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  • Lisa Parsons

Redwall Cavern and Nautiloid Canyon

Fence Fault Camp (30.6) to Buck Farm Camp (41.2)

10.6 miles on river

Only 1 Rapid today. 36 Mile Rapid (4)

Red Wall Cavern seems small upon approach. The red cliff walls glow above the field of sand. Watching someone walk into the arch of the cavern is like watching an ant walk on a living room wall. It's hard to fathom such a space built out of natural stone and carved by eons of water and wind. The only way to convey its size is to photograph our boats at the beach from a distance. It gives a frame of reference. Inside are more mysteries, fossils, rocks, sand, and desert creatures.

Nautiloid Canyon reveals ancient fossil chambered nautilus imprinted in the limestone of the wash. We employ our scrambling skills to get up to the limestone layer where the relics reside.

Vasey’s Paradise, a natural spring that spills from the lush cliffs into the river is a mere trickle this year. Not the water source it was last time we passed this way.

We find our way to Buck Farm Canyon, after a day of headwinds.

The tops of the towering red rock canyon glow with the late afternoon light that constantly changes as the wisps of cloud move overhead, pushed by an upstream warm wind. In the canyon is shadow, deep shadow.

A thin big horn sheep feeds on grass near the shoreline. Merganser couples welcome spring. Ducks take to the air upon our approach. A Great Blue Heron lifts off near our camp. I watch as four crows fly across the narrow airspace. The towering cliff walls lift out of the evening river casting reds between blue and green on the surface of the water.

Our temporary home is alight with the last glow of our day of exploration.

View from Buck Farm Camp

Buck Farm Camp

The view on the river

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