Rapid Musings: Granite Falls in the Grand Canyon

There are more than 100 rapids in the Grand Canyon. Maybe 10 or 15 that will get the juices flowing, even for “old-timers” with years under their flip-flops. Hance, Lava Falls, Crystal, Hermit, House Rock and Granite Falls to name a few. Like your lover, never ever take them for granted, or you’re gonna get spanked. Being in a fragile wooden craft adds a concern or two, but you get the idea.

Granite always gets my attention. A freight train where I’ve seen plenty of carnage. Gotta watch out for that lateral wave on the left half-way down. The time before this run it got me good, jerking both oars out of my hands and leaving me once again feeling like driftwood, as one of my observant clients noted.

This time, I was ready (watch my head looking left ever so slightly just before we hit). I never look all that graceful, but what you see is what you get, and this cross-check move was exactly what I’d planned believe it or not. The wall looks scary close, but it’s where you need to be, just like that lover I mentioned. If you point too much right, either the wall sucks you in like a black hole—kaboom!—or you skip into “King Edward,” a huge eddy below where you’ll go around, and around, and around before it sets you free.

One of my GPS-crazed clients clocked Granite at 17.8 miles per hour; the fastest rapids he timed in the entire Big Ditch.

Like the best of life, it gets you giggling and your heart beating.

Lucky to be alive, I reckon.

 

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