Thursday, March 8, 2012

February in Grand Canyon

We launched on February 20--the only month I had not been on the river. We had two-and-a-half days to row to Phantom Ranch to pick up our scientist clients--88 miles. Fortunately the air decided not to go to Manitoba and we had easy rowing.

Here's a little fixer-upper. A little worse off than the Betty Boop was but I think we can get her floating.
This is Bert Loper's Grand Canyon, which has lain here in the rain and sun and snow and rockfalls for more than six decades.

Oh my. Last year's new rockfall at Mile 42 got a little newer.

Like, maybe yesterday. Because the day before yesterday it rained like hell, and all this dust on the opposite shore is dry. About a quarter-mile of it. Yikes. Glad we didn't start a day earlier.

Our home for seven nights, at the foot of Bass Rapid. Each day the fisheries biologist march over the hill to deplete the chub-eating trout population in Shinumo Creek. Tasty little things, those troutlets.


We forgot to bring tortillas. No matter. If you empty a Jameson bottle, it makes a fine rolling pin.

Randy showing the final products. I am pretty sure it would not have worked if we had left any whiskey in that bottle.

Derik and I crossed the river one day to double-check the measurements Andy Hutchinson and I and a few others took a few years ago. The old Ross Wheeler is on my docket for replication for its centennial in 2014. Gotta get it right.


I'm not sure I have ever seen the ever-so-faint lettering on the transom before. Here it is digitally outlined. This will be fun to replicate on the new boat.

The product of the day's measuring.

 The trip was pretty hellish, but we somehow survived.


  1. Met you there!
    We spoke at Boat Beach then did a layover at Bass below you guys. It was a treat.

  2. Neato! ...About the Ross Wheeler. Are you gonna build it in Steel? Aluminum? Tin Cans? -See ya 'round the ditch I hope. First launch of the season is April 9. YipYip!

    1. Ross Wheeler to be made entirely out of beer cans consumed during the boatbuilding process. Held together with duct tape.
      I rig April 16 with the Julius--alas--we are star-crossed. Come by before you launch if you make it this far south.