ALL HIKERS

DAY 4: LAYOVER DAY AT TOLTEC BEACH

     It's nice to be able to sleep in this morning.  Layover days are wonderful. 

     Most of the group are doing a day hike over to Elves Chasm, but Mark and I are going to lounge around camp all day.  One of my pictures of Elves Chasm from a raft trip I did in 2007 is below.  It's easy to see why this is one of the most photographed places in the Grand Canyon.  It's simply gorgeous there.

   
  Elves Chasm
5-1-2007 @ 8:13
 

     There are some interesting rock features around camp including an unusual round hole in a slab of rock and quite a bit of black lava type rocks.

Hole in the rock
11-1-2011 @ 9:08
Looking down River
11-1-2011 @ 9:23
Lava rock
11-1-2011 @ 1:24

     A Monarch butterfly with a damaged wing has been landing on flowering plants near our campsite.  We also see a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, but I wasn't able to get a picture of it.

Monarch butterfly
11-1-2011 @ 10:45
Monarch butterfly
11-1-2011 @ 10:45

     For the second day in a row, we only see one raft group come down the River.  Bob just did a solo hike down the Tanner involving hitching a ride across the River at Palisades Creek.  With only one raft trip per day coming by, it would be easy to get stranded on the other side of the River.

Rafts on the River
11-1-2011 @ 11:01
Rafts on the River
11-1-2011 @ 11:01
Rafts on the River
11-1-2011 @ 11:01

     Fred and I are the only two members of the group who prefer to sleep in a tent at night.  The wind really picks up this afternoon, so I'm hoping my tent will shield me from some of the blowing sand.

Richard's tent at Toltec Beach
11-1-2011 @ 1:22
Fred's tent at Toltec Beach
11-1-2011 @ 1:23

     When everyone gets back from Elves Chasm, I attempt to take a group picture by placing my camera on one of the plastic five-gallon buckets from the food cache and using the camera's self-timer feature.  Everything works out well.

   
  Our group picture
11-1-2011 @ 3:33
 

     A young couple pulls into camp late this afternoon, having come from the Royal Arch.  We direct them to an unused part of the beach. 

     Bob and Bert warn us that tomorrow will be a long, hard day.  Our plan is to contour along the River, eventually make our way up to the Tonto, work ourselves around by Fiske Butte, and attempt to find an old Bass mining camp in lower Copper Canyon.    

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