Raoul the Crow


Our first stop was for lunch and another orientation, just a few miles down the river. Nathan, the trip leader, gave the orientation.

He went over the basic camp routine, how we loaded and unloaded the boats, washed dishes, managed tents and sleeping bags, maintained the campsites, kept healthy and comfortable, and so on -- it was a fairly lengthy talk, and there was still lots that we were to pick up as the trip progressed.

We had to worry about sunburn, dehydration, severe chapping of the hands and lips. Heatstroke is not usually a problem -- 60 seconds in the sub-50 degree Colorado river will cool you down plenty, and 5 minutes could get you a good case of hypothermia. But people forget to drink, oddly enough -- perhaps the presence of all the cold water inches away is confusing.

At the beginning of the trip I forgot about hand lotion, but by the end I was applying it reflexively every few minutes. It took about 6 days before I realized that there really was a problem -- your hands are cycling from wet to dry almost continuously, and the soap we used for washing our hands was strong...

The discussion of personal hygiene elicited a few titters during the lecture -- much time was spent on how to shit and pee during the trip. And since privacy would be rare at times, a new standard of etiquette in these matters would prevail...


[Songbird] [Webmaster]
© 1995 Songbird