Monday, May 25, 2009
Paria River Hike...nearly swept away!
Every Memorial weekend we go hike the Paria river. Dad, Waylon, Donna and I road together and Jared, Becky, Jenny and Jeremy road together. Dad's brother Jeff and his friend Mitch met us up there as well. As we were headed up there on Friday it rained most of the way up there. Last year the forecast called for rain and kept us from walking the entire hike (which sucked because we could have walked it) and it was beginning to look like that might happen again. Well this time it was raining, in fact it rained most of Friday night as well. We kept in contact with Alan via cell phone and he would give us updates on he river flow.
When we got up Saturday morning we made the decision not to start at the White House trail head because Becky and Jared were going to walk to Big Spring and then back to White House and there was a possibility of a flash flood and we felt it was just too risky(I'm so thankful that we made the right decision)! Waylon, Becky, Donna and Jeremy were going to walk to the Petroglyphs, and Jeff, Mitch, Dad and I were going to go on to Shower spring. When we started walking at 5:00 am the water flow was just under 10 cubic feet per second and the water was fairly clear. We all walked together until we got to the Petroglyphs and rested a bit.
Dad, Jeff, Mitch and I had about 6 more miles to go to get to Bush Head Canyon. As soon as we got out of the river at Bush Head Canyon, Jeff said "look at the river", it couldn't have been more than a minute since we came out of the river and here came the flash flood! There was debris floating and the water got so dirty and was flowing so fast. It went from just below 10 cubic feet per second to just under 150 cubic per second! It was unbelievable...I have never seen anything like that before. When we got back to camp and had talked to Alan again, he said that was a record for Memorial Weekend...OK Back to the story! We decided to sit it out for a bit at Bush Head. We ate some food and took some pictures...at the end of my post I'll have a video for you to look at. Well the river wasn't going down, so we decided to go back to Lee's Ferry and not go up to Shower Spring. We stayed on the high water trail as long as we could...then came the time we had to cross the river. Dad and I linked arms and went in slowly...he told me to not move forward until I had a good foot hold...it was so scary and exciting at the same time ( but more scary)! There were a couple of times that I thought I was going to be swept down the river! One of the times that we crossed dad yelled out to Mitch and Jeff "I need a little help here" so they came right in and we all linked arms and got across. That was the scariest crossing for me...I really felt like I was going on that one. One of the crossings dad, Mitch and I had are arms linked and when we went in and all three of us slipped and dad messed his left hand up. The water was just below my chest on that crossing...We had to cross the river on the way back a total of 16 times. It was so very exhausting! I will never underestimate the power of water...so strong!
We had a great time...and an adventure of a life time...so yeah I'm crossing that one off of my "bucket list" =) I'm very grateful that we all got through it in one piece...my calves are pretty sore from all of the pressure of the water. Anyway, I look forward to next year...and no rain!! Enjoy the pictures and video!