The Continuing Saga Of The Sandra, Historic Grand Canyon Boat

Recently I visited Lees Ferry, where all boats put in to the Colorado River to begin their run down Grand Canyon.

Historic Grand Canyon cataract boat the Sandra, with Greg Reiff, and Sandy Nevills Reiff

I had chosen my time there this time to visit the river guides from Canyoneers, the Flagstaff, Arizona river company that is the oldest Grand Canyon river company.

The following morning was the launch of Canyoneers’ July oar trip, featuring the Sandra, an extremely historic Grand Canyon river boat that was the last one built by Norman Nevills, the first commercial river runner in Grand Canyon.

The Sandra is named for his daughter Sandy Nevills Reiff (now Weimer), who was there to see her son Greg Reiff off on his latest trip down the river. She and husband Earl Weimer had brought Greg’s son Tanner (9 years old) along.

I was privileged to make this informal family portrait for them at such a wonderful moment in their lives.

See more of my Grand Canyon photography at


Edge of the Kaibab Plateau: The Cockscomb and Marble Platform

Cockscomb from Dog Point, Kaibab National Forest, Arizoan.

Cockscomb and Marble Platform, Kaibab Plateau, Arizona Strip

This is where it began. Where the Kaibab Plateau was raised up some 4,000 feet above the surrounding Marble Platform to the north. At the upper end of Grand Canyon. The Colorado River continued to downcut through the rising layers, and the exposed sides of the inner gorge eroded back, back, widening the Canyon network, which it continues to do today. We merely happen to be present at this point in time, in the ongoing process. This place is literally falling apart!

This view is on the Kaibab National Forest, north of the entrance gate to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Looking down from near Dog Point. Far below you can actually see the same upper layers of rock that were titled from horizontal as the land rose. The Cockscomb of tilted Coconino Sandstone looks like a picket line, at the edge of the Saddle Mountain Wilderness.

In the far distance you can make out the Vermilion Cliffs, and Echo Cliffs at Marble Canyon and Lees Ferry, Arizona.