"it was rather amazing. And pleasant..."
Brief Trip Report Sept. 24, 2009 Rich Phillips
Hi, Just got off a 16-day Lees Ferry to South Cove trip (long story about that schedule) and had a couple of observations.
1. Didn't see a single other private boater from Phantom to South Cove. Some folks we talked with (including Mike McGinnis on an NPS administrative trip somewhere below 232) thought this may have been a combination of private motor trips launching in front of us and our accelerated schedule keeping us in front of the other launches. Nonetheless, it was rather amazing. And pleasant....
2. Many days, we saw only just commercial trip. Only at Havasu did we see more than two in any one day. We did play hopscotch with an OARS dory trip at Stone, Havasu, and below Lava. But other than that, even the number of interactions with commercial trips was relatively minor.
3. Pearce Ferry Rapid is to be taken very seriously. I'll post in the Photos section a couple of pictures of what it looks like (along with a river view of the new road site). But they don't tell the tale at all. Before we launched, we were told that it had flipped a 36 foot S rig the week before. I was solo from Diamond down, and looked at Pearce a long time before getting back in my boat. The only reason I decided to run it myself was that I was convinced the line I was going to try would flush me clear if I screwed up. And I did. Screw up, that is. First flip for me, and it was a doozy..... The speed of the current to the left of the rock is what fooled me. I simply was about two strokes short, and thirty degrees of angle off, from where I needed to be when I got to the critical spot in my ferry. Now I know why the jet boats no longer will run this rapid, and the S-rigs are leaving their side tubes on until they get through it!!
4. If you flip on the lower river, there are lots of places where there are no suitable anchors for a Z-drag. No big trees. No big rocks. Soft, silty sand that won't hold anchors very well. So --- having nothing better to do by yourself on a clear, sunny September afternoon --- why not derig the upside down boat and then re-rig it?
5. There is current to within 3 miles (2.8 on my GPS) of South Cove. With a moderate wind it still took me only two hours to get from the end of the current to the takeout.
6. River Runners Shuttle did an excellent job, as they did for me in the past. In fact, with a Sunday afternoon phone call to them, they delivered my truck that evening right to the water -- allowing me a much more advantageous start home Monday morning.
All in all a great trip.