|Robyn making a creative pancake.|
|Ari blowing the conch to announce breakfast|
|Larry, one of our guides, at the hand-washing station. Hand-washing and sanitization were a huge priority.|
|Terri sampling the lunch buffet|
|Suzi, Ian, and Belinda on the dish line.|
|Looking over Ari's exquisite geologic guide, which shows every rock formation in the canyon in amazing detail.|
|Enjoying the fire. They had to float in all our firewood; we managed to make it last through all but the last night.|
Gibby turned out to be quite the prankster. She had a strikingly realistic rubber rattlesnake that she brought out about halfway through the trip and surreptitiously placed near the "groover," our toilet. I'd gone to my tent to read by that point, but I heard the shriek when Suzi was unfortunate enough to discover it. Soon after, I spotted Martin sneaking past my tent with the rubber snake; he was going to throw it toward Kim and Steve's tent.
I guess he has a good arm, because Steve said it landed with a thud right in front of their door, quivering. Not having anything else at hand, Steve threw a jar of hand cream at the thing before realizing it was a fake.
Once the pranks started, they kept rolling. The last morning, I awoke before dark to the sound of the conch, which usually announced breakfast at around daybreak. I shook the drowsiness off and thought to myself, "They told us today would be a normal start--why so early?" When I checked my watch, I realized someone must've gotten hold of the conch and pulled a false wake-up call. A few people even got up, got dressed, and wandered into the kitchen looking for coffee. The culprit turned out to be Peter. Pesky Danes.
|A photo of the upstream-most Grand Canyon, about where we put in at Lee's Ferry.|
|Our parked boats, with sun umbrellas.|
|Me in the duckie, towing some stray mylar balloons I found floating in the river. Apparently, it's a boy.|
|The paddleboat grabbing a monster wave|
|Robyn making a badass face as she oars through a rapid|
|Peter joining the "badass face" club in a duckie.|
|Alexis, regrettably, did not make a badass face as we paddled through Lava Falls. Probably because WE'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE GOING BACKWARDS. I'm the last in the row closest to the camera.|
|Paddles up! This is how we celebrated every successful rapid run.|
|Speaking of pimps and hos...|
|Elysha, me, Suzi, and Kim|
|Bruce, Terri, Belinda, and Suzanne, behind them.|
|Igor, who was never without is "WEED, California" hat, even atop a wig. It's a TOWN, you guys!|
|Igor's wife, Suzanne, as an excellent sea goddess. Or river goddess?|
|Now it's a party. Steve and Peter|
|Oh. Obviously, it's the armpit hair.|
Speaking of physical effects, about halfway through the trip, I noticed an odd phenomenon. It appears that my skin is a slightly darker color where it's been exposed to the sun. Has anyone else experienced this?
|A steep beginning to a hike|
|A much better view of the chimney we scooted up. Terri ascending|
|Ian and I after climbing a tricky wade/ascent. The water was about waist-high, so I'm in nothing but my bathing suit bottoms, which may or may not be the same garment as my underwear.|
|A typical slot canyon. The puddles at the bottom look perfectly shallow, but...|
|Steve, after finally finding his waterproof camera at the bottom of a "puddle". He's standing, and he's probably 6'3".|
|Another wade and/or climb. Suzi in front, me on the wall.|
|Me exploring a side canyon|
|Terri bursting into song. She always had such a joyful face when she sang.|
|Me taking a swim in aquamarine Havasu Creek|
|Alexis sketching during a break|
That night, I neglected to close my tent. I returned to a small chewed hole in my package of M&Ms. Assuming it was mice, I chucked the rest of them.
Then, as I was getting ready to go to sleep, I heard and saw what looked like someone pressing their hands on the outside of my tent. I actually called out, "Hello?" before looking out the flap and finding this:
|Stock photo--he skittered away before I could take a shot.|
Another night, a couple of days later, I chose an odd campsite under a large rock overhang. It was low enough that I couldn't set up my tent, but it was dry and pleasant, so I slept under the stars, just a sleeping bag, the sleeping pad, and a tarp floor. I awoke in the middle of the night to the feeling of cat's paws walking across my back. Half-asleep, I didn't think anything of it. My cats walk across me at night all the time. Then I thought as I awoke more, "Wait a minute, I'm not in my apartment..." When I moved a little, whatever it was scampered off, but I like to blame the ringtail again.
|My tent/laundry rack. We often camped just downstream of rapids, which meant coming into camp with wet clothes.|
|A spirited game of wiffle ball in Redwall Cavern, a truly enormous limestone cave with a powder-sand floor|
|Me in center field. Note how far away the infield is.|