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off on July 2. (insect) bugs were less bad than two weeks previous. rain each day so maybe they'll come up a little? bigger concern was.......tolio. ie the foot rot nastiness. the terror of the colorado river. if you aren't wearing muck boots in the sand wash mud, be sure to wash your feet pronto. same for any time you have the clay muck caked on your feet. get it off, dry your feet off, keep them dry, wash your sandals!
Can you elaborate a little on Tolio? I'm fairly new to rafting and have never heard of this. Based on a quick google search sounds like it's a bacterial infection (from a couple specific kinds of bacteria) that occurs after your feet get kind of beat up? In regards to wearing muck boots, is this only necessary at sand wash right now or basically rigging on the beaches of any camp?
 

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Can you elaborate a little on Tolio? I'm fairly new to rafting and have never heard of this. Based on a quick google search sounds like it's a bacterial infection (from a couple specific kinds of bacteria) that occurs after your feet get kind of beat up? In regards to wearing muck boots, is this only necessary at sand wash right now or basically rigging on the beaches of any camp?
You are correct. Someone studied it in Grand Canyon and came up with no less than five different causes, bacterial AND fungal. Ask 100 people who have had it and you will get 100 different opinions and ideas. Here's mine---

From our group it looked like it was mostly from Sand Wash --- knee deep muck!! The folks who stayed out of the muck didn't get it and the ones who were in it the most got it worse. On this trip I did get the feeling it was about to happen to my feet after camping on a mucky beach downstream of Rock Creek but was able to stave it off by hiking with a second dry pair of sandals. (edit: in Deso this season none of the crew have gotten any tolio symptoms from rigging/working at camp on sandy beaches)

In my experience it happens most frequently with the fine fine mucky sediment that doesn't come off as easily when you dip your feet in the water or wipe them with a towel. It will pop up when feet have been wet for a while and have a little bit of grit stuck between the toes. If you feel like there's sediment between your toes, get it out fast!! and give a little rinse. If you are hiking and you feel like there's grit.... stop right away and get it out. Don't try to tough it out!! Wet coarse beach sand can cause tolio, too, but I don't think the risk is nearly as high.

If anybody starts getting tolio on a trip, i start taking my shoes/sandals off in the flat water so feet can be completely dry, and only put them on during the rapids. If it's really bad, even gone as far as using muck boots or tennis shoes and socks around camp.

Treatment: at night, rinse well, scrub out all sediment, apply an antifungal AND an antibacterial (I go with tinactin and neosporin), and consider wearing a pair of socks to bed. It often clears up completely in 24-36 hours if you make moves to protect your feet in the ways mentioned above.

edit: There was a great paper on it published in 2020 that was public but is now behind a paywall: "Tolio: Foot Rot in Grand Canyon River Runners" The best article that is currently free to access is from the Boatman's Quarterly Review, link below.

 

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off on July 2. (insect) bugs were less bad than two weeks previous. rain each day so maybe they'll come up a little? bigger concern was.......tolio. ie the foot rot nastiness. the terror of the colorado river. if you aren't wearing muck boots in the sand wash mud, be sure to wash your feet pronto. same for any time you have the clay muck caked on your feet. get it off, dry your feet off, keep them dry, wash your sandals!
Wait is this for real? I've spent a lot of time in that mud...
 

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Got off yesterday and all I can say is cover your skin. The devil flys will get you. They weren’t so bad at camps unless you started walking around or hiking. They were bad on the water. Rowing and slapping. Slapping and rowing.

We stayed at Rock House canyon the first night and the mosquitoes were bad there. Put some bug spray on and it wasn’t to bad. Hiked to mushroom rock from Jack #1 and the flys were awful in the trees. Same experience at ridge creek.keep your skin covered.

Overall the trip was so awesome the bugs didn’t win.
 

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Took out July 8th, Sand Wash was pretty much mosquito free which was refreshing. Stayed at Rock House on the 4th and didn't notice mosquitos. Deer flies were biting the entire trip but long sleeves/pants were enough to deter, deet worked too. I got one or two mosquito bites the whole trip which is a new record.

No foot rot for our group and we were in the muck at Sand Wash, several camps and Swaseys...
 

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off today, tolio was even worse and came on for multiple people different points on the trip. came on for a handful on the day between cow swim and range creek, most notably after derigging in the range creek rockymucky water. the old new boatman experienced the pitted but unpainful soles, the burn-y between the toes sores, and a little bit of the under toenail bruisy feeling. 3 separate forms according to paper mentioned above.

mosquitoes minimal, devil flies annoying at times but not terrible. fly swatter worked well and kept passengers entertained. boatmen only seemed to get bit when trying to make a move to avoid shoals or rocks in increasingly shallow water
 

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Just took out yesterday. No bugs at put in. Saw one mosquito all week. Lots of biting flies intermittently the whole way down. Mostly while on the water, but occasionally for a few minutes after landing in camp for the day. Gnats and moths at night if you're wearing a headlamp.

No tolio in any of 22 people.

Interestingly, had a tailwind every single day. I don't think we fought a headwind for more than 20 total minutes the whole trip except one wind event the evening of day 2 that lasted one hour. It was a doozy (we pulled over and waited it out) but that was it.
 

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Launching this week. Was the heat manageable? Lol
I was on Deso July 10-15 and was surprised that the heat was relatively manageable. Perhaps we were lucky, but there was good cloud cover for significant portions of most days. A couple of the evenings were uncomfortably warm until 10 or 11pm, but generally I was surprised that heat wasn't the oppressive factor I had expected.

Flies, on the other hand, OMG. I killed literally 100+ flies every single day. The fact you can kill 80% of them is a small consolation to being bitten every few minutes. However, like others mentioned, they only bothered us on the water, and the first few minutes in camp, and intermittently on hikes. While sitting around camp they were a total non-issue.
 

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Heat was fine. Perfect on the water. A little too hot in camp in the afternoon. Cooled off nicely at night. Started with my legs in the bag and finished in the bag. The one night we were forced into tents (rain) it was pretty hot at first.
 

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Got off on the 21st. Flies were annoying but manageable and also only seemed to be on water. Citronella based bugspray seemed to help a tiny bit. It was hot but totally manageable. I also had a surprising amount of favorable down stream W as well as some, but totally tolerable upstream W. No Tolio or foot rot what so ever in my group of 8.
 

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Do you guys know what kind of biting flies where there? I have a party member who has an allergic reaction to deer flies. I’ve never known what was what only the are a nuisance lol. I googled it. Here’s a picture of two most common and internet says deer are smaller. I guess it sucks if your allergic cause your swell up pretty bad . Thanks
Pollinator Arthropod Insect Pest Wing
 

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Horse fly on the left, deer fly on the right. Deso has tons of deer flies. Deet, long sleeves and pants usually suffice but they will bite your hands, usually when you are focused on something else, it's almost uncanny. (Probably because you fail to notice them.)
 
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