On day two, we wrote in our journal, "Hot sun, cold water, big drops," and I think that characterizes the trip! Except I have to add the lovely warm spring waterfalls we climbed to, each more beautiful than the last. We stopped at Stone Creek, Elves' Chasm, Deer Creek, Havasu, and Travertine Falls. Generally, the hikes we did were short because of the intense heat (high of 112 deg one day, I think). The only long hike some people did was up Havasu creek to Beaver Falls (3 mi each way) -- Michelle and I passed on that to stay and swim in the lower pools all day. We called it our private swimming pool in the middle of paradise! We did more rock climbing than we anticipated, but all in Tevas (whatever did we do before those shoes were invented?).
The rapids were super exciting. Glen Canyon Dam dropped the water level in the river from 14000 cfs on our first two days to 8000 cfs for the rest of our trip (to warm the water to help native fish species). We still thought the big rapids were exhilirating, and some minor ones turned into roiling pits! The post lava falls celebration of the last big rapid was somewhat premature, because one of our boats flipped on the last day of rafting! Luckily everyone was ok -- the biggest casualty was a lost disposable camera.
I was happy I took binoculars; the night skies (it was new moon) were unbelievable. I've never seen anything like them, and I do love to look at clear skies! I was so tired that I could barely stay awake past sunset, but after the first night, I remembered to leave my glasses next to me so when I woke before dawn I could see the Milky Way dripping across the sky. We also saw the brightest shooting star we've ever seen. I was practically expecting to hear a thud at the end.
We definitely ate well. How do they keep melon fresh for 14 days? It's a true river mystery. We also grilled porkchops on the beach where Powell's men once subsisted on a little flour, dried apples and coffee. And we even had spiced applesauce and coleslaw on the side!
This trip was awesome in every sense of the word.