A Colorado River Trip Diary!
Julius F. Stone 1909
From "Canyon Country, The Romance of a Drop of Water and a Grain of Sand" by Julius F. Stone, published by G.P. Putnam's Sons 1932
Our heros had put in the Green River at the town of Green River Wyoming many days earlier. We join them in Glen Canyon, now under the cold waters of Lake Powell:
Tuesday, October 26, 1909
Off at 7:55, reaching "The Crossing of the Fathers" (Vados de los Padres) at noon, Galloway and I getting nine ducks on the way. We stop about three quarters of an hour vainly trying to get a beaver in the river. Galloway caught one last night. At 10:30 we pass into Arizona, but will go into Utah again for a short way, and then we shall have Arizona on the left until we reach Needles.
At 2:43 we see a beaver in the water and Galloway keeps after it until he gets it. Then, as we find many sign, we go into camp at 3:00 on a very high bank on the right side. We are again in Arizona. This evening is delightful, as usual. I am still suffering a little from pleurisy, in spite of Galloway's plaster, and shall try the efficacy of hot water applications. The pain is not troublesome except when I draw a long breath or move in some particular way. Then it pinches badly. Tomorrow we should reach Lee's Ferry. We have only about twenty-five more miles to go, according to Galloway. He remembers nearly every turn in the canyon. Although I also have been over this part of the river before it seems quite strange, though a great many features are familiar.
Wednesday, October 27, 1909
Off at 7:30, we reach the mouth of the Wahweap at 9:30 and take several photos of the wall at its junction with the Colorado.
This is what Powell erroneously pictures as "Island Monument." It is also shown by Dellenbaugh in "A Canyon Voyage," but end-on, that is, in the same position as Powell shows it, in order to make it appear as a shaft or monolith, which it is not. Its average width in a northeasterly and southwesterly direction is quite equal to its height. Looked at from the only position in which it can be seen as Powell shows it, it would be impossible to see the moon behind it as it is shown in his illustration, because one is looking northeast.
We reach Lee's Ferry at 12:33 and go into camp among the willows opposite John D. Lee's stone fort which he built and inhabited for some years after the Mountain Meadow massacre. For his participation in this atrocity he was afterward legally executed on the scene of his crime. The fort is deserted, as is also the ranch house that was occupied by Mr. Emmett when we were here before, he having sold out to a cattle company and gone to Kanab, so Mr. Ryder, a cowboy whom we find here, tells us. A careful search for the supplies we were expecting to find in the place where they were to be cached is fruitless. We also ransack the ranch house and corn crib with the same result, except that we find about three pounds of dried apples and half a pound of raisins. Galloway, who knows Emmett better than I, says, "I believe the old cuss has kept the money and purposely forgot the supplies." If so, it is very awkward, be-cause we have but three or four pounds of flour, very little coffee, no baking powder, bacon, or anything else. In fact it is an aggravating situation. When I was planning this trip I wrote to Emmett who then lived here and whom I knew, sending him a check for fifty dollars, with the request that he have ready for us at the time of our probable arrival enough provisions, flour, bacon, one ham, coffee, baking powder, et cetera, for five men for ten days, also in case he should be away to cache the stuff, properly boxed, at the upstream side of the stone fort This he wrote me lie would do. Therefore, counting on those supplies, we have not been as saving or economical of food as we might have been otherwise. It would be impossible to go out to Kanab, ninety miles on toot, so there is nothing to do but go on to Bright Angel Creek as quickly as possible.
Mr. Ryder expects to leave for Kanab November 1st and offers to take any letters we wish to send, but as we expect to reach Grand Canyon as quickly as he reaches Kanab, we thank him for the courtesy of which we do not avail ourselves.
We take off skegs, fix oarlocks, raise the canvas shields around the cockpits a little higher, and generally overhaul the boats to make them as dependable as possible.
Thursday, October 28, 1909
Sky full of light clouds except in the west where they are very dark and heavy; little wind. Four men drive in from Searchlight on their way to Wright's Bar, twenty-five miles or so up the river. We might get their team to go out for pro-visions, they having none to spare, but since we are nearly ready to start and have determined to go, -there is no use to change the program. And so at 1:23 P.M., having had a light lunch, we start. Mr. Ryder and the four men are on the bank to see us run the first rapid which we do in a little over four minutes, and at its toot say good-bye to Ryder who has ridden along the bank at a gallop. Then we pass into Marble Canyon and after two very light ones we reach the head of Badger Creek Rapid at 1:40. Galloway sets traps while Dubendorff and I begin portaging part of the loads. Then the boats are lined and we make camp at the foot. This is a bad rapid from nearly every point of view, save that the portage is fairly easy. We see some old footprints, probably made by prospectors who came down the side canyon. Ryder said some had been in here but had found nothing.
The moonlight falling on the opposite wall, the shifting shadows, the deeper recesses which seem half elusive in the waning light, all blend into a truly glorious panorama. Here where the world seems shut out the spirit and spell of the wilder-ness still abides and welcomes one into the full freedom and magic of the "huge and thoughtful night," uplifting and swaying the beholder with a sense of being that is delightful past compare. At last I fee! that my long-cherished hope of going through these great canyons is to have fulfillment, that I have reached the land where dreams come true.
Friday, October 29, 1909
We start at 8:35, at 9:13 reaching Soap Creek, where we portage loads, line the boats about two hundred feet, and then load up and run the rest. While we are lining, the heavy current catches both Galloway's boat and my own with such force as to jerk the bow line out of our hands. Fortunately, Dubendorff is able to hang on to the stern line in both instances until we can help him and so prevent either boat from getting away. This is a very bad rapid at the existing stage of water. The interference waves in its lower part are much higher than the waves immediately below the take-off, but they are not so broken up by rocks just beneath the surface. At a little higher stage of water we could have run it without difficulty. It was in an eddy just below here that Brown of the Brown-Stanton Expedition was drowned. We go on at 11:35, running four more. Then we stop for noon under a ledge on the left at 12 :25. Through here the canyon is narrow and frequently boxed, the walls on both sides rising from the water so nearly vertical as to be unscalable.
Off at 1:20 and at 3:10 we come to a bad one caused by a narrow canyon coming in from the right. We portage half the loads and each runs his boats through, Galloway having got all over the trepidation he had in Lodore Canyon as to our being able to handle our own boats. Then we continue until 4:10 when we come to a small side gorge on the left and luckily see five goats on a ledge high above the river. At the third shot the smallest one comes tumbling down the terraced wall almost to our feet. This is fortunate, because had it not fallen it would have been impossible to climb up and get it. Ail prospect of short rations is now at an end, but alast Our chance for adventure has also gone glimmering. One may only have an adventure if through oversight or lack of information inadequate preparation is made for whatever is to be undertaken. If he then meets with unforeseen difficulty, an adventure may result. Stefansson, who ought to know, says having an adventure is proof of in-competence.
As my side hurts pretty badly we make camp Just below on the left. Galloway prepares another plaster, but I will use the hot water applications tonight, as I have heretofore. We have now passed fifteen rapids in this canyon. At this writing, 7:50 P.M., the wind is rising quite strong. Just below us in midstream is a very large rock, also one or two smaller ones which Galloway says have fallen since he was here fourteen years ago, but he must be in error, because Dellenbaugh speaks of seeing them when he was here.
Saturday, October 30, 1909
In spite of my diligent application of hot cloths my side is still quite painful. If it gets much worse I am afraid I shall be unable to handle my boat, which would create an awkward situation. It is now no better than last evening.
Off at 8 :45 and at 9:25 we come to a severe rapid caused by a side canyon on the right. Here the loads are portaged about three hundred yards while Galloway and Dubendorff line the boats on the opposite side about one hundred feet and then run them across where we load up and run four more, one of which is very wild but free from rocks. We stop at 12 M. on a high bank on the left side where there is some grass.
During the entire forenoon there has been a violent wind up stream, sometimes so strong as to make headway against it difficult even with the aid of the current, and with the canvas fenders down. Off at 12:50 and soon we come to where the marble rises above the water. We run four rapids, the last one very turbulent and swift. Then we portage about one hundred and fifty feet at the next one (Number Twenty-five), line the boats, reload, and run the rest of it. Number Twenty-six is also rough but we run it without difficulty and camp on the right at the mouth of a side gorge Just below a short bad one, at 4:50. We hope to run this in the morning after packing our stuff to the first eddy below.
The walls have now risen to a great height and are grand beyond description. What a pity it is that the spoken word cannot approach the visual eloquence of nature 1 Here it seems to outrun even the grasp of the imagination.
My side is still very sore. I may have to lay up for two or three days to nurse it with hot water applications. Here we find driftwood one hundred and seven feet above the present water level.
Sunday, October 31, 1909
Galloway says that yesterday we ran four rapids that he and Richmond lined. The side gorge where we camped last night is short and boxed near the top. Here are many springs of clear though somewhat warm water. The marble has now risen one hundred feet or so above the water and is beautifully exposed on the left. My side feels better.
Start at 8:35, run the first one in good shape, then load up and go on. At 9:25 we reach a tough rapid caused by rocks from a side canyon on the left. We line the boats about two hundred feet, run the rest, and are away at 10 o'clock.
We have passed ten rapids this forenoon, not counting the small ones, one being S-shaped and quite long, with a small gravel bar in the middle. Opposite this a number of copious springs gush out of the rock at various heights on the right, and, clothing the otherwise naked wall in exquisite beauty, the loveliest green drapery hangs in graceful festoons. No artificial arrangement could outdo tills wonderful hanging garden that Powell named Vasey's Paradise, and no more appropriate designation could have been found. In this environment it is as enchanting as the liquid melody of a songbird in an otherwise silent wilderness.
We are off once more at 12:50 and run everything this afternoon, including two or three very lively ones. We have passed through twenty-one to-day, making a total of forty-six so far in Marble Canyon. We camp at 4:25 on the right on a flood plain of sand overlying a bed of heavy rocks causing a small rapid Just below. Here are mesquite, small willows, and hackberry trees, also some cat-claw and tall, coarse grass. We must be somewhere near the mouth of the Little Colorado. If so, we may reach Bright Angel the day after tomorrow night, which would put us almost a month ahead of our original schedule. My side feels somewhat better, but on suspicion, I will again use hot water applications. This involves no difficulty other than keeping a fire alt night and prevents me from getting much sleep. I am now pretty well "tuckered out," notwithstanding my otherwise splendid physical condition. Unhampered by this slight attack now apparently passing away, I can easily outdo the others, but sleep is becoming an insistent necessity.
Monday, November 1, 1909
Under way at 8 A.M. and soon pass several small rapids. At 9:20 we come to a rather bad one which, after examination, we run without incident. This is followed by a somewhat less violent one and that again by others, all of which we run until 10:50, when we reach the Little Colorado.
The water it brings in is limpid but salty from salt springs a few miles up stream. Its bluish-white color contrasts strangely with the muddy Colorado. Luckily, our fears that this stream might bring in a flood are groundless. After taking three or four pictures we go on at 11 o'clock and run to the big dike, where we stop for lunch on the right side at 12:05. Someone has driven a prospect hole into the ledge at this point, and we naturally inspect it. The result of this investigation is a net increment to our larder of two cans of milk, two of beans, two of salmon, and one of syrup, for which we give silent thanks to the owner, whoever he may be. We need the provisions, but take only enough to help us out. We hope he will still strike it rich and be rewarded a million-fold for his involuntary generosity! I wonder if this is the way every burglar feels?
At 3:15 we come to a long had rapid along a vertical wall on the left. And as it looks equally bad on the right side, Galloway crosses to examine the other side. On his return the boats are lined on the right for three hundred and fifty feet or so with the loads in. Then we run the rest and reach the head of the upper granite in the Grand Canyon at 4:10, where we make camp on the left. We have today run eighteen rapids in the Marble and thirteen in the Grand Canyon, or thirty-one in all.
Tuesday, November 2, 1909
We start at 8:05. At 9:35 we reach a long, rocky rapid where the loads are portaged about three hundred yards while Galloway brings the light boats through. It is a difficult one at the present stage of water because the channel is filled with rocks, but we finish at 11:20 and go on until noon, then take a snack on the left bank at 12. We are off again at 12:50, running a succession of rapids until we come to the much-touted "Sockdolager." It is possibly one-third of a mile long and boxed from the beginning. We climb a ledge on the left as high as we can to examine it, pick out a channel, and then start. It is a rough piece of water, sure enough, but luckily everyone comes through with little more than a soaking and a lively sense of having been tossed around considerably. We take five snapshots from the boat while we are running it. These photographs show turbulent waves but none approaching thirty feet in height. We land on a ledge at its lower end and Coggswell levels it to ascertain its declivity, there being some discrepancies in the estimates of various writers. This comes out as being thirty-four feet and some inches.
We soon come to another considerably shorter one- This is also run without incident other than quick, hard work. Again below this is a very short one having a fall of possibly ten feet in fifty. As a result the waves are unusually high, probably eight feet (possibly two or three are ten), but this is also run without incident. Then there are a number of others making twenty-two in al! today, only four of them really bad. We reach the foot of Bright Angel Creek trail and go into camp at 4:20 on the north side, near the "tramway" (a cable across the river). Then we hunt for Dave Rust, whom we expected to find here. But all seems deserted, so we will start up the trail early to-morrow, to take out the exposed films and to bring back unexposed ones, as well as provisions for the rest of the Journey.
Wednesday, November 3, 1909
We start up the trail at 8:20, I with a pack of exposed films, et cetera, Galloway with another, and Cogswell with a camera, leaving Dubendorff to look after the boats. We get to the Indian Gardens for lunch and to El Tovar at 3:40, staying there overnight.
I wire home and get a reply saying our little son, two years old, has had congestion of the lungs. I telegraph Mrs. Stone to start for California as soon as Franz can travel, taking all the children and a nurse, saying that I will come to Pasadena from Needles unless he is dangerously sick, in which case I will come home at once. No reply to this has arrived up to bedtime.
Before retiring I pack up the Sims that are to be shipped home and unpack those we are to take with us tomorrow. The package I carried up from the river weighed twenty-nine pounds. Galloway carried twenty-three pounds.
We might have gone on to the foot of Bright Angel Trail instead of starting up the rougher, steeper, and longer one from the Tramway, but thought we were at Bright Angel, whereas in fact we were farther up stream, though we did not find this out until to-day on reaching the rim. "Learn one new thing each day" is the old maxim. In this instance we heeded it, but at the cost of some weary miles that we might have avoided had we known just where we were.
Thursday, November 4, 1909
At breakfast I meet a Mr. Weaver, from Columbus. I also receive telegraphic advice that Mrs. Stone will start for California as soon as possible. Therefore, we decide to finish the trip and wire home to that effect.
Arrangements are made with a Mr. Fleming, who has charge of transportation at El Tovar, to bring our supplies down on a pack animal early in the morning. Then we get our lunch and start down the trail at 1:30, reaching the river at 5:35, where we have to wait a little while before Dubendorff shows up and brings a boat over.
Galloway objects to resuming our journey tomorrow because it will be Friday, but he has too much good sense about other things to harbor such a fool notion, and is old enough to learn that it is nothing else. Therefore, we will start as planned.
We take to the river again at 8 A.M. and drop down to the foot of Bright Angel Trail, where we await the packer with our supplies. He and Mr. Fleming come promptly at 8:25 and we are on our way at 8:50. We reach Horn Creek rapid at 9:25, where the loads are portaged a short distance. The boats are then lined part way, then taken out thirty feet and lined to the foot. We reload and start at 12:25. stopping for lunch about a mile below. At 1:30 we arc off again and at 2:15 come to Granite Falls, a very heavy rapid full of large rocks, the water dashing against a vertical wall on the right. We might run this, but decide to portage and line part way, a process which takes until 4:20. We make camp at the foot on the left. The sky being full of cloud-play, we are treated to a gorgeous sunset. Red, blue, purple, and flaming gold are flung in riotous profusion across the open space above us, swinging and shifting in combinations and recombinations of the keynotes of yellow, red, and blue. Surely no audible melody is more entrancing or inspiring than this visual music of the skies. The sweep of its harmonious variations transcends description. It lies beyond the potency of words. Here with the impassive, dead gray of the naked granite about us, with the unquiet and inhospitable river at our feet, the glory of the scene above us unfolds in never-to-be-forgotten splendor.
Saturday, November 6, 1009
Starting at 8:05, we reach the Hermit Creek rapid at 8:25. This is a bad one. We portage everything, line the boats part way, take them out and around a large rock, line to where the loads are, then run the rest, and are away at 11:40. Galloway, Dubendorff, and I all get bunged up by slipping on the wet rocks while working here. Dubendorff narrowly escapes being killed by falling on his head among the boulders. He welcomes every experience with a laugh and egarly comes back for more. Nature surely wrapped his skin around a real man. With no boating experience prior to our start he has become masterfully competent to do whatever is necessary- At 12:10 we stop on the left. Resuming the voyage at 1:10, we soon come to another heavy rapid which we might run were it not so full of rocks. So we drop part way down and unload. Galloway takes the boats through light while we portage the loads. We are away once more at 2:20, running everything until 4:10, when we reach another one which might be safely run but for a bad rock in the middle of the channel toward the lower end where it narrows and the entire current sweeps against, or rather toward, the rock. We decide to portage on the right side, make camp, and line the boats m the morning. This portage, though only about one hundred and fifty or two hundred yards, is a tough one, being over and among very large rocks.
A strong wind has blown up stream for two hours this afternoon. We passed eleven rapids yesterday and ten today, not counting the small ones, though there have been few that could be called really small. The river is high for this season of the year and the rapids correspondingly accentuated. The top of the granite is much lower today, but will rise again when the river turns south.
We shall be glad to be out of it. The gray monotony of its naked walls is anything but enjoyable or interesting, excepting to note the large number of fissure veins, some of which are truly enormous, but all probably barren of metal save to a small extent.
Sunday, November 7, 1909
Starting at 7:50, we are through the rapid just below by 9:25. Running the next five, at 10:50 we reach a heavy one caused by a side gorge coming in from the left. Here we line part way on that side, then unload, and portage about one hundred and fifty yards, take the boats out thirty feet, tine down to the loads, get our lunch, and are off once more at 1:25.
At 2 P.M. we come to Bass's Trail. Here on the right we find a note held in the split end of a stick stuck into the mud at the water's edge stating where we will find a letter, which I get. It is from W. H. Sharp, a brother of the Sharp of our party. He tells us to be sure to see Mr. Bass, as "he knows more about the whole river than anyone." Sorry not to have time to do so, we proceed and at once come to a stretch of swift water. The rapids are frequent and the average declivity of the stream seems as great as anywhere thus far. At 3 P.M. we reach an especially bad one where a gorge comes in from both sides and a ledge juts out into the stream from the left about one third of the way down tile rapid. There is at this stage of the river no chance to run it, as it is very heavy and full of rocks. One with a sharp edge in mid-stream causes two sprays of water to rise three or four feet into the air like a pair of perfectly curved horns.
We line the boats part way down, one at a time, on the left, then unload, line farther, and take them out about two boat lengths, then line to an eddy below two ledges of granite, Dubendorff's boat first, then mine. By this time it is too dark to do more, so we camp and dry ourselves by a big fire, there being plenty of driftwood. We are now near Powell's Plateau and at rapid Number 138 from Lee's Ferry, according to our count, which is fewer than Stanton's, and Number Seventy-four in the Grand Canyon. This is probably the most difficult rapid we have had to contend with, doubtless because of the existing stage of water.
Monday, November 8, 1909
We begin on Galloway's boat at 7:30 and are all finished, loaded up, and off at 8:35, running everything until 12:05, when we stop for lunch on the left, having made good progress this forenoon. The grade of the river continues steep. The granite disappeared at 10:40.
At nearly every camp and at our noon stop today we have seen otter sign, usually quite fresh, but we catch no glimpse of even one. Here, as we land, are seen the tracks of two from the water to the rocks that must have been made but a few moments ago, because the sand is still wet with the drippings from their fur. Galloway is so absorbed in his quest for them that he eats no lunch. The spirit of the chase is certainly a part of his being. With no especial effort he notes the slightest indication of all kinds of wild life and, knowing their habits so thoroughly, readily discerns what they will do. However, he fails to run the two otter out of their hiding place. Hunger, discomfort, hard exertion, and everything the average person shuns have no existence for him when the quarry is near. Man is uf necessity a stealth hunter. Galloway seems to possess all the resourcefulness of early man who lived by the chase alone. I have seen him go through a heavy stand of dead willows almost as noiselessly as the proverbial shadow, while I trying to follow him made comparatively as much racket as a stampeding drove of hogs.
We go on at 1:05, still running everything without mishap, until 3:15 when we arrive at a rather bad rapid. Here, as in several previous instances we do not agree among our-selves as to the best method of running it. Galloway picks his course along the right where there are quite a number of rocks but no big waves. I incline to the open water, even though it is rough, while Dubie, coming last, avails himself of the route taken by the one who gets through more easily.
Galloway goes ahead, I next, and dropping into an eddy below the first rock I see he has been unable to follow the course he picked out. His boat strikes a partly submerged rock twenty feet from the place he tried to reach. This confirms my decision that the heavy water is safer. For me, it turns out to be correct, as I go through all o.k., getting wet, of course. However, on looking around at the first opportunity to do so safely, I see Dubie's boat on the crest of a big wave near the upper end of the rapid. Then it goes out of sight, reappears in the act of turning over almost endwise, and comes down bottom up. Now and then I glimpse his head bobbing up a moment, then disappearing again, but out of sight the greater part of the time. I call to Galloway and try to catch the bow line of Dubendorff's boat as it reaches me, but am unable to do so because of the high canvas sides on my own, I not having had time to drop them. Galloway slips his line through the iron handhold at its stern, takes a hitch around his leg and so tows it to the right bank before it reaches the next rapid. I pick up the other things as they float down, then Galloway and I strip off, go into the water, turn the boat right side up, pull it up on the rocks, and tip the water out.
In the meantime Dubendorff, who so suddenly decided to run this one without a boat, and succeeded, has crawled out about three hundred yards below where the spill occurred. He comes down to help us. His head is pretty badly cut and with the blood streaming down over his face he surely looks unhand-some. Still, his first words are, "I'd like to try that again. I know I can run it !" He is as gritty as a flapjack rolled in sand. But all's well that ends well, for we soon cross to the left bank, build a fire in a sheltered spot (wood is a little scarce) and warm ourselves. I tinker up the cut in Dubie's head. The wet stuff is spread out on the rocks to dry and, but for a broken oar, there soon is small evidence of trouble.
It seems that when Dubendorf's boat went over the first big wave, the end of the extra oar, lashed on the deck behind the cockpit and projecting over the stern, caught on a rock. The speed and inertia of the boat were such that it went over end-wise. This is the last rapid in "Conquistador Aisle," so named in the Shinumo quadrangle of the government map. Whoever runs it successfully at a corresponding stage of water will know the satisfaction of having accomplished a man's job. Twenty rapids today with no trouble except as noted.
Tuesday, November 9, 1909
Starting at 8:10, we run everything to Kanab Wash, which we reach at 11:25. Inspecting the rapid Just below, we decide to run it (Hobson's Choice, there being nothing else to do!). This is done with little difficulty. Then we stop for lunch at 11:50 on the right at its foot. Dubie accidentally drops one of our skillets into the river as he is taking part of the camp kit out of his boat. This leaves us but one, so I strip off and, with a rope tied around me, the current being swift, hunt among the rocks until the water gets too chilly, but fail to recover it.
Off at 12:40. At 2:15 we see a band of bighorn on a ledge to the left. This is the third lot we have seen today. Being short of meat, we stop and go after one, the net result being that we bag two, a young one and a magnificent ram, its hums measuring seventeen inches in circumference at their base. There were five rams in this bunch, and as I went to skin the big one the others walked somewhat leisurely away. A number of others went up a broken-down place in the wall to the next bench above. These animals were so tame that it seems fair to infer they had not seen human beings before. We might have killed all of them but I am glad no one even suggested shooting any more. This now makes it possible to supply the Ohio State Museum with as fine a pair of Ovis montana, as I have ever seen.
It takes me until 4:00 to skin out the ram. In the meantime Galloway and Dubendorff have skinned and cut up the iamb. Then we climb downmore difficult than coming upand hunt a camping place, which is found under an overhanging ledge on the left, so to-night we will sleep under a roof possibly a thousand feet in thickness. We find only one large piece of driftwood. This is on the opposite side and it requires some effort to cut it in two and bring it across piecemeal.
It is storming on the rim. The wind up stream has been very violent this afternoon. A few splashes of rain and even some snowflakes have reached the river.
We passed a beautiful waterfall, possibly one hundred feet high, above Kanab Wash. It comes in from Surprise Valley on the north, there being also many crevices in the wall from which water is flowing. Vegetation has made the most of this opportunity, the result being a vertical flower garden of rare beauty.
We are now below rapid Number 107 in the Grand Canyon. After supper Galloway and I fix a bread skillet by riveting a piece of tin to the rim of an extra plate. We then flesh and salt the bighorn skin and call it a day.
The water brought in by Kanab Wash is not heavy in volume, but is very dirty and a marked yellowish-red in color. All the bighorn we saw today were on the south side.
Wednesday, November 10, 1909
Off at 8:05, running all rapids without incident until noon. The river is swift, the walls very high and generally boxed. At 10:40 we reach the mouth of Cataract Creek. Its contribution of water is small but limpid. At 12:05 we stop for lunch on the right, and are off at 1 o'clock, facing a strong head wind. At 3:13 we come to Lava Falls. Here we portage the loads and line the boats down to where they will have to be taken out in the morning and then make camp on the left on a ledge of calcareous material deposited by warm springs.
Powell describes these springs as being "one or two hundred feet above the river." Possibly they were at that time, but at the present they are not more than twenty feet above the water, and we see no evidence of their having been higher in the past.
Shortly after starting from our noon stop we see a mountain sheep on the left side. The graceful animal follows us a mile or possibly more, running along the ledges and talus with the greatest ease, even down a seemingly vertical wall probably thirty feet or more in height. Its airy nimbleness more nearly resembles flight than locomotion. But finally it drops back and stands watching us until lost to view. At another point a large ram looks down at us from the brink of a precipice rising directly from the river, its head and shoulders beautifully silhouetted against the sky. It would make a wonderful picture, but Coggswell is not ready with the camera, although it remains there statue-like for at least a minute after his attention is called to it.
Here in recent geologic times has been a great lava flow from the northward into the canyon which filled the inner gorge to a height of possibly one thousand feet. At least the buttes and walls are all discolored to a great height above the river, hut the patient, persistent stream has taken it nearly all away.
Thursday, November 11, 1909
It is very cold after midnight. We start portaging the boats at 8:10, are loaded up and off at 9, after which we run everything until noon. At 12:10 we stop for lunch on the right side. At ii o'clock the granite came up again but only for a little way. We have passed many remnants of lava this fore-noon, including old flows from the north rim to the river, and now hope to reach Diamond Creek in three days- If we do, practically all our troubles will be ended, that being the last very bad rapid in the canyon, so Galloway says. We are off again at 1:05 and at 3:50 stop on -the left bank for -the purpose of drying the sheep skin before sunset, also to have one good comfortable camp before tackling the lower granite which we should reach to-morrow. We have without difficulty run every rapid this side of Lava Falls.
The last one today was lively, making eighteen in all, a total of 204 from Lee's Ferry, and 140 in the Grand Canyon.
Friday, November 12, 1909
There is a brisk, cold wind down the canyon which feels like snow, or rather indicates a storm, probably with snow, in the upper country. It rained a little during the night, and at times the wind was high. We are off at 8:05. At 10:35 we come to the lower granite. We run all the rapids until 11:45, and then stop on the left for lunch. Off again at 12:45 running everything until 4 P.M., when we make camp on the left below No. 174.
In rapid No. 172 one of Dubendorff's oarlocks pulled out of its socket, he not having them properly wired in. He narrowly escaped being wrecked on a sharp rock on the right. As a matter of precaution we stopped at once and secured them properly.
We have to-day run thirty-four rapids, all of more than average severity, some of them very wild, but except for Dubendorff's little mishap have not made a blunder of any sort. We now feel confident that we can run any rapid through which it is possible to take a boat and live. The air feels shivery and snowlike. There doubtless is or has been a heavy storm on the rim, but that is far above us. We saw butterflies during the midday hours. Still, we have seen one or more nearly every day. On the left side this afternoon we passed a large deposit of travertine, covering the granite like a great curtain. Here also we saw a beautiful rill trickling down the wall from its top, leaving a marked deposit on the face of the cliff, a sort of vertical flood plain.
Saturday, November 13, 1909
Glorious sunrise, no wind. Off at 8 o'clock and run every-thing down to Separation Rapid, where three of Powell's men went out on the north, and were afterward killed by the Indians (see page 98 Powell's monograph, "The Colorado River of the West"). We reach here at 9:15 and examine it carefully, taking photographs from all advantageous positions in order to show the situation clearly and supply Stanton with such copies as he may wish to use in his book, he having some interesting information with regard to what occurred in Powell's party at this point. He, Powell, states they could not see the three who were left behind from the first place at which it was possible to stop after starting down the rapid.
Here there are really three rapids in succession, all in a straight line. Then there is a fourth one partially around a bend where a large slanting rock lies at the water's edge on the right. The upper rapid is heavy but nothing at all like Powell's description, though after having run it, he states it was not nearly as bad as he had expected. The second is less wild and the third hardly more than a bad riffle. There are several eddies where a boat or boats might stop without difficulty on either side below each of the three rapids. We did so and there can be no doubt of it. Powell says they had to pull with all their might to keep their boats off the slanting rock in the fourth rapid. I purposely let my boat drift on approaching it and did not come within ten feet of it.
At 11:45 we come to what Galloway says is Diamond Creek, where we lunch on the south side above its mouth. It is a beautifully limpid little stream, but the rapid its contribution of rocks causes is a terror. If fear has any message for us or disaster any threat, here is where we should hear it on the quivering air. The shock of the angry water actually makes he air pulsate. Looked at from every viewpoint this is, as Galloway says, the worst rapid in the whole series of canyons. We cross to the north side at 12:30 and begin portaging all our loads over the saddle of a lava-capped cliff, It is one hundred and fifty feet or more in height. The eastern slope is of loose broken rock lying at the angle of repose, but apparently willing to be disturbed by the slightest shock. To make matters worse, there are quite a number of cacti and small cat-claw lushes among the debris. The western slope is steep and bare. Toward evening all has been carried over and along a shelf five or six feet above the water to a point four hundred feet down stream. At dark the boats have been let down just below the first plunge and from here we shall have to take them out for thirty or forty feet in the morning, then line them to where the stuff is. We make the boats as secure as possible in an eddy, but after dark find the current is tossing them so badly that we pull them up on the rocks as far above the water as space permits.
The wind is from the north and very gusty. The sky is cloudy, and as it threatens a storm we pitch our tents on the bare rock, shoveling in some sand to take the curse off. Then with the little driftwood gathered before dark we make supper and turn in, tired out but dd thankful we are here.
This forenoon, just after arriving, while clambering over the rocks on the left side in order to look the situation over as thoroughly as possible, I slip and as I fall the heel of my right edges between two rocks in such a manner as to leave me hanging head downward with my back toward the rocks lolly helpless. Galloway and Dubendorff quickly get me loose but my ankle is badly sprained. Dubie's knee, hurt at his last spill, is now swollen and painful, so he and I have not had pleasant day's work.
This rapid being wholly boxed in at its head, the face of the ledge on the right rising vertically from the water, it is very difficult to line. We are fortunate, however, in having an extra rope which we stretch along the cliff face to keep from tumbling into the river. At higher water it might be run, but even then it would be bad. At the present stage it would be inviting disaster to attempt it.
We are now pretty well practiced in handling our boats through rough, swift, and difficult places, but do not feel like going out of our way to take a chance of bidding the Devil good morning.
At 7:35 P.M. the wind has quieted down. Today we ran everything down to this one, 190 so far in Grand Canyon, passing one place this afternoon where the river at this stage of water was not over thirty-five feet wide, being boxed in and correspondingly swift. A rise of three or four feet would it out to two hundred and fifty or more.
Last night Galloway shaved and washed himself carefully. He has done this at three or four bad places, but not elsewhere. Dubendorff and I are wondering whether it is not due to some little superstition, but as we probably have other kinks that equally queer to him, we call it a stand-off.
Remnants of lava are found all along the river from Lava Falls to this point. We have now passed 222 rapids in the Grand Canyon and 64 in Marble Canyon, making 286 below Lee's Ferry.
Sunday, November 14, 1909
It is very cloudy and threatening "a storm. Southwest wind. It sprinkled a few times during the night. We hope to reach the end of the granite today. I did not sleep at all well but am feeling bully this morning. We begin work at 7 ;30 and in one hour have taken our boats down to where we camped, loaded up and are off, running the rest of this rapid. Then we run everything until at 12:15 we come to the end of the granite. We stop on the right, put on skegs for the last time, eat a bite, and are on our way at 2:10. Very cloudy. There is a high, gusty wind. The air is full of sand particles which are blown about like dry snow but are much more annoying, especially at lunch. At 3:10, a storm being almost upon us, we stop at the first available place on the left- Hardly are the tents up when it begins raining heavily, dense black clouds rolling into the inner gorge until the cliffs are hidden behind their misty veil. It becomes very dark, but now and then through a cloudrift we can see the snow falling on the rim, though the precipitation reaches us mostly as a chilly rain. Intermittently we hear the distant or nearby crash of rock masses falling in the side gorges around us- Fortunately, our camp is in the open and we are wholly out of harm's way. Still, these reports, like the sound of distant guns, the whistle of the wind, and the swish of the driven rain and sleet make us appreciate the security of our position very keenly. The rolling storm with its gathering gloom about and above us, composes and completes an elemental panorama in as grand a setting as few have ever had the privilege of beholding. I am glad this glory has fallen to our lot once, but once is Just enough. It continues until 4:30 A.M. and brings us much physical discomfort.
To-day we ran thirty-two rapids, but without serious trouble. In one short, swift one we again felt against our faces the rush of air due wholly to our velocity. There have been probably half a dozen marked instances of this kind.
This afternoon the right wall was curtained by a deposit of travertine for a distance of two and one half or three miles.
The distance from here to Needles cannot be more than two hundred miles. This we should accomplish in six or seven days, if we have good weather.
Monday, November 15, 1909
No wind, no clouds, no hint of the unquiet night except for the frosty look and feel of everything. The whole scene is so changed it hardly seems like the same environment. A few hours ago all was darkness and blustering storm. Now there is the still, clear air of the morning, the white benediction of the snow on the crags above, and the ineffable blue of the sky beyond. Under this enchantment, he must be dull indeed who does not in some degree feel the uplifting stir of emotions that are new and strong and fine.
We start at 8:45. At ten o'clock we run out of the canyon, and my hope of many years has become a memory.
The strenuous effort, the chance of failure, and the eager stimulation a difficult task inspiresall are ended. And yet, strange to say I feel no sense of elation. Possibly it is because the hurrying years are leaving more and more of my life be-hind, and this, to which I have eagerly looked forward so long, has now passed into the shadows that fall and lengthen toward the east.
At 11:50 we stop on the right just below the mouth of Grand Wash. We see five wolves and several bobcats below the end of the canyon. I stop and try to get a bobcat, but it disappears among the rocks before I can get a shot. Then we come to Pierce's Ferry, which has been abandoned.
Off again at 12:45 and at 4:05 we reach some placer diggings where we find a Mr. Cox, who kindly supplies us with sugar and baking powder. He and some others have been here a long time but find the gravel not worth working. Now all the rest have gone and he is going soon. After a visit of twenty-five minutes we go on, camping about four miles below on the left at 5:30. We have passed nine light rapids, that is, light as compared with those in the Grand Canyon, also several lesser ones. We will start early tomorrow in order to reach the Virgin River by mid-afternoon. I try to get another wildcat, but fail.
Tuesday, November 16, 1909
Up at 5 :40. Heavy white frost. Off at 7:35, reaching the Virgin River at 12:05 and lunch on the left. Bonelli's ferry above the mouth of the Virgin River has also been abandoned. No one is now living in the house once occupied by those who attended the crossing.
Powell went out at this point, ending his first trip (the second expedition terminated at Kanab Wash), Sumner and Hall going on to the Gulf.
Off at 1:00 and at 5:10 we emerge from Boulder Canyon. A little below its mouth we come to the ruins of "Old Callville," where in 1867 James White was taken from a raft after having, as he claimed, passed (on that precarious platform!) through all the canyons from a point somewhere above the junction of the Green and the Colorado in thirteen daysa claim so manifestly incredible as not to win the belief of anyone who has passed through either the Marble or the Grand Canyon.
A mile or so below Old Callville we see three Indians or Mexicans in a boat. They act in such a way as to excite our suspicions a little, and Galloway thinks we had better go somewhat farther. This we do, not making camp until after sundown, on the right, just below the foot of an island and above the mouth of Las Vegas Wash, in the State of Nevada.
Here are very many beaver sign. We hear several beaver around our boats after dark.
Wednesday, November 17, 1909
Galloway caught two beaver, one medium and one very large. The big one must weigh seventy pounds. Here they are very numerous. All through the night, whenever we were conscious, we could hear the slap of their tails on the water, indicating they were much disturbed at our presence.
We make a rather late start at 9:00 a.m., but soon run into Black Canyon and at 12 we stop for lunch on the right side. Here we see a honey bee, probably from some colony that has strayed and found a home in the rocks.
Off at 1:05 and at 2:10 we reach the mouth of Black Canyon, and then come to Eldorado at 3:05, where we stop forty minutes. Here, luckily, we are able to buy four cans of fruit, a ham, two dozen eggs, and a pound of butter from a Mr. Weiss, who is custodian of a mining property which is now idle and practically abandoned.
His housekeeper, Mrs. Atwell, tells us that the four California placer mining men whom we saw at Lee's Ferry stopped here on their way back to Searchlight, staying several days, and that they told of having seen us start, but that we were surely lost, as they had seen pieces of our wrecked boats floating past since coming here. So much for that!
We go on until 5:10, stopping on the left side in as fine a camping place as we have found anywhere. Ham and eggs, hot bread and butter, fruit and tea for dinner! Surely, this is roughing it!
A couple of miles above camp we passed a gold dredge at work in midstream. We learn at Eldorado that they are not doing well, either.
Thursday, November 18, 1909
Up at 5 :40, have a fine breakfast, and are off at 7 :35. The water is comfortably swift. A strong down stream wind soon springs up and helps us considerably.
At the first rapid in Black Canyon yesterday I carelessly omitted to turn my boat (stern down stream) and looking over my shoulder failed to see the sharp top of an almost sub-merged rock until too late to avoid it. The right corner of the boat struck it about five feet back of the bow, causing a slight leak. This rock and the one on which I was hung up in Red Canyon are the only two I failed to miss in the entire distance. The one in Red Canyon did not damage the boat at all, Galloways record is even better, his boat having struck but one and that in the rapid where Dubie was wrecked the last time.
At 11:50 so we stop for lunch on the west side on a long bar from which a strong north wind is raising clouds of sand, making it very uncomfortable. Were it any worse we should have to stop altogether and cover up. Here we see an enormous flock of snow geese at a great height, probably several thousand, going south. The strong wind prevents them from flying in their customary formation and whirls them about in the utmost confusion. Their incessant squawking indicates they are greatly excited about something. Their plumage, pure white excepting the wing tips, which are black, gives the swirling mass the appearance of eddying snowflakes.
Off at 12:45. The river is rising. We come to a recent flood plain which the current is cutting away with astonishing rapidity. The water being deeper and swifter on the outside of the bends, we naturally follow the volume of the current. This takes us along the caving edges of the plain which rise probably ten feet above the river. One large mass is dislodged just as Galloway is alongside of it and almost submerges him and his boat. Had he been closer, it would have buried both at once, and it is very doubtful if he could have got out. After this, we stay far enough away from the higher banks to be reasonably safe.
We reach Fort Mojave at 3, where we stop at the Power House, wishing to pay our respects to the officer in charge, it now being a government Indian School, and in the hope that he wilt invite us to supper, possibly to stay over night. But on inquiring for him, we are told by the Indian in charge of the Power House that the school is quarantined because of smallpox. At once the river looks mighty good to us, and we go on at 3:10, making camp a couple of miles below, in the State of California. We might reach Needles tonight, but we wish to slick up some and generally make ourselves presentable. Then, too, Galloway wants to pack his skins for shipment.
We have had a heavy north wind all day, a circumstance which has helped us greatly. Twelve years ago Galloway and Richmond made the distance from Old Callville to Needles in two days, twenty-five and one-half hours actual rowing time, bringing down the bodies of two men who had been murdered by an Indian, who was afterward caught and executed. Galloway has often said he thought no one could duplicate their feat, he and Richmond having received a special inducement to do their best. However, we have come from Old Callville here in a little over fourteen hours and should reach Needles in not over three more. Still, the wind has helped us. We also have better boats and are equally as strong. Therefore, we should make better time than they.
This is our last camp! In all probability I shall never be on the river again. This realization brings just a tinge of regret, though why is hard to say, since I would not care to try it again, nor to repeat any previous experience- Possibly it is because, and only because, this is the end.
Often and long I shall recall the incomparable exhilaration that came just as I felt my boat slide into the troubled waters of the wilder rapids, only to vanish with the breakers at the foot. All other outdoor experience that I have ever known is feeble and flat in comparison.
Friday, November 19, 1909
We leave our last camp at 7:30. The air is very chilly. A heavy fog over the water makes it difficult to see where we should go. We lose sight of one another frequently, but in an hour the fog vanishes. At 10 o'clock we reach Needles and pull our boats out of the water. Our journey is completed!
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