Day 2

April 1, 2011

Spring in Red Canyon to Beach at Papago Slide

I got up at 5:50 (first light at 5:30, sunrise at 6:15).  I left camp with 4 quarts of water, more than enough to get to Asbestos Canyon, assuming I didn't have to wait too long for a ride across the river.  I left camp at 7:05.  I ran into Ellen (one of the medical students I saw yesterday) at 7:20 -- she had left her group early to avoid the heat.  I arrived at the river at 8:05.  I walked down-river to the large beach and saw some tents at the far end of the beach.  As soon as I started hiking up-river I passed a river party camped about a hundred yards above Hance Rapids.  I asked them for a lift but, as expected, they wanted to run the rapids on river-left and wouldn't be able to get across and back quickly enough.  Hance is one of the bigger rapids on the Colorado, and river runners take it very seriously.

I arrived at Papago Slide beach around 9:30.  I picked this spot to wait for a raft because it would be easy for a raft to pull in, and it was far enough above Hance Rapids to allow them to shuttle me across and then get back and set up to run the rapid on river-left.  It started to cool off and the wind picked up. 

Looking Towards Ramp into Asbestos.

Looking Down Canyon from Papago Beach.

Waiting for a Raft.

I waited all day for a raft, but none came.  I listened to books on my iPod, including How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer and One Second After by William Forstchen.  What I really wanted to do was take a nap.  But I couldn't, since I needed to remain vigilant.  It was a very long day.  At 5:00 I gave up and set up camp.  Not much chance of a raft coming by this late in the day.  Clouds were building fast so I set up my tent in the most sheltered part of the beach.  At 6:30, soon after dinner, it began to rain and the wind began to blow hard, hard enough to start blowing sand into my tent.  But it only lasted a half hour or so. 

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