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Down the river and through the rapids!

In September 2000 we delighted in a ten-day photography workshop rafting down the Colorado River from Lee's Ferry to Diamond Creek, 226 miles. This workshop was sponsored by Friends of Arizona Highways, a group that supports the magazine of that name published by the Arizona Department of Transportation. The trip leader was Gary Ladd of Page, Arizona, known for his photography of the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and other scenic Colorado Plateau locations.


Click here to read a Journal of our trip

Darlene's Story about A Hitchhiking Mouse


This is the "Block Wall" viewed from Arch Camp. Our first night on the river we slept on the sand in the foreground. No tent was needed.


The next morning we rafted across the river to North Canyon, where we saw interesting mud cookies and a garden of datura flowers, with vivid green leaves contrasting with red rock.


We hiked to the memorable pool and terraced rock in upper North Canyon.


A volleyball game was underway at Redwall Cavern when we arrived. A woman was sitting on the sand at the rear of the huge cavern playing a haunting melody on a native wooden flute.


We found a wide sandy campsite and plenty of photographic opportunities at Buck Farm.


The Nankoweap granaries, accessed by a steep trail, are high above the river and provided a good view of the route we would traverse the next morning.


Kwagunt Rapid sparkled in the morning light.


Dark vishnu schist lines the Upper Granite Gorge, conveying a more ominous feeling compared to the joy of redwall rock.


The two spillways of Clear Creek Falls were intriguing.


The smooth water approach followed by a turbulent passage at Horn Creek Rapid was typical of the rapids we passed through.


This fluted Vishnu tower was sculpted by water and sand.


Amazingly, Jim was able to stand in the floating raft and handhold the camera, with a telephoto lens attached, to photograph this bighorn ram watching our passage.


Deer Creek Falls are the tallest falls at river level.


We walked up the narrow Muav limestone slot canyon of Matkatamiba Creek.


It was a challenge to climb the falls at the head of the Matkatamiba slot.


There were sharp edges on fluted rocks near Sinyala Canyon.


The reflections and patterns on the canyon walls caught Darlene's attention at Mile 164.


A hanging slot poured water into a pool at Mile 164.


Eroded Muav limestone formed a wall with ledges in National Canyon. In addition to teaching about photography, Gary taught us how to recognize the changing rock layers in the canyon walls.


Our hike ended at the pool in National Canyon.


As we watched a raft passing through Lava Falls, one of the biggest on the river, we realized that we would probably get wet when our turn came. We did, but it was great fun!.


If you enjoyed our view of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River and want to see more, read Gary Ladd's large format book, Grand Canyon, Time Below the Rim, published by Arizona Highways in 1999. His Canyon Light, Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon, was published by Cerca in 2003. Both books are filled with inspiring photographs.


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