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A December to Remember Part 2: From the Grand to Mexico



We awoke before dawn, packed up camp in the dark, and put on the river in the first few minutes of daylight.  It was our final day on the Grand Canyon and the short float to the take-out went smoothly, but the rest of the day was a harsh baptism back into the outside world.  As we began the arduous process of de-rigging everything, the shuttle service arrived with our vehicles.  As they pulled up we could immediately hear the air escaping from one of the rear tires on my truck.  Apparently sharp rocks in the final creek crossing had cut my tire just as they arrived at the take-out.  Welcome back to civilization.

Eventually we managed to pack everything into our two trucks and we made long drive up Diamond Creek Road reaching the pavement an hour later.  Not wanting to be driving around without a spare, I stopped by the Hualapai maintenance department to have my tire repaired.  Somehow our second vehicle missed our stop and with no cell service in the area they started back towards Flagstaff planning to meet us there.  With my tire repaired we were about 30 minutes into the drive to Flagstaff when one of my trailer tires shredded.  Not only was the tire destroyed, but since it happened at about 70 miles per hour, it also badly mangled the wheel well.  We finally got back on the road after an hour of beating, banging, and bending the wheel well back into place and then putting on the spare trailer tire.  Welcome back to civilization, part two.

We met up with the rest of the crew in Flagstaff, unloaded gear, and took our first showers in two weeks.  We hit the town for a celebratory dinner and by the second beer of the evening we were laughing off the troubles of the day.  The following morning we said our goodbyes and the various factions of our group went our separate ways.  Two headed back to Utah for the winter, two heading back to Virginia for family holiday celebrations, and three of us drove all day and into the night to reach Austin Texas the first stop on the next leg of our journey, Mexico.

For the rest of the story and more photos click here.
To read Part 1: The Grand Canyon, click here.