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Old 02-03-2018, 08:31 PM   #21
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmcintire View Post
In hindsight, I agree with you that we shouldn't have done it. For several reasons. The least of which is the loss of one jet ski and a lot of damage to the other. We took our trip when the canyon was being flooded by the release of water from Glen Canyon Dam. I can't remember what year this was. In was in the 1990's. We strapped four fifteen-gallon gas tanks to each jet ski. We also had a very fast downstream current, which required less throttle. And yes, we passed numerous rafting guides along the way. They were shocked to see us. We did not see any NPS employees, but we were moving pretty fast. If anyone notified the authorities about us we never saw them. Nor did we stop anywhere where there were people. We disembarked at Pearce Ferry resolved to never do such a foolish thing again.

P.S.: I've always thought it was 283 miles to Lake Mead from Lee's Ferry. And yes, it was terrifying the entire time. It was the dumbest thing I've done in my life.
Bravo! What an adventure. Some cajones for sure. The experimental release was late March/early April 1996. 45,000 cfs for a week. At that flow the river is moving about 10mph. There were mostly just scientists on the river. I spent the week at Tanner, 68 miles downstream from Lees Ferry. I don't remember jet skis going by but that's a long time ago. At that flow most of the major rapids are pretty washed out. But not Lava. It just get's bigger. So, you drowned your jet ski and rode out with your partner? All in one day or perhaps 2? Anyhow, never heard of anyone doing it so your the first. There were also NPS observers at the major rapids to watch/warn for carnage. The park was worried about injuries/deaths similar to what occurred in 1983 during the Lake Powell spill. Not sure how you made it by Phantom Ranch either. That place is crawling with rangers.

As for lake levels, in the late 90s it was 240 miles to Lake Mead or just below Separation Rapid (where 3 of Powell's men hiked out to their demise). Now, the lake is below Pierce Ferry. There's a road now to the river where there once was a bay. Presently, the lake level is at South Cove or 295 miles downstream from Lees Ferry.
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