225 "Grand" miles on the Colorado River (Part 1)

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

I keep pinching myself~ in the matter of 12 short hours I went from "I'm interested!" to "I'm going!" on a dream adventure trip. How did that happen? Let me begin by saying that I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, you don't often get second chances on 'dream' items and when one appears~ GRAB IT!


 



BAGS PACKED!


I woke up early, perused through FB with a new FB group coming up first in my feed. I read a post that a woman was asking if anyone was interested in rafting down the Grand Canyon on an 8 day trip...because she was no longer able to go. I immediately sent her a DM letting her know I was very interested. I asked no questions..I sometimes make quick decisions and let them play out. My reasoning on this one: I can get along with most everyone, 8 days?, surely I could find some area to hang out if this group wasn't my 'tribe'... what would be the downside? To me there wasn't a downside. The timing wasn't the best, as I already had a 6 day trip planned prior to this one, but I would have 36 hours to pack. If I could get myself organized in 5 short days before I left for New Orleans~meaning everything purchased, planned and covered the 36 hours between trips would give me enough time to organize myself. I owned a lot of the items due to my hiking and camping experiences. Cost: this is what you use savings for~unforeseen opportunities that arise in which you can reach a lifetime Bucket List check off. I didn't look back~purchased the air flight, booked the beginning and end hotel rooms and started my small gear purchases. I was floating on air~ really? Did I just get the last ticket on the raft going down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon? YES!! Yes I did!


I have never been to the Grand Canyon (now referred to GC) in my life. The closest I have gotten was Lake Powell for a long houseboating trip 20+ years ago. I loved that lake, the beauty seeped into my soul. The wandering caverns and beautiful rock formations just sits with me and gave me such a sense of awe. Peaceful, inspiring, magical and spiritual. My goal was to always find a way to get to the GC, one way or another. Instinctively I jumped on this chance, packed my bags and found an incredible journey.


 

Day 1~bus ride from Flagstaff to Lee's Ferry where the boat put-in was located. We stopped at the Navajo land entrance and learned about the 2 metal bridges that crossed the Colorado River.






I joined the collective group of 22 women in Flagstaff, AZ. All of us had connections or associations with the group called "Girl Camper", including the CEO Janine Pettit, who was on this trip. Also included were several GC guides from Ohio, New Mexico and South Dakota. Many of the ladies had camped with GC's via other camping adventures and gone on trips with ladies within the larger GC community. I had only recently discovered GC, become a member, followed them on FB and was educating myself on 'them' as a group. I fell into an amazing group of ladies~from all different backgrounds and outdoor adventure experiences. They welcomed me and included me~and for the most part I just kept pinching myself to make sure this was real and not a dream. It wasn't~ it was a dream come true!!


 

The Raft launched around noon from Lee's Ferry.


Our rafting company was the Arizona Rafting Adventures (AZRA). They hosted us with 2 female guides and 3 female support staff. If you are reading and adding this--it means there were 27 females on this trip. 2 boats, on a "J" boat which rode a little higher and carried its storage on top, Amity was the Captain. The other boat was called a "U" boat, with storage under or some on top, rode a little lower, making for more 'splash' appeal. Its Captain was co-owner of the company: Alex. There were 3 support staff Ryann, Emma and Corianne~each with an interesting story to tell. All 5 of these wonderful ladies helped guide the 22 'first timers' down the 226 miles~hot breakfasts, fresh chilled lunches, hot dinners, 2 commando toilets at each camp, snacks, attentiveness to keep us safe and as healthy as possible. AND hot dessert each evening. What a lot of work~and always with smiles and compassion for us rambling, googly eyed adventure seekers. I cannot say enough about their professionalism, their attention to detail, educating us on the ways of the Grand Canyon~ respect, honor and dignity to the land, the people that have lived there for generations, the geology and our earth. Sit with that sentence for a minute. Then check this out:


The blue/green water was only seen during the first 3 miles, then we moved into a caffe latte color water, sometimes stronger colored, sometimes lighter, all due to the monsoon rains that were prevalent during this late summer. The campers you see on the hill is the RV park near Lee's Ferry. They can't get any closer due to NPS rules. Our journey began on Friday, July 30th, 2021. I hope you follow along.

Please share this blog with others who may enjoy reading about a raft trip down the Colorado River.

For a full experience, follow me on my YouTube channel. Here is the first episode I made detailing the first 2 days of the trip.




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