Freeport Journal-Standard from Freeport, Illinois on July 19, 1975 · Page 55
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Freeport Journal-Standard from Freeport, Illinois · Page 55

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Freeport, Illinois
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Saturday, July 19, 1975
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Page 55
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By OLGA GIZE CARLILE J-S Women's Editor . So you want to shoot white water rapids? Indeed that has a certain ring about it that appeals. Many now say they want an "active" vacation. They want to do more than just look at scenic grandeur. The Canyonlands of Utah is one spot with this spectrum of opportunity. These "rivers of no return" are now favorite family vacations. There were 14 of us that met June 1 - from Utah, Oregon and mostly Illinois - at Grand Junction, Colo. Some "These 'rivers of no return' are' now favorite family vacations." needed to slip away from a dizzying business pace. Others- wanted to commune with nature and admire its startling beauty, and all wanted to cling to the raft as the white foaming water whipped it around, tumbling, jostling,gushing, dashing - then flowing placidly. The trip was a bit of all this and more. There is a certain peace that comes with living so close to nature. Creature comforts lose importance. The river is cold. The water muddy. ("But it's cleaner than New York City water," Boatman Terence (Terry) McCarthy kept reassuring.) Warm showers and comfortable beds had no importance. Here you slept in the edge of a canyon with a million stars for a canopy. In the morning, you watched the sun kiss the rim of the canyon all around you. We were early in the season. It was high water time when Cataract Canyon's rapids are truly-awesome. Usually two rafts make the river run together, with 14 on each. So instead of being bused to Green River, Utah, we were flown in three small planes. This gave us an incredible opportunity to gaze down on nature's labyrinth of chasms of every hue imaginable rusty, creamy, rosy, blush pink. The geological formations were breath-taking. We ranged in age from 13 to about. 60. All of us had been exposed to little sun before the river run. The sun beat down. One of our "river rats" who decided to get a head start in Grand Junction kept repeating, "I never get sunburned, and if I ever do, it doesn't hurt." Then he'd walk away ever so slowly. Lotion and lip balm (of every flavor imaginable) was applied by all. And the sun beat down. Boatman McCarthy and his assistant, Tom Yeager, told us about J. W. Powell, who made the first excursion in 1869, and some of the other early river runners. ' Layer upon layer, cliff upon cliff of sandstone and shale line the banks of ' • / Ganyonlands- Sculptural the river. The canyons grow deeper. There is a pristine solitude about this place. "How long did it take Waljt Disney to put this place-together?;" some one asked breaking the silence. We drifted in our iiifiatable raft by Labyrinth Canyon, and soon came to Trin*Alcove Bend,'' where three side canyons enter at the same point. Powell's group named this bend. . Our first camp was at Ten-Mile Bottom. . Right from the beginning you discover interdependence. It's a warm feeling. ; Everyone pitches in. The rafters form a line. First the sleeping bags (12 by 16 by ,10) are passed from the raft to the camping site. Next come the clothing duffles (in identical water-tight bags), then the Army surplus ammuni- cation cans, the seat cushions, and the food and cooking equipment. That's it. There's no room for excess baggage. . In a bag 12 by 16 by 10 you can hardly stuff more than the recommended 12 items or so. Our furnished sleeping provisions (also stuffed into that pillowcase-sized bag) included a sleeping bag, ground cloth and foam mattress. One of our "bedrooms" was between fragrant, • blooming tamarisk bushes. Tall spires of yellow globe mallow added to the scenic setting. In the "ammo" can we kept our suntan lotion, lip balm, cameras and the "highly recommended Kirk's cold water castile soap. It's biodegradable." (Everyone .went to great lengths to find this super soap.) Yellow or green plastic cups were labeled and dispensed. The cup became "Soon those who might have been finicky about muddy river water became comfortable in their surroundings.'' a part of us. It was wqrn at the waist on the trouser belt. A campfire was built quickly, as we sipped our soup from the cup (also used for coffee, dessert and at tooth brushing time), we watched the boatmen fix gourmet meals with three dutch ovens, the soup pot, a griddle, grate, metal bowl and coffee and tea pot/ Menus were varied: Steaks, spaghetti, shiskhabobs, filet mignon, baked'tomatoes, zucchini, even baked banana bread. ' "Get out of my kitchen," Terry shouted when liberated females offered help. Soon those who .might have been finicky about muddy river water or rpments Savage-Kind Of Beauty f f f •• .VAW.'.'A S . A _.«_... Terence McCarthy, The Boatman Everyone Loads, Unloads "There's a Rubber Rafts Like This Make the River Run sleeping on grass tljatch outdoors, became comfortable in their surroundings. .•;'-.'•. "How dp you put 100 cubic foot of sleeping-gear into a 25 cubic foot bag,'^ asked one river runner in desperation the first morning. The hikes were praised. There was a "D. Julien 16 mai 1836" inscription. (The French trapper who recorded the first trip.) This brought a ripple of excitement for all. We crossed the saddle at Bowknot Bend - 500 .feet up - vertically. Then there was that evening at Turk's^Head campsite, 'where Otis (Dock) Marston, 81, distinguished Grand Canyon historian and an early river runner himself, filled us with exciting bits of river history from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. It was a fantastic trip. There were dips in the Colorado and Green rivers, along side the raft, to cool off. There was 'the hike through a canyon wash where *all pushed and tugged and pulled each other between steep boulders, and there was that morning hike by the brave to the pointed pinnacles of Doll House: s After the Confluence - about three miles - we rigged for white water to shoot the rapids at the Cataract Canyon. The water swooshed and swirled and lammed about us. It was like a churning sluice. At one point - Big Drop-'we made a 30-foot drop in less than a mile - one of the Colorado's steepest stretches. Fourteen of us shared this unique experience - a 170-mile run from Green River to the Confluence (where the Green and Colorado rivers join like the letter "Y") and down the Colorado River to the Kite Marina on Lake Powell. ' : •/. • Y; - •'. We're white water enthusiasts to a man. Ready to try it again. Next year, perhaps, at the Grand Canyon - and then maybe another river. Who knows. Out here you find out how really beautiful the world is. Buttes, plateaus, mesas in one grand landscape of color and form. Here indeed you can find exciting and challenging "encounters with nature." Page 6 Freeport Journal-Standard. Weekender, Saturday-Sunday July 19-20. 1975 Float To Cool Off Spectacular Hikes Dock Marston Fried Eggs to Order Freeport Journal-Standard. Weekender, Saturday-Sunday, July 19-20, 1975 Page 7

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