Just two days prior to putting in on the Grand Canyon, we had been amongst the lush forests of the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. The area around Lee’s Ferry in Arizona, the put-in for the Colorado, could not be more different. Driving through the lunar landscape from our meeting point at Marble Canyon Lodge to the put-in at Lee’s Ferry you wouldn’t expect to find a river there. One of the things that I find so beautiful is the red cliffs in contrast with the blue, blue skies and puffy clouds.
The first 7 days of this trip began with flows fluctuating between 11,000- 18,000 cfs then it settled into a steady 10,000 cfs for the remainder of our river miles. Our mostly American group was joined by seven Brits, all family or friends from the same club. We had been emailing them for over a year, so it was good to finally meet them in person.
Despite our similarities in language (ours was English, their’s was proper English), there are some wonderful differences in kayaking terminology. As we discussed lines, technique, equipment and strategies it was fun to see the sometimes puzzled looks on all of our faces as one group used terms unfamiliar to the other. Splits, cags, stoppers, break ins, break outs, domer, cfs vs. cms, fpm vs. mpk and buoyancy aid were just a few that required clarification. Nothing a pint at the end of the day wouldn’t clear up .
Here is a quick summation of the trip: It ain’t over till the Hawaiian swims, twins x 2, number nine, go big and GO BIGGER, Mike K. on grill, “No thanks, tequila makes me dance naked”, laps at Granite, Andrew’s amazing one-oar raft technique, windstorm at Fern Glen, Steiner’s geology, laps at Crystal, Bruce’s poetry readings, cooked Brits at Thunder River, raft parties, Ross’ paddle dance, rainstorms and rainbows, dinners by Dave, and “can someone translate ?”.
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