Grand Canyon Day 3: Redwall Cavern, Nautiloid Canyon and the Roaring Twenties
I woke up at 5:15 today. Slept mostly through the night. Everyone was a bit anxious in the morning about rowing the Roaring Twenties, but no one more than me with Ariel onboard after nearly flipping the raft yesterday, But I am much more confident again after a clean run through Twentyfour Mile Rapid, the first class 6 rapid of the day. (The Roaring Twenties are the 5 miles of river starting at river mile 21,so named for the series of rapids that, by Grand Canyon measurements, are packed closely together — every half mile or so. There are 2 class 4′s, 3 class 5′s and 3 class 6 rapids)
For breakfast we had eggs made to order…as long as you ordered scrambled eggs. Not everyone got eggs because the first people took too much. Guess that’s why it was supposed to be “made to order” instead of “self serve”. Good thing there is other food to fill in.
It was a sunny day again. This time we stopped for lunch at noon. That makes a big difference. Shortly after lunch we reached Redwall Cavern. Wow! Everything is big in the Canyon! The cavern is at river level and it’s huge. Surprising the roof doesn’t cave in. As we approached it, the size is deceptive.
The eddy beside the cavern is about a 1/4th mile long with a strong circulation upstream. The cavern is at the lower end of the eddy, so we had to stay in the current until we were practically past the cavern before pulling in or we would just be pushed back upstream. It’s tough to row these big rafts against the current, even when it’s just a recirculating eddy.
People sure get goofy here. There is something about having a rock sky overhead that demands taking whacky photos.
We even played frisbee inside the cave. It’s so big that if you stand at one end and throw it you can’t hit the other end. Ariel played her cello here and Jay played his guitar too. But the acoustics here aren’t as good as I had expected.
After awhile we packed up and headed down river. (Not allowed to camp here)
We reached camp at Nautiloid Canyon, mile 35, and there was a bit of confusion. First everyone had a different idea of where to park the boats, then where to setup the kitchen, then the groover got set up in the open right where people were setting up their tents. It really was comical. If another group had seen us they would have thought we were the Keystone Cops. The problem was that half the campsite had been washed away recently from a flash flood that came down from the side canyon. It cut a path 40′ wide and 6′ deep through the beach. I relocated the groover to a more private spot. The rafts were moved from in front of the washout to a spot further down the beach, just in case another flood comes.
We had grilled chicken for dinner. I’m getting spoiled with all of this good food!
There is a short hike here, but no time to do it tonight. We’ll have to check it out in the morning.