We broke out the Rogue River Special, Old Number Nine. Designed by Jerry Briggs of Briggs dory fame, this fine craft rowed many seasons in Grand Canyon. About thirty years ago. Before self-bailers. My wee McKenzie, Juan, and lapstrake Swampscott dory tender Bernie join Boxcar in the background.
Well, Hurricane Rosa arrived with much drama and a fair amount of rain. Unfortunately the folks up at Navajo Dam overestimated how soon and how much this might add to the river flow, and shut the release way down to compensate. We ran most of the San Juan at about 375 cfs. That’s not really enough for wooden boats. Too late! Plus John brought his Swampscott sailing dory Stella to compound our folly.
Lora and Julie tearing it up.
Bernie, Stella, and Boxcar.
We wandered up Chinle Creek, crossed its dry bed a couple times and went exploring. On returning the funny noise we heard was a flash flood heading down Chinle. Yee haw!
A toast to our friend Drummond, who grew the grapes for this bottle of wine and sent the wine-cork life jacket.
It was a dark and stormy night.
Norm Nevills really had a knack for handy hatch access.
We finally got some water for the run-out. The verdict: The San Juan Punt floats really high with its five-foot wide bottom, but she’s a bit sluggish. Whereas the Swampscott ocean dories draw a lot of water with their long narrow bottoms, and in this low water, hit a lot more rocks. They’re great in high water though. But the real queen of the fleet was Juan, the 16′ McKenzie boat. By far the sweetest rowing of the larger boats. Woodie Hindman hit a home run with that design.
Then it was back to Flagstaff to switch boats and return to Bluff with the Katie Lee for her creator’s wedding. Here comes the bride, with her father aboard, beginning the procession to the ceremony.
The good reverend Mark Udall performed a most touching ceremony, after which Kate and Brian rowed off downstream, spinning only somewhat out of control. As it should be. I’m going to miss having that boat around my shop to stare at.
Rolling back into Flagstaff, fall and winter are combining on the San Francisco Peaks. This is a real picture I took with my telephone. Not a postcard. Not a bad place to call home.