Along the way, there were stops to jump in the river and cool down. Our stop for lunch included a canyon formation lesson and cliff hike with serious jumping for the intrepid!
Cliff hike – interesting boulder appears almost hewn for a building cornerstone.
A later stop along the river was a spectacular hidden waterfall at Travertine Canyon that blithefully flowed from a grotto down several winding rock levels to reach the river. We climbed rope ladders to reach the amazing grotto at the top, cooled invitingly by the falls’ origination point. We frolicked there for some time before descending the rope ladders aided by the stronger and abler hikers. Everyone climbed safely down to return to the rafts.
In the Waterfall Grotto
River View from the Grotto
Sheryl in Travertine Waterfall at River Mile 229.5 Photography by James O’Brien
We continued the river journey to the next camp once again with rapids providing a natural lullaby for stress-less sleep. This last night we pulled ashore by Separation Canyon at River Mile 229.5, the very place where John Wesley Powell’s
Panoramic view of rocky camp site on Day 2; Separation Canyon to the right with wispy clouds.
expedition in August 28, 1869 disputed whether to continue their grueling three-month long journey down the Green and Colorado rivers or to hike out Separation Canyon, one of the many massive lateral canyons within the Grand Canyon. Although provisions were gone, Powell urged his team to continue down river, but three of the men walked away never to be seen again. These canyons are another mystery of the Grand Canyon within the traditional theory of formation by the Colorado River over millions of years—how could the river have carved these side canyons?
Powell and the remaining crew left a boat behind encouraging the departing hikers to turn back and rejoin them if they heard three rifle shots indicating they had successfully navigated the intimidating rapids. The shots were fired and though the party waited for the three to return, they did not; ironically, these were the last major rapids as Powell’s exhibition was close to the canyon end. We commemorated the event just 2 days ahead of the 150th anniversary.
Before dinner Bill shared a life-challenging ministry time regarding II Peter 3:3-7 and Genesis 1:6-8, commenting that God could not call day 2 of creation “very good” as He did the other creation days for He knew that sin would mar His creation requiring judgement. As Peter observes it is only through repentance that we receive God’s salvation.
The camp was filled with small rocks making walking difficult in my river shoes so I donned my tennies which I fortunately had along. Having initially picked a less than ideal spot for my cot, I decided after conferring with a fellow journeyman to move it to a cooler spot closer to the river. By the time I was situated, darkness overtook the camp. I could not find my flashlight so begged one from the river guides who were very accommodating the whole trip. I ate quickly by the outdoor kitchen as by then it had turned completely dark. Cautiously I shone my flashlight as a “lamp unto my feet” to make my way over the rock field back to my secluded cot and settled down in the privacy of canyon darkness. We slept well that night after a very satisfyingly active day on the river. The canyon walls were so closed in around the camp, we never saw the moon rise that night.