Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day 14 (Last Day)–Travertine Basin Hike “The Grotto”

Note- Fred helped write this blog and gives his perspective……

“The Grotto” was going to be our last hike in the canyon and our trip leader, Matt, really wanted to do this one because it was a spectacular spot to see.  The problem was that we had a lot of miles to cover and not much time.  We absolutely had to reach our designated camp site this evening to meet up with our motorboat ride into Lake Mead.  The motorboat crew was also bring in supplies for our last night’s supper.  The plan was to pack our lunches before leaving camp and reach the Grotto at lunch time.

Sue, Sarah, Jason and I were in Matt’s raft this morning and he was motivated to put the miles in fairly quickly.  The other guides were not in as much of a hurry so we quickly got out in front and arrived 10 to 15 minutes before the rest of the group.  This was actually great, because this was a very short hike that was obvious, so we were able to explore on our own.

There was no beach to begin this hike.  We climbed out of the raft right onto boulders that were slippery and rugged.

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From there we hiked up and over a slippery granite rock face. 

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These pictures were taken by Becky from her vantage point at the creek below. In the above picture, sue is utilizing that other useful hiking tool (her butt) to slide down a slippery section of rock.    ; )

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Up we went through some rough terrain ……


And several rope ladders and knotted ropes which aided in the climb.


Sue climbed up and down these ladders like she had been doing it all her life!


This picture compliments of Patrick shows the final ladder going up into the ‘Grotto’.


What an incredible scene awaited us.  The water had cut out a large grotto or cave that was as beautiful as any we had ever seen.


As we reached the back side of the grotto, we were met with this amazing waterfall cascading onto and over the travertine walls.


As usual, Sue could not resist the opportunity to soak in the clean water. 


We explored the area and enjoyed the peace and quite of the grotto before everyone else arrived.


After a few minutes, we walked back to the opening to watch the rest of the group make the climb up.  The river can be seen just below us.

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As everyone scrambled up, we admired the view. On the left side of this photo, in the shade,you can see a section of the rope which was used to climb up onto this section of smooth rock.


The water ran over the ledge which made access the last rope ladder (seen in the upper right) a little tricky.


One of our group climbing the last ladder into the grotto.


Everybody was amazed by the beauty.  The rock shapes reminded me of large rock creatures. 


We ate our lunch in this enchanting place and then had to say goodbye so that we could get to our destination this evening.  I could have stayed so much longer. This was the perfect hike for the final day of our adventure!

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