. Please, go check them out!
- Camp Life–Learning the Routine
- Life’s Little Discomforts–or How we are more adaptable than we thought
Morning at the Pumpkin Springs campsite where we spent the 13th night.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~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, "Settling in to the Daily Routine and Adjusting to Life on the River," Kinexxions, posted October 26, 2014 (http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2014/10/settling-in-to-daily-routine-and.html : accessed [access date])