Journal Entries of 12/12 & 13/69

Extracted and Expanded for Letter Home

a flooded camp, a hot shower & a barking coyote

Friday, 69/12/12

Last night was very eventful. I camped not far below the Dam, about 20 feet from shore and about three feet above the water leval. I set a bottle of Paul Mason's Rhine Castle to chill in the river while I set up my camp. I was tired so no hot dinner. Instead a can of chicken, a half of cucumber, some nuts & the bottle of wine served me as supper. A cheerful candle served as fire, & a flashlight suspended above my head as reading lamp. I settled down to finish my sci fi/ detective novel, warm and secure in my blue coccoon.
A Flooded Camp
 click for full view

Well not so secure, for soon I noticed that there was water lapping at my air mattress_ My wash basin started to drift by; I caught it. An empty canteen drifted by; I put it in the wash basin. Then I got the message. I was being flooded. Some dolt at the dam, obviously uninformed of the fact that I was here, had released a mountain of water and I was in its path.

I jumped up, gathered everything into bundles, chased down the errant wash basin and the suddenly liberated air mattress_ Just managing to save the dryness of my sleeping bag, I made for higher ground through rapidly rising water. Before I was finished the water was half a foot deep over my old camp [that is a 3-1/2 ft rise]. My boots were water logged but my bed was dry, so I calmly continued my party.
The Shower
  click for full view

This morning I started the day as I wish I could start every morning. I took a shower in the water fall from a hot spring. I finally got launched about noon.

Saturday, 69/12/13

My second day in Black Canyon, down river 17 miles from Hoover Dam. I'm sitting in a cafe having some beer & a marvelous big plate of crisp golden french fries. This I could never give up even if I went on a health food kick.

Well, I bought a fishing licence. It wasn't garranteed to bring any fish into my kayak though.

By the by, last night I heard a coyote for the first time. Barking, not at the moon surely, for it was only an insignificant sliver, but at the canyon walls which produce a nice double echo. It gave me an uneasy feeling there in the dark, no fire, alone and plenty of coyote sign all around me. So, instead of trying to imitate him as my first inclinnation was, I gave my own yell or scream.

After that he was quiet.    I was sad.

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edited by Peter J Wait, 9/14/00 9:47:24 AM AM