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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jessica Terrell
Saturday, August 31
Grand Canyon Day 2

It was nice to believe I would get a good night’s sleep yesterday, but two tiny mosquitos felt the need to buzz in my ears for about four hours, rendering sleep a futile effort. If they had only chosen a place to land, I could have swatted them, but the buzzing was relentless!!! Upon rising at 5:40 a.m., it was no surprise to see that I had no tiny red bumps. I think I would rather have had the little buggers bite me! They just might have left me alone after a quick snack…
Breakfast on the trail consisted of the same food I had eaten the night before for dinner and before that as a snack on the trail - Power Bars. Having already run out of new flavor options, I went with my favorite, Double Dip Chocolate! On this section of Tanner Trail, we dropped below the Red Wall and we could see the winding path miles ahead (or so it seemed, because I have learned time and time again that out West, distances can be very deceiving!) as it made its way down, down, down to the Colorado River. For most of today we could see the river in the distance, and as we inched our way to its banks, its powerful nature was evident. Wayne (videographer) often hiked ahead of the group with his camera and filmed us as we walked past. I will venture to say that he did more work than any of us, having to zip ahead of us, unpack equipment and film, and then pack it back up and catch up with the group, only to go through the entire routine again!
We had left camp at 6:00 a.m., and at 8:45 I had my first glimpse of the mighty river, which had appeared ribbon-thin less than twenty-four hours ago. In my eagerness to cool off, I immediately removed my socks and shoes to dip my feet, and was met with the precise coldness I had anticipated (I heard that the river’s temperature was a cool 48 F when released from the Glen Canyon Dam). Still not satisfied that I had experienced enough of a shock, I proceeded to dip my entire clothed body into the river for all of ten seconds before I climbed out, gasping and shivering. I have never before gone from so hot to so cold in so little time ever before! After basking on a rock much like the lizards I had seen on the trail, I chatted with Jake. Always on the lookout for birds, his eyes were turned upward, and he noticed a bat that seemed a little out of place on this sunny morning. It flew in quite an erratic manner over our heads, coming lower and lower until...it landed on my shirt! It immediately began biting at my shirt, probably trying to extract some moisture. I guess it didn’t realize there was a river ten feet away! The tiny brown bat (I’m not sure of the species, but it was light brown in color and the size of a little brown bat, which I am familiar with) stayed long enough for the entire group to have a look, and Wayne even caught some of it on camera. When Jan began to poke at it (with no malicious intent, only curiosity), it squeaked a few times and then flew off.
Not long after the bat incident, our raft from Hatch River Expeditions emerged around the bend. Meg and J.P., our guides/boat experts, were ready to show us the ropes of river rafting, and we were certainly ready to learn! Donning our life jackets, we climbed on board, placing our luggage in the center of the raft to be wrapped in tarps. I chose to sit on the outer tubes of the raft, by far the most exciting place on the boat! Many of us being inexperienced in rafting (myself included), we were taught that the correct way to sit on the outer tubes was to straddle the tube and hold onto the thin ropes lashed around it. The outside hand was to be in front of you, while the inside hand was placed behind you, the idea being that if the water loosens your grip, you will most likely fall to the inside of the boat, not out into the rapids. So we began, and I had butterflies like you wouldn’t believe! Almost right away, we encountered the Unkar Rapids, and although I do not recall their classification, they did not seem as “rapid” as I had thought. This wasn’t disappointing, but kind of a relief because I would not have been a fan of falling into the river! When I previously envisioned rapids, I imagined a scene unlike that which I experienced today. I also learned that with a smaller raft, the rapids get a lot more exciting, but it can also be more dangerous. On this particular trip (my first), I felt very safe but still had an amazing ride!
More exciting than the rapids was the idea of being carried down even farther into the depths of the canyon. Higher and higher rose the canyon walls as we followed the river on its course gouged by time. I said in yesterday’s entry that I felt like I had been swallowed, and the feeling multiplied as we plunged through the rapids to the inner canyon. If just this inner canyon existed on its own, it would rival the great canyons of the world, and yet it is dwarfed by the canyon in which it rests.
We traveled what felt like a great distance before we stopped and set up camp in late afternoon. I then witnessed another wonder as Meg and J.P. prepared dinner. The same scenario occurred at lunch. Tables were up in an instant, complete with tablecloths. Then came condiments in jars of all shapes and sizes, followed by fresh fruit and vegetables. Snacks to suit all tastes were abundant, and cold drinks were available to fill our complimentary Hatch River Expedition travel mugs. Just about anything you could want was at your fingertips. I have never seen such an efficient operation, considering the context of the situation.
I made my camp on the sand bar and fell into a deep sleep, and between the rushing river not fifty feet away and the clear starry sky above, I could not have imagined a more peaceful location. My mind was clear, my senses sharp, and my dreamless sleep served me well.
for Saturday, August 31
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: South
Jessica Terrell
LM-jessicahorse04-08.jpg

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List of All Journal Entries
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Friday, November 15
Jessica Terrell
National Trails Symposium
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Sunday, October 27
Jessica Terrell
Meeting Team North
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Saturday, October 26
Jessica Terrell
The Finals Days...
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Thursday, September 19
Jessica Terrell
An Eye-Opening Experience
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Wednesday, September 18
Jessica Terrell
Days and Days of ATV's
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Tuesday, September 17
Jessica Terrell
My "Favorite" Day
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Friday, September 6
Jessica Terrell
Tour of Glen Canyon Dam, Hatch River Expeditions, and Lee’s Ferry (Lonely Dell) and the Houseboat!!!
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Monday, September 2
Jessica Terrell
Grand Canyon, North Kaibab Trail
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Sunday, September 1
Jessica Terrell
Grand Canyon, Phantom Ranch
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Saturday, August 31
Jessica Terrell
Grand Canyon Day 2
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Friday, August 30
Jessica Terrell
South Rim, Grand Canyon
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Monday, August 26
Jessica Terrell
Grand Canyon Sunrise
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Sunday, August 11
Jessica Terrell
Snow Lake
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Wednesday, August 7
Jessica Terrell
Silver City, NM
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Saturday, August 3
Jessica Terrell
Location: Lake Valley, New Mexico
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Thursday, August 1
Jessica Terrell
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Wednesday, July 31
Jessica Terrell
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