Today we planned to run Lava Falls, the biggest rapid on the river, at mile 180.
Damo drew a diagram in the sand and explained the hydraulics of the rapid, then we got into the dory
After a couple of miles, we stopped at National Canyon, and walked through a small creek with
high walls. The canyon closed in, and we crawled under an overhanging rock and chimneyed into a pool.
Evan and Paul scrambled up into an even higher pool.
At lunch, Gary described how the plant and beach landscape has changed since the Glen Canyon dam upstream. Alien exotic tamarisk covers and secures the beaches now that
they're now longer scoured by annual floods.
After a few small rapids, we stopped to scramble over hot lava rocks to scout Lava Falls.
We ran Lava Falls in Pedro's dory; we avoided the massive Ledge Hole, crashed through a 15' wave,
and made it through. The dory filled with water up to our knees, and we bailed as we approached
Tequila Beach for a brief celebration.
We camped at mile 188, and our guides brought out a stash of costumes for a post-Lava Falls party.
Damo brought out a chunk of ice, and used it to create a punch bowl full of amazingly cold Lava Juice.
We slept outside and watched the Milky Way, shooting stars, and satellites in the dark sky.