For the second year in a row, we picked the best day of the year to do Imlay. The water was flowing pretty much top to bottom. The week leading up to the trip had us in suspense with every check of the weather, and with reports of roads washing out in So. Utah, we began to rack our brains for a plan B. The forecast got better and better as a small window of clear weather was forecast for our Friday the 13th adventure. Bryce @jollygreen left Thursday morning, snagged us a spot at Lava point CG, got the permit after some interesting observations at the BC desk. (I'll let him tell the story). Not far behind, we picked him up at the VC and made our way back up to Lava Point. Sleep evaded me. 4:30am couldn't come soon enough. At 4:05 I alerted Aubrey that it was almost time to get moving. We piled in the car and drove down to the West Rim TH, checked the gear and off we went, eyes on the sky the whole time. The presence of stars in every direction was reassuring. I figured, worst case scenario, we'd just get to hike the West Rim top to bottom in the rain. An hour and a half later we were picking our way down through the mud near campsite 8. Skies were still good. Rap 1, I got the brilliant idea to kick some small dead logs off the rap route to avoid pulling them down on us when cleaning the rap, after I had already thrown the rope. A small snarled log became tangled in the rope below me and weighted the rope such that I had to pull myself down the rope just to move. As one who does a little tree work, I should remember the first rule of such: Anything that CAN get tangled, WILL get tangled. After untangling the mess I thought to myself that the lack of sleep was seriously impairing my judgement. I became concerned about being able to make good decisions in the event of inclement weather or other unforeseen events. The ground was soggy and we knew that any potholes we encountered were likely to be full. At rap 3 the sight of water of unknown depth prompted us to suit up. this would turn out to be a very regrettable decision. As we whacked down canyon, sweat began to pour down my face. Stupid wetsuit... After an incident involving bad beta, not enough rope, stemming between a tree and a cliff, one handed knot tying, and crumbling rock at rap 5 left me somewhat rattled, I thought, "This is stupid, we have no business being here today". But after the big rap 7, with smiles all around and some good photos, I began to feel a little better about things. shortly there after we found ample water to cool off in and were actually glad we had our suits on at this point. I felt like we finally settled into our rhythm and our dynamic was beginning to click as it had in several canyons before. It was a hoot all the way to the cross-roads with skies staying clear of any threatening clouds. Opportunities to seek high ground in upper Imlay abound so I was able to relax and just enjoy the canyon. We were a bit late by my estimation getting to the crossroads, so lunch was hasty as eyes continually glanced heavenward. having done the route from here down in similar conditions, and being more experienced, Aubrey and I knew that we could make really good time from here down. Clear skies. Lets go. As was the case on our first Imlay trip the log jams immediately below the crossroads were very scary and unusually unstable. We proceeded cautiously, one at a time over, under, and through each menacing pile of logs. In my opinion, the log jams in Imlay are the scariest canyon obstacle I've ever encountered. It must be Imlay's way of reminding you that you would be wise to tread lightly and that you are a guest in this place, and that as such, you should respect the abode of your host. after the nerve wracking log jams, the fun resumed. We were absolutely flying. We did a fair amount of jumping which made things that much more fast and fun. Now before you get on my case for jumping, let me explain that we had an obligatory depth check by the first man down on rope at every short drop. When you see 6'8" Bryce's raised hands go under as he searches for the bottom, you feel ok about a 5' plunge. We still our fair share of raps. The worst of the obstacles was actually the quick sand. The first man down canyon had the honor of finding it, clawing his was out and pointing the others in a better direction, if there was one. The silver lining to the quick sand is that once one person has agitated it, it actually settles somewhat and becomes easier for each successive member to tread upon. Skies still bluebird 4 hours after leaving the crossroads, we were packing our ropes in the narrows, pleased that we had decided to proceed and thankful that we moved so well as a team. We managed full Imlay from car to narrows in exactly 12 hours. Have I mentioned that I hate the Narrows? And that after a full day in a canyon I count it as one of the great tediums? ...As if my ankles need more rolling and my hip flexors aren't tired enough... Have I also mentioned that Oscar's is a little slice of Heaven sent as a gift to man and the weary canyoneer to replenish the burnt calories and remind them that bruises heal but good friends and good memories are forever?