Aug 9th: Red-water rafting (View from the raft)

August 10, 2007

20 miles driven (if you ignore the 7 hours in a tour bus), 196 photographs taken, 0 Americano Grande’s drunk, 0 Starbucks City Mugs acquired

Accomodation: Boulder Station Hotel and Casino (Now significantly less than adequate, it took an hour to get someone to take an order on room service, another hour to arrive and it was not worth the wait)

Picture: View from the raft down river around midday

The day started badly, walking past the slot machines at 0400 to see people still slumped and playing, mostly chain smoking. No one would let people set up a drugs den to provide this sort of service, and a pub that allowed people to be in a intoxified state 24/7 would loose its license. However it got better. A long early morning drive out to the starting point of the Grand Canyon rafting trip gave an opportunity to catch up on sleep and prepare for the bone shattering ride in an old yellow school bus to the floor of the canyon.

Before doing that we had to sign the most extreme waver form I have ever seen in my life. It basically said that regardless of circumstance anything which happened on the trip was the tourists fault and their liability. Chatting with a lawyer we both agreed that as phrased it allowed the Hualapai Nation (whose contract it was) to have us all thrown over the edge of the Canyon and then charge us for recovery of the bodies. However after that somewhat scary introduction everyone we met was professional and friendly.

Although the trip was billed as white water rafting, the Colorado was brown (well reddish brown and I choose the more romantic colour for my title) and exciting. It was more a spectator than a participant role. I am more used to small rafts where you do the paddling, these were large pontoons well able to ride the Grade Four rapids. However we all got well and truly wet and the scenery was spectacular. After an hour we broke journey to climb up a fresh water stream to a cave hiding one of the most spectacular waterfalls. Lunch was taken on the side of the river after the rapids. We then had three hours going down stream without rapids, so the cameras could come out. The light was not at its best by now approaching midday, but it was everything I had expected and more.

At the end of the day, a Helicopter lift gave a sense of perspective to the whole trip and the only downside of the day was the return to Las Vegas. If I was doing this again I would stay out in Boulder City or maybe in the Hualapai lodge at the start of the trip.

Now its onto Death Valley and the last desert day before we reach Yosemite (although I can’t find an accommodation for the weekend online at the moment so we will just have to pray with sleeping in the car as a backup!

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230 miles driven, 0 photographs taken, 3 Americano Grande's drunk, 1 Starbucks City Mugs acquired ...

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Aug 10th: Death Valley

310 miles driven, 47 photographs taken, 1 Americano Grande drunk, 0 Starbucks City Mugs acquired Accomodation: ...

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