Well, we did it. After nearly a year of planning and anticipating, Jane and I white-water rafted down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. What an exciting adventure! Six exhilarating days meadering and splashing through the grandest of canyons, hiking its remote trails and marveling at its beauty. We arranged our expedition with Arizona River Runners (www.raftarizona.com). They provided most everything from knowledgable and skilled guides, pontoon rafts, cots, and sleeping bags to three squares a day. We merely had to show up, be "in the moment", and partake in the fun, comradery and exhilaration of the canyon experience.
The rafting expedition started at the Lees Ferry launching ramp in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area about 15 miles below Glen Canyon dam. We met our guides, Kenny, Riley, Easy and Sheila at the Marble Canyon Lodge (www.marblecanyoncompany.com). After roll call, there were 27 of us intrepid traverlers, and brief introductions we loaded our ample gear into vans and headed for the launching ramp. There we received our personal dry-bags, life preservers and final safety briefing. By that time we were all anxious to scramble onto the rafts and head down river.
For six awesome days we marveled at the Grand Canyon's iconic beauty and were doused by the Colorado's cold rapids. After six exhilarating days, no single experience stands out. Instead, it was a continuous kaleidoscope of bright colored cliffs, foaming white water, vivid watery reflections, exhausting hikes, turquoise tributaries and bright sunny skies. Some of the outstanding canyon activities we enjoyed included: a stimulating hike up North Canyon through its wave like slot canyon walls; a respite from the hot sun at the shady Redwall Cavern; a steep strenuous scramble to ancient Anasazi graineries high up the canyon wall; floating carefree like a kid in the turquoise waters of the Little Colorado; a brief rocky scramble up Blacktail Canyon for a refreshing splash under its waterfall; a harrowing hike along steep ledges to the "patio" above Deer Creek Falls; and a treacherous docking and hike along narrow ledges to the turquoise and travertine laden waters of Havasu Creek.
All the wonder and excitement of the canyon came to an abrupt end at Whitmore Wash, river mile 187. There, after breakfast, breaking camp and a group photo, we were helicoptered some half mile vertically out of the Grand Canyon to the Bar 10 Ranch (www.bar10.com). At the ranch, our now extended "family" of 27, bid each other adieu as some flew home through Las Vegas and others via Marble Canyon. The memory of this extraordinary trip through crashing rapids and majestic scenery will linger in our memory for a long, long time.
This fantastic white-water river trip was a vacation and not a photography outing. Therefore, you will not find a Gallery on the web site with images from the trip.