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Beaching at Crash Canyon

Beaching at Crash Canyon

Crash Piece

A piece from the aircraft collision.


Crash Canyon

In 1956, a United Airlines DC-7 and a Trans World Airlines Super Constellation collided in mid-air at 20,000 feet above the Grand Canyon. Both aircraft had taken off from Los Angeles. Both aircraft came down within a mile of one another at approximately mile 62. Dan had spent time exploring the site and brought us here to see a bit of the remaining debris.



At Tanner Camp one can climb a short distance and see what is believed to be an Indian birthing chair. Here are petroglyphs, inscribed on the limestone chair.


Birth ChairT

The chair is the size of a stuffed chair with a deep recess worn or worked in the bottom.


Birth Chair 3

For scale, Charlie sits in the birth chair.


Charlie, Mark and Amber scout Tanner Trail for Leo, Brent and Paige, who will join us.


Brent and Paige

Hiking 4,000 feet into the Canyon, Leo, Brent and Paige joined us on Day 6 of the journey. Here Brent and Paige are seen.


Unkar Indian Dwellings

At mile 73, inside a large right hand bend in the river, the Unkar Delta is the site of a large collection of Puebloan dwellings. It is believed that these dwelling were active between 1050AD and 1150AD, although not continuously. The sparse vegetation probably meant that the land could not support a community for protracted periods. As with other historic places in the Grand Canyon, guests have shown remarkable discipline in not removing, or even moving the artifacts.



A mortar and pestle.


A bit of pottery. Park rules allow one to pick up artifacts here, but they must be set down exactly as found.



More implements of stone.


Decorative stone. The white circle may be a natural manifestation of the shale, as we saw this pattern numerous times in natural settings.



Bighorn sheep

A bighorn ram is visible to the right of the canyon. It had a ewe with it, and as we drifted closer, they climbed steeply up a chasm to the right of this picture.



Passing through Upper Granite Gorge, the walls are made of rugged granite. The river pinches down and the speed picks up.


Drying gear at Upper Cremation

As the river turned predominantly west, the sun often did not reach down to river level. The water from rapids did not evaporate as quickly, and in camp we had a lot of gear that needed to dry. Note that the rock here, in Upper Cremation Camp, is worn granite, as opposed to the softer stratified rock which was the norm previously.


Sleeping in Upper Cremation Camp

An early morning shot in Upper Cremation Camp.


If one hikes into the Grand Canyon from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center on the rim of the canyon, the trail meets the river at Phantom Ranch. Actually, one crosses the river on one of two bridges, the Kaibab Bridge, or the Bright Angel Bridge, and the ranger station of Phantom Ranch is a short walk up Bright Angel Creek. This is a busy place, with hikers coming down from the rim and then disbursing in various directions. It is one of few places where rafters can leave or join a float. It is the only place where one can get fresh water from a faucet, or buy a meal, in the camp dining room. There is one pay-phone at Phantom Ranch, so it is an opportunity to communicate home, briefly, as there are always others waiting to talk.

Kaibab Bridge

Pack mules cross southbound over the Kaibab Bridge. They will then climb the 4,000 feet to the rim of the Grand Canyon.


Dennis and Irene leave at Phantom Ranch

At Phantom Ranch, Dennis and Irene said goodbye and hiked up to the rim. In an email a week later, Dennis described the hike, in dessert heat, as a "Beast." Waiting for us at Phantom Ranch was Brian, another Hotshot Firefighter, who was a great addition to the adventure. Photo: Dennis


Bright Angel Creek

Bright Angel Creek Photo: Dennis