/75. I’m part of a group of friends who constantly check
with the National Park Service for the cancellation of
permits to run the Colorado River through the Grand
Canyon. We luck out this year and secure one of these
hard-to-get permits for July. Sixteen of us commit and
make sure we are ready on the designated date. This is
an oar trip of five rafts, with an experienced oarsman in
command of each one. I have a new hypelon raft made
in Taiwan. It’s very maneuverable, though not as classy
as an Avon, but much cheaper. I built a wooden frame
and bought four expensive, high quality ash oars. We all
carry a spare set of oars. After Phantom Ranch we do a
two-night stop at Tapeats Creek, so that we can spend a
day there.
Ron, Jody, Sharon and I hike several miles up to a
magical place called Thunder Falls, where a twin
underground torrent comes pouring from the face of the
red-wall more than two thousand feet above the
Colorado River. Ron and I climb 100 feet up the
treacherous cliff next to the waterfall and then manage to
reach one of the two points where the water pours out of
the red-wall. From there we enter the bowels of the earth;
straddling the flow and bracing against the wall on either
side as we inch into a cool and darkening cavern with the
water rushing between our legs.
Photo by ron cooper