Monday, August 29, 1983
Me and Lorrie in Yosemite on the ride back home.
August 29, 1983
It is Monday night. This will be the last entry in this journal because the trip is over, but, we still have the re-union which will take place at Joan’s apartment, the third Friday after Labor Day!
I have to tell you everything that went on the past four days. I kept saying to myself that I will write and explain the day’s events, but something kept happening that I was unable to.
Let’s see. Friday morning, Anne, Jim and Noreen took off early because they had to go to a wedding on Saturday. I rode with Joan all Friday. We stopped off at the General Store to get Bear Claws, orange juice and coffee for breakfast. We were to meet everybody at a cafe. I think it was the Marble Canyon Cafe. First, we drove down to Lee’s Ferry looking for them. We saw everybody driving up, passing us up. At the bottom we asked a woman ranger where the Moki-Mac warehouse was. After she gave us directions, we drove back up and saw everybody outside the cafe waiting for us, and my sister and Stephen. After, we went to the warehouse and gave the boatmen the three bottles of Jack Daniels and two bottles of another type of whiskey. I have to mention that Bruce was dressed in jeans and cowboy boots. The boots were obviously worn in. I couldn’t believe how good he looked. They all did. Harry was wearing boots, also. Mike was getting ready for a short vacation. I think they started their last trip today or tomorrow. They seemed pretty happy and surprised with the gifts. Ray, Lorrie, Ian, Alda, Leslie and a couple of others went up to Harry’s little pad. I heard that it was a tiny cabin about the size that a child draws of a house.
That night we were to meet everybody at Valley of Fire State Park. Me and Joan got there at about 10 PM. Since we thought everybody was behind us, we waited by the entrance for others to show, but for an hour, nobody showed. We had check out other roads in the site, but we didn’t see a single person. We were planning on camping at the entrance because we didn’t know what to do. Finally we went down the road that said campgrounds were on. The reason we didn’t go all the way on the road was because it was very dark and we didn’t see any lights, but after driving deep into the grounds, we discovered that everybody was already there. We both couldn’t figure out how they had gotten ahead of us. Oh well, who cares. We got there and so did everybody else.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that we stopped at Zion National Park. Me and Joan and a couple others got there before Ray and the rest, so we went on a short hike up the Emerald Pools. It was a real beautiful place with some rocky trails. I bought a ham and cheese sandwich and a chocolate sundae to eat in the car, and then we drove to Valley of Fire.
Saturday, I went with Lorrie in the bug. We drove through Las Vegas and picked up some apple fritters at a donut shop and coffee at 7-Eleven. We met at 12 noon in Death Valley. From there we were to meet in Mammoth Lakes, a drive that took over five hours. The desert was very dry and one of the roads we were supposed to take was closed because of a sand storm. The road we did take was full of dirt, sand and loose gravel. The drive was pretty nice. The bug cruised the whole way between 70 and 80, which was surprising for the bug. Usually it won’t do more than 70. Maybe there was a little wind in the desert to hold it back. All of the towns were small pitstops along the road. God, I could never live in one those towns.
Me and Lorrie were the first ones to arrive in Mammoth. We thought that Joan would be ahead of us because Sarah had to be there early to meet her boyfriend. Since we were the first, we drive around the campsites and choose two units to reserve. We left notes which sites we had reserved in Old Shady Rest. We decided to go to dinner, eat, and kill some time. We ate at The Stove. It was pretty good.
We thought by the time we finished at 9:30 PM that everybody would be at the sites, but when we went back nobody was there. We were getting a little worried that we were in the wrong place, but we both knew we had gone to the place that Ray had told us about.
After checking out the town to kill some time, we went back, but still no sign of anybody. Then we decided to just go to sleep since we were exhausted. The mountain air was cold and nippy. I put on my long sleeve shirt, a pair of socks and crawled into my bag. The bag warmed up pretty fast after getting settled in.
Then about 11:30 PM, after sleeping for a couple hours, Kris’ and Stephen’s cars pulled into the site. They explained that Don’s volvo had broken down in a gross small town, Scotty’s Junction, and that it wouldn’t be fixed till Tuesday or Wednesday. Shanna, Susan and Jean had piled into Kris’ and Stephen’s already packed cars. They had to leave all their clothes in Don’s car and bring only what they needed for the night because there wasn’t enough room in the cars.
The next morning we all woke up at about 8 AM, got washed up and took off for Hot Springs, but we (Lorrie, Leslie, me, Susan, Kris and Don), never found the springs because Ray gave us bum directions. We drove 40 miles to Bishop and then drove another 10 miles past to check just in case. Then we back tracked to make sure we didn’t miss the road, but we never saw it.
Then we decided to stop in Lee Vining for breakfast. Kris picked up the tab. That was really nice of him. We changed into our shorts, said goodbye to Don since he was in Ohio and won’t be at the reunion party. There were going to see Mono Lake, but we wanted to get going home.
We drove through Yosemite. God, that is one beautiful place.
We got home at around 8:30 PM. I quickly unpacked the car and threw all my stuff into my room. I unrolled my bed, said good night and crashed.
Today KMEL played Beatles all day long while I cleaned my room and washed all my clothes. Work was pretty strange, but fun.
Tomorrow is a big day. I am driving to KPIX studios to bring Prezo to “People are Talking” show. That should be an experience.
I am dead. I have to go to sleep.
Thursday, August 25, 1983
Unpacking boats at end of trip and loading onto flatbed trucks
The Airplane we took back to the start
of the trail where our cars were parked.
August 25, 1983
Well, today was the last day. It was a real fast trip! Each day was full of adventure. I kept telling myself for weeks before the trip that I had no idea what to expect, and I was right.
Like every other morning, we woke up at about 6 AM, packed, ate breakfast, then packed the rest, hopped into the rafts and started floating down the river to our first stop. This morning we docked at Diamond Creek. Everybody helped to disassemble the boats. Even the wooden frame that supports the oars were unbolted and thrown into a neat pile in the truck. The big backpacks were taken out and everybody started to re-pack, dividing the load between the pack and their day packs. After the school bus was loaded with the packs, everybody, including the boatmen, gathered together on the rocks for a group picture. About five different pictures were taken, so we should find the best one.
The finale of the morning was when after the bus’s motor was warm, the five boatmen came up from the sides with buckets of water and splashed them at the open windows. Everybody was laughing and yelling!
The road we took to the plane landing in town was bumpy and almost nauseous, but not as nauseous as the plane ride. A lot of people felt the same way. Lorrie got sick after we landed. There was a man on the trip, Tim, a Florida cop, who was petrified of flying. He almost pulled up the seat beside him that Joan was sitting on. This guy looks like Lou Ferrigno. He has a tattoo on both biceps. The whole flight he just scrunched in the seat with his head resting on the top of the seat and his red baseball cap over his eyes. His wife, Becky, sat beside him, holding his hand the whole way.
The plane trip that we had planned was to fly through the Canyon and see the places that we were, but the plane that we boarded wasn’t going to take the scenic route. Ray kept saying that the mix-up happens every year. We were all disappointed.
After landing, we boarded vans that took us back to the Bright Angle Lodge. Me and Lorrie ran to the bug, patting it a couple of times, and quickly threw the packs into the car. We then went to our rooms. We have three adjoining rooms and one room that is separate. Me and Joan went to the laundromat to wash our clothes because nether of us had clean clothes for dinner.
We made reservations at the El Tovar. Me and Joan didn’t get out of the laundromat until 5 PM and our reservations were at 5:30. Lorrie stayed with our clothes. She had joined us later to wash her clothes.
The rest of the night is a comedy. I rushed to the single room that I had first started in, but when I got there, it was locked. Then I went to Shanna and Susan’s room where I quickly took a shower, got dressed in my old clothes since Lorrie had all my clean ones. I ran to the parking lot hoping to find either Joan or Lorrie. I ran to Lorrie, gathered my stuff together and changed into my jeans behind the car door. I had on my new Moki-Mac t shirt. It was the only clean article of clothing I had. We met Joan in the lot. Lorrie then went to the restaurant. Me and Joan went back to the rooms where her moccasins were. We then walked very quickly uphill and joined everybody at dinner at 6:30 PM. Luckily their order had just been taken. Stephen still had not gotten there or Ian and Alda.
For dinner I had Fetticini and lobster appetizers, French onion soup (fantastic!) and a bacon, avocado and grapefruit salad. I expected lettuce with it. For dessert I split a rum chocolate mouse with Ian who showed up half-way through my dinner. Ian also finished my Fetticini.
Now I am at the motel in my Death Valley t-shirt and white Adidas shorts lying on the sofabed that folds out. I have packed my suitcase and my daypack. My blue shorts and Moki-Mac t-shirt lay over the arm chair.
I bought two books on this trip so far. One is called “The Marvels of Animal Behavior,” written by the National Geological Society. It has some beautiful and fascinating pictures in it. The second book is, “The Valley of the Horses.” I heard Alda talk about it very highly and I saw it in paperback in the grocery store this afternoon. We went there to get some shampoos and detergent.
I have to get some sleep since we will wake up early. Tomorrow we are going to the Moki-Mac warehouse to give the boatmen a present of bottles of liquor. Good night!
Wednesday, August 24, 1983
Going through rapids and getting soaked!
August 24, 1983
Steve, Like Bruce, is tan, average height of about 5’8” and quiet like Bruce. My favorite is Mike. When on the first day, I was in his boat, he asked me my name and replied, “I can remember that name.” He has a real good body. He is about 5’8”, short, blond, curly hair, about 30 years old, small blue eyes and gold-wired glasses. Mike is kind of quiet and too himself. At one time on the trip a couple of us girls got together and said who we thought was the sexiest boatman. A couple said Bruce and Steve, but I whispered to Lorrie that I thought it was Mike.
I have to tell you about last night. Oh yeah, besides going through Lava Falls, we went on a short hike up a small canyon to where a small waterfall was. It was a huge canyon that used to have more water in it.
Lava Falls was wild. Before we went through, we stopped and hiked up to a point where the boatmen could check out the rapid and plan where to sent the boats through. We also had to stop again so they could see the rapids up close. We got totally soaked when we went through. Our boat went down into a tub ? of big holes, getting tossed around and full of water. It was a blast!
This paper has stuff all over it and is driving me crazy because it causes the pen to skip. but I don’t blame it because it has gone through a lot, like all of us.
Let me tell you about last night. The boatmen put out a big sliver bag of white wine. Somebody had a walkman and Bruce had an ammo box full of tapes. We danced to Reggea music, Rolling Stones, the Clash, Grateful Dead and the Police. It was a blast. I ketp drinking full glasses of wine. Then I was sitting on one of the boats with Lorrie, Noreen, Mike, Harry, John and Bruce and a couple others that I don’t remember. The boatmen were drinking bourbon that they were passing around. I had a couple of sips of that. Afterwards, I went up near the tents to where Joan and Chris were sitting. Later we tramped through Anne and Jim’s tents, but they never woke up. Well, this morning, I woke up with a massive hangover. I couldn’t eat breakfast, but I had a coup of oatmeal, which didn’t stay down for too long. I got sick at the camp first. Then when we were on the boats, I felt worse. I switched seats with Anne who was sitting in the back of the boat. Five minutes later I got sick. I got sick two more times after that on the boat. I felt the shits. I was dizzy and wanted to sleep, plus it was boiling hot. When we stopped for lunch, I was so sick that I found a place among the rocks where I could sit and get sick in private. Lorrie came over and told me to sit in the shade. John came over and they both helped me up, brought me to his boat and gave me a glass of fresh water. Lorrie made me a tuna sandwich. I wasn’t planning on eating lunch because I thought I would throw it back up, but it actually helped me a lot.
It is getting pretty dark. I don’t want to use my flashlight because the light attracts bugs.
Tuesday, August 23, 1983
Rapids we are planning on going through
August 23, 1983
For breakfast this morning we had French toast, eggs, fried ham and fried rice leftover from last night, and coffee, oatmeal and Tang. Their oatmeal is pretty good. It is pretty stiff, but it is tasty.
Today we are going through Lava Falls, the biggest falls that we hit. I don’t know what else is planned for today, but I will inform you tonight.
I have not yet told you about the boatmen. Each raft is guided by a boatman. There is Steve, Mike, Bruce, John and Harry. John is in charge. He is built like a mountain and he has a full brown beard and blond moustache. Bruce is tall, thin, blond and real tan. When I was riding on his boat he told me that he has three of his own horses and his father owns about 12 on a ranch in Idaho, where he lives during the winter.