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Dream about Horn Rapid

Last night, or really this morning, I dreamt about the first rapid that I will run when I join my father's Grand Canyon trip in May. Because I am in school I will not be able to begin this Grand Canyon trip at Lee's Ferry, instead I will be hiking in to join the group at Phantom Ranch. I do not know what boat I'll be in when I arrive. My father is bringing a kayak for me, but he has enough rookie boatmen that I may well be called on to jump into an 18 foot raft and row it through some pretty big whitewater.

THE DREAM:

I met the trip after hiking in, jumped in my kayak and floated down to Horn. There were a lot of boats on the water, so I got in the cue and ran it when my turn came. Easy run, no worries. I tried to surf a couple of the waves at the bottom but they were too small and flat and wouldn't keep me. There were tons of kayakers waiting their turn to try at those waves.

Once at the bottom I realized that I had forgotten to touch base with my trip before running the rapid: they would not know where I was. The scene at the bottom had a carnival atmosphere. There were rowboats and paddleboats and duckies and kayaks and inner tubes, all decked out with bright colors. There was a very long feeder eddy back up to the foot of the rapid, and everybody was doing laps, going down in the current and riding back up to the rapid in th eddy, hooting and hollering as they went. It reminded me distinctly of the scene below Nantahala Falls in North Carolina, though the feeder eddy was of the magnitude that you only find on very large rivers. Nantahala falls, being a class III and the biggest one of the run, is where everyone goes to spectate. The banks are lined with people drinking beer and flashing score cards for the best crash and burn.

The rapid itself had a keeper hole at the very top (again, like the Nanty Falls). The line, on river left, looked like a converyor belt in the water. It was actually indented in the water, and there were no waves on it. If you got on it you were delivered to the bottom as easily as riding an escalator at the airport. If you missed it, and hit the keeper hole, it was obvious that nothing that floated would get out. The hole was full of empty boats, recirculating endlessly in the hole. Most of them were smallish boats. l could only guess that the people who had been on those boats had made a dive into the river to get out of the hole, and had been rescued at the bottom.

I tried to walk back up to the top of the rapid on river right, and found myself cliffed out. It was not possible to hike to the top on that side. So I turned back down, and on the way I found I had a view of my dad's group, which was 8 or so boats, some big rafts and some little boats too. They were circling in the eddy on river left above the drop. They didn't appear to be looking for me, they were focussed on the rapid. I saw them all decide to run it at the same time, and peel out en masse. They floated into the entrance all together and pushed through the keeper hole.

End of dream.

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