Seventh and eighth river day 19.2 miles Grant (Monument Creek) Camp 4/01/2019 and 4/02/2019
Having spent the night sharing the camp spot with a group that was already there, we had our first layover day here at Monument Valley a week after we pushed off from Lees Ferry.
As the other group packed up and left the next morning, we hiked down to watch them run Granite Rapid. Rocks and boulders pushed out of Monument Creek and have constricted the Colorado River forcing the water against the right wall which is composed of Vishnu Schist for you geologist types. This wall produces massive waves converging at 45-degree angles with equally large waves coming from the left shoreline. The crew squared up to the lateral waves coming off the right cliff even though the current was going that direction as well. The huge laterals splashing over the bow of the rafts after each hit kept them off the wall while simultaneously allowing them to get right of a massive hole at the bottom.
After watching that crew run the rapid the rest of the layover day was a combination of laundry, bathing, relaxing, and exploring the area. Some of us hiked up Monument Creek trail after a false start up another side canyon because we followed a braided trail that quickly puttered out, which probably led to Cedar Spring. Upon reaching a fork in Monument creek we turned right intersecting with Cope Butte trail. The group split up here wandering around exploring and taking in different views. While I was headed to yet another side canyon, I encountered hikers who most likely came down from Hermits Rest. I chose to head back to camp by descending the right fork of Monument Creek, a beautiful narrows section that took me back to camp. On the walk back the wind picked up, I immediately sprinted for camp because I had left my solar charger on a chair by the river to charge my battery. By the time I got back to my relief the people in camp had everything secured. My battery still wasn’t charged. I believe the solar charger was actually getting too hot and this was keeping it from charging. I had this same problem to a lesser degree on the Main Salmon in ID. I feel like it wasn’t as hot on that trip. You can see more on my review of the GOAL ZERO NOMAD 13 SOLAR PANEL at this link 2020-gear-review-part-1.
The group decided it would have a couple of themed events and tonight was river prom. The schedule seemed to work out so that pretty much every night we had an event, I was cooking. This night began with playing power hour; this is where you drink one shot of beer ever 60 seconds (usually kept track of by varying degrees by the participants). Someone screams drink when they realize a minute has gone by. This is normally deuced by a change in music on a playlist set to change every 60 seconds. Fully decked out in my best pirate attire, along with Ozz the giraffe, and Ryan in a cat print dress with a pink wig, we charged through making dinner and doing the dishes to join the party. While dancing on the beach, all of a sudden Bonnie disappeared into the water: the beach had crumbled under her feet and she was gone. Luckily, she popped up and made it back to shore. The rest of the night was spent literately dancing the beach away. Towards the very end of the night when most of the peninsula had been danced away and a majority of the people had retreated to the main beach area. A few dedicated souls remained on the edge of the beach and danced with every fourth of fifth move involving a large step forward as more of the beach disintegrated into the water. I drifted to sleep stirred awake by occasional shouts of, “everybody drinks, everybody wins!”