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Day 199: Day 6 - I wasn’t born a riverman, but I’m always learning

Wow! We stayed st Nankoweap Main Beach last night. This is where I hiked down at the end of December and spent 4 days waiting for a ride with some rafters and my knee was quite hurt as well. So glad my knee has healed! I hiked up to the amazing, stunningly beautiful on-the-side-of-a-cliff, crazy view of the Colorado River beautiful. One of the members of our group, Shawn, had been having a toothache and wow his face has swollen up pretty badly. Everyone is kind of worried he’s going to have to get flown out or something. This panic now has turned everyone from kind of tolerating me (and others) to row the boats sometimes to looking for someone to take over as captain of the boat of Shawn has to bail... You see, we are a bit of a ragtag rafting crew. Not a single one of us has rafted the Grand Canyon before and overall our experience tends to be on the lighter side. I was pretty excited to get a chance to row more, but a bit disappointed that the act of rowing so quickly changed from like tolerating but no one really teaching me all the rowing techniques to today: where I will be tested for my skill. Haha, I’ll do it, I thought, but I’m not really ready, but the consequences of failure don’t seem too bad most of the time... So, I ride with Cory and Bill for a couple miles. Cory has quite a bit of a different style than the other two boats I’ve been on but he tries his best to quickly teach me his way. There’s a rapid ahead that we scout and they ask if I’m ready. I think to. Shelf that I’m not really, but why not go for it? Sure, I say excitedly! The funny part is that we all chose to row quite a bit upstream before attacking the rapid. I struggled so much at this, making several mistakes and really looking comical at the oars in general. I thought this alone would bar me from attempting the rapid, but I was still going to do it if they let me. Basically, I ended up hitting a rock and got the raft suck. At first I was scared, but the raft just kind of came to a stop and everyone was fine, so no worries there. Bill, Cory, and I calmly tried several things to get the raft unstuck. It took about 20 or 25 minutes to do, but eventually we got it. Bill had to jump in the boat at the end with only one chance to make it. He made it! Pretty fun overall. To row more I need to start slower, probably on flat water, to really make the strokes second nature before moving on. I’ve literally barely rowed anything at all! Next, after a few miles, we had some amazing times at the Little Colorado River. This river is a vivid sky blue color and is just stunning in a lot of ways. We floated down the river in our dry suits and ate lunch and generally enjoyed life! What a great place! There are some potential plans to have a gondola built to come down here. While it is incredibly beautiful and very hard to access, overall I think the gondola would be a bad idea. So few places like this in the world, making it hard to get to is probably a good thing!

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