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Old 03-11-2013   #11
FoCo,NoCo, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 280
I'd rather row my own boat. But it depends on a lot of things including the other passengers on the trip. Every time I have rowed solo, I have had plenty of help with flat water rowing mostly from kayakers or others who want to learn. IME, there seems to be a lot of musical chairs among boats. It is always good to have someone willing to pitch in in case of injury. (Trip wide. You don't need to bring a backup.)
It is also nice to have some help loading your boat each morning. So that depends on your group dynamics. And being the Grand, hopefully everybody wants to pitch in.
Do what you want to do. It sounds like you want to row. And if you flip, it really doesn't matter if you have a passenger. You will need more help than that.
Sarah D.

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Old 03-11-2013   #12
Dipshit with the most.
carvedog's Avatar
Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,496
Doing high water Middle Fork trips I really like to have a passenger. If the choice for the Grand is row your own boat or be a bowsprite half the time then I would run my own boat.

The pool drop nature of the river makes recovery for something serious easier as long as you run tight and have a plan.

How big is your overall trip and do you have kayakers? Cuz they can be entertaining for short periods of time on the flats and then you get to send them off before the rapids.

Have a ball whichever way you go, but you know you want to row.

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Old 03-11-2013   #13
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
Rowing your own raft is the way to go on GC or anywhere else

But, for me and I have rowed GC alone, having a passenger is the way to go.

In no special order, here is the reasons:

lots of rapids on GC, even more flat water. Visiting with passenger is a good thing to pass the time.

Chasing down run away rafts or pulling in swimmers, sure nice to have a passenger do the holding on or pulling in people, gear, oars etc whatever. You stay on the oars while they do the grabbing or rope throwing etc.

lots of down stream ferry moves on GC. Good to have a person looking directly at the spot you want the stern to end up in and the passenger can do this, especially critical at Horn Rapid low water.

Many landing spots on the GC are wide and easy to hit. But many are small, hard to hit, crazy currents and a passenger can help a ton. Especially critical on a lot of GC scouts.

Having a passenger means you have a person there on board who is going to help you get unloaded or loaded. Big time help.

Then there is always that back up help on flat water where the passenger can learn to row and give you a break.

If the person rowing (don't laugh, lots of stories about this) gets washed overboard that passenger is hopefully holding on really well and can help get you back in the boat or make a critical move with the oars. I have seen a lot of husband wife teams run Lava with the hubby hanging on the stern while the better half hits the oars and makes it a good run instead of a disaster.

Then there is that time you are about to enter a rapid and suddenly are dry mouth to the max, your passenger can hand you that water bottle and you do not have to let go of the oars. I know you guys are always calm and cool, but for sure I have thanked my passenger many time for that sip of water when I was wound up tight as a guitar string.

Last but not least, a good jump on the "hiside" has saved many a flip including me.

Probably more, but I am a big fan of passengers.

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Old 03-11-2013   #14
wildsoles's Avatar
Belfair, Washington
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 40
I am a rower and have done two trips in the Grand Canyon sharing the oars with my hubby, and another sweet handful of trips with my own boat. I wouldn't trade those memories for anything! There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with having run the big ones, rowed all that flat water, and handling with the mental and physical challenges when things go wrong (like losing both primary oars at the first V-wave in Lava...).

Just load your boat front heavy -- beer cooler and dry bags do the trick. Or, what about a passenger that isn't your partner? Plenty of folks like to boat hop.

Have fun with it! Whatever you decide, it's still a trip through the Grand Canyon. You pretty much can't go wrong with that
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Old 03-11-2013   #15
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
Had a mystical lone float from just after Lava to mile 208 once. Just me, 8 beers, and the river. I hit camp with a buzz and discovered those 8 beers were the last beers we had.............oops! But that float after the adrenaline rush of Lava was spiritual.

That said, you might recall Glenn and Bessie Hyde on their extra body or two can't hurt, especially if they are the type that know when to keep their mouths shut and know when to stay out of the way.

Or you can just link with another group if you start getting on each others nerves, or for the sketchy parts.

Or if you run out of beer.........
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Old 03-11-2013   #16
kikii875's Avatar
Orem, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 207
Rowing all the rapids yourself is a great accomplishment. One the other hand as been stated earlier there are advantages to having a passenger for various reasons. If you can work it out that you and your husband each have a boat and then have a passenger to help, either one for each of you or one that can bounce back and forth between boats to help with flat water, that would be my suggestion.
I have run the Grand commercially a lot and the times that I rowed the baggage boat by myself was very exhausting, but doable and a great sense of accomplishment. Now on private trips I prefer friends to talk with on the boat. A passenger is a passenger, but a friend on your boat is so much more. Although, hopefully either way you will be friends by the end of the trip.
Well, I have blathered on long enough. Have a great trip either way.
You had me at 'Hey, Row'
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Old 03-11-2013   #17
ilanarama's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 85
Originally Posted by Murdog View Post
I suppose I could just replace my husband with a cooler full of beer
Shh! Don't let the guys know they're so easily replaceable!

I would rather split the rowing and have the company on a long trip like the Grand, but I am not ultra-confident nor ultra-fit. On week-long trips I row my own but I admit I like having someone I can turn over the oars to when I'm feeling like a weenie or the wind pipes up.
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Old 03-12-2013   #18
Murdog's Avatar
Martin City, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 7
Great advice from both sides! I think we are going to take both boats. We have a small trip of 8 but there are some who may want to switch out on occasion. I love the solace of rowing by myself and the challenge of rowing all the rapids!
The Sun shines not on us but in us. The Rivers flow not past, but through us.
- John Muir
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Old 03-12-2013   #19
Avatard's Avatar
portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,188
Originally Posted by Murdog View Post
Great advice from both sides! I think we are going to take both boats. We have a small trip of 8 but there are some who may want to switch out on occasion. I love the solace of rowing by myself and the challenge of rowing all the rapids!
Sure makes it a lot lighter and you have redundancy in case of an accident or flip

Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it "guaranteed", I will. I got spare time.
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