I have very little to say about rafting the Grand Canyon for 24 days with 11 other people. The best I can come up with is straight from Katie who joked that all she had written in her journal was “Today was awesome.” And so it was.
The inside jokes and camaraderie that occured are only understood by those that were there. What made us cry from laughter at the time would hang in silence if presented as stand up comedy. It just doesn’t make sense unless you were there.
Some of us loved the white water while others got physically sick at the thought of it. All were determined to see the journey through. A team was built and boats were rigged. It became routine. All hands were on deck in the morning to break camp and load boats. Rapids were scouted as we moved down river. Adjustments were made as necessary. Swimmers tossed by a few gnarly holes were picked up quickly and congratulated on joining the “Colorado River Swim Team.” Folks soaked up the sunshine in flat water. When the boats touched shore at camp all hands were ready to fire line the gear up the beach. Camp was set up and the groover open for business. Dinner was prepared and a fire lit.
We had the occasional fowl weather. Wind, rain, hail, and lightening. While presenting a challenge it had little affect on spirits. It was the big rapids that kept most folks on edge. My worst moment was arriving a Phantom Ranch. With many of the big rapids near at hand, I was uneasy. Feeling responsible for inviting each and every person on the trip, I feared that any one of them might get injured. We proceeded with caution and met Horn Creek that afternoon. Known for its menace, particularly at low water, as it was when we scouted it. I was first in and had a successful run. I found an eddy to pull into while Liz and Rich gave updates as to how the others were doing. All four boats were through. All 12 heads. We moved down river.
Mike asked me towards the end of the trip if I would do anything differently. I wasn’t sure at the time. I gave some nondescript answer. Overall I was very happy with how everything turned out, however, I’d like to go again where I’m not the trip lead. Maybe spend some time further back in the group getting closer to the white water and running some of the bigger holes. Enjoying a few more buttered hot cocoa around the camp fire.
Buttered Hot Cocoa
1 Part Hot Water
1 Part Half and Half
1 Packet Hot Cocoa
2 Tablespoons Butter
A sure fire way to regain all the weight lost pedaling from Alaska to Arizona.