Everyone meets at the motel at 6:00 for breakfast and some last minute instructions.  We put our large dry-bags, metal boxes, and personal dry-bags on the two vans.  On my previous raft trips, we had one large tour bus   One of our crew members, Amity, joins us for the van ride.  In about two hours, we reach Lee's Ferry, named for John Doyle Lee, and greet our remaining crew members, Carolyn and Tom.  Carolyn was also the trip leader on my other two raft trips.  They give us some boat and life jacket instructions and then we climb aboard. 

Van at Lee's Ferry
4-28-2012 @ 9:17
Dry bags and gear
4-28-2012 @ 9:28
Our raft at Lee's Ferry
4-28-2012 @ 9:28

     After pulling away from the shore, we drift downstream while Carolyn explains some of the history of Lee's Ferry.  We then go through a round of personal introductions. 

Lee's Ferry launch point
4-28-2012 @ 10:11
Lee's Ferry launch point
4-28-2012 @ 10:11

     In about an hour, we float under the two Navajo Bridges.  The newer one was completed in 1995 and the original bridge was built in 1929.  It's hard to believe that a ferry was used until that time.  On my last raft trip, people were bungee jumping from the original bridge.

  Navajo Bridge
4-28-2012 @ 11:07

     We stop for lunch below Badger Rapids, mile 9, and have roast, turkey, and ham sandwiches.  Everyone is impressed with how pragmatic each part of the raft is.  Seat cushions come off and the bench top is used for a table top.  The table legs unscrew and are kept in various compartments on the raft.  Just after lunch, we float by a large rock in the river called Ten-Mile Rock.

Lunch on Day 1
4-28-2012 @ 12:09
Ten-Mile Rock
4-28-2012 @ 1:09

     This is a very pleasant part of the trip.  Our crew is extremely knowledgeable on the history and geology of the Canyon.  They point out the names and types of layers of rock on the Canyon walls as we go down stream.  Carolyn takes the helm as we get ready to shoot Soap Creek Rapids.  We practice a procedure called "In and Down" where we sit on the floor of the boat for added safety in rough rapids and to allow greater forward visibility for the boat driver.  Everyone on the front half of the boat is drenched.  It's easy to see why they suggest you wear fast drying clothing.  We stop for a short day hike at North Canyon, mile 21.

Tim, Traci, and Craig in North Canyon
4-28-2012 @ 2:54
A interesting feature called Indian Dick
4-28-2012 @ 3:39

     We are spending the night at Lone Cedar Camp, mile 23.5.  I lay out my stuff on a vacant spot.  The people who want a tent watch the tent setup demonstration and then grab a tent.  With crystal clear weather, I'm just sleeping in the open on the sand. 

Lone Cedar Camp
4-28-2012 @ 4:46
Richard's camp on night one
4-28-2012 @ 4.44

     Cleanliness is a top priority and everyone is required to use hand sanitizers before snacks on the boat and to wash your hands before eating on the shore.  Prime rib and cheese cake are on the menu tonight.  The efficiency of the crew in making meals is impressive.  A four-pail washing and rinsing system is used to clean our plates and silverware.

The dinner serving table
4-28-2012 @ 4:45
The cooking table
4-28-2012 @ 4:45
Dish washing table
4-28-2012 @ 4:45


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