Saying, reading, writing 225 miles is pretty simple to do. Break down 225 miles into 8 days is called a JOURNEY. What happens during the start to finish is called an ADVENTURE. There are no guarantees, no absolutes, only unknown territories, unknown experiences and that is where the memories come from. What takes a journey to an epic adventure? Qualified guides, sharing their knowledge and experience are top of the list. Understanding the boat you hire, their capabilities to cover the territory you want to see has to be a top consideration. We saw plenty of 'oar' boat experiences from guided to private trip groups and I have to say that is what I thought I was signing up for~so the reality is I would have done whatever it took to get a seat on this trip. What I LEARNED was that 225 miles IS 225 miles and packing up the boat each morning and evening happens no matter how long it takes you. The heat of August is HOT, no way around that. The sand is not going away, nor are the rocks~ so how many nights can your mind, body, spirit handle? I think the 8 day trip was a solid number for all of us newbies to experience. It wasn't an overcommitment that a 14-16 day trip could have been. We weren't rowing, but the trip was taxing. I'm 4 days POST trip and I'm still feeling a little tired. Be smart when planning this trip. Seeing the canyon walls by oar or by motor is still seeing the canyon walls, still exhilarating and still memorable.
Overview from Lee's Ferry (0 km) to Diamond Creek (near 380 km)
Photos from Day 1 launch to when we set up camp. In order of travel. These 12 photos represent a full day (minus the 3 hour bus ride, guide education session prior to launch, loading the boats, herding the 22 women onto 2 boats) We got faster and smarter, but the early days getting everyone going in the same direction at the same time was somewhat of a challenge. The point is to get on the boat before the sun comes down on you as you're loading, because then it just gets hot and people tend to get tired and a wee-bit cranky. I can say by the END of this trip most of us were up by 5:30 (coffee call), our bedding packed by breakfast (6:00) and boats being loaded by 7:30~ there is a lot to cooking and then tearing down a camp kitchen, 2 bathrooms, 27 chair, 15 tents, sleeping mats, burlap bags with alcohol, personal bags (3 per person~2 blue and 1 white). Quite impressive on how much 'stuff' was schlepped back and forth, not to mention how many times all of us were searching for the missing item in the bottom of one of our bags. Packing is a topic that deserves an entire blog post! Don't take so much 'stuff'~ this is a RIVER trip, no way to avoid that. I digress~ isn't this a beautiful place?
Hopefully by now I've got you hooked into following along. The geological differences we saw throughout the trip, the native american history, the early explorer history, the magnitude of the walls you are surrounded by~not enough words to share my appreciation for what they gave to me, so I'll just keep telling my story until I get to the end. I hope my videos and photos can give you perspective. Until next time~ ADVENTURE ON!