- Lisa Parsons
Place of Echoes
Buck Farm (41.2) to Main Nankoweap Camp (53.4)
President Harding Rapid (4)
Nankoweap Rapid (3)
After a day of fierce wind, we decided that a rest day was in order. What better place to take a break than at Middle Nankoweap Camp. Its located on a large beautiful eddy with sandy beaches. There are a number of hikes, side canyons, and ruins to explore.
On this trip we didn't hike to the granaries but, instead hiked up Nankoweap Creek toward the South Rim. Seeing snow on the south rim of the Grand Canyon above the unfurling spring leaves of cottonwoods in the wash really composed an image of just how different the two worlds are. One is the above world and the other is the canyon world.
I am drawn back to the desert by the extremes. Hidden amidst the stark stone, sand, dirt, and sagebrush is the magic of the desert environment. In pockets, in folds, in deep canyon washes there lies vibrant gardens of ferns, wildflowers, and willows. There are deep pools, waterfalls, and small meandering streams that disappear under a chalkstone or over a smooth polished slide. These places in the desert would be easy to miss if you didn't know where to look. It's a treasure hunt, exploring all the side canyons that feed the Canyon.
The evening views from Nankoweap are stunning. The deep shadows, softened tones of the tan, orange, and red rock reflecting off the water.
On the calm sections of the river, I often saw my fellow boaters gazing upward, in awe of the canyon walls guiding our path downstream.