While I normally blog each day of a trip, I found it almost impossible to express the beauty and wonder of rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. I have decided to give a synopsis of our daily routine and let the pictures do the rest. Our boats were full with ice chests and prepacked daily meals in ammo cans for us to cook each day from our set menu.
Each morning begins early with JC (main guide) getting the kitchen going and getting breakfast started. We began packing up our cots and packing our dry bags so that we can load the boat after breakfast. Packing the boat and making sure everything is secure usually takes over an hour. We usually start down the river around 9:30 am. Each morning usually involves a few really good rapids that is almost certain to get you wet to some extent. There is also a lot of rowing when there is little current at some portion of the river. I was on the raft with Lance who was rafting his 1st time down the river. Scott and Mike were in the raft with JC who has guided groups down the river 281 times. For some reason I could only row backwards. Just couldn't get the frontward rowing. If the rapids were large, we would pull over and scout the rapids to decide which was the best route.
Lunch was usually sandwiches and almost always on the river. We would tie the boats together and just drift on periods of the river which did not have major rapids. Quick bite to eat, unhook and back to rafting the larger rapids. An unexpected addition to the rafting was the canyon side trips which were anywhere from 1-3 times a day. JC would show us side canyon, waterfalls and swimming holes which I am sure would more enticing in the summer. The side trips were really enjoyable.
We would usually make camp around 4-5 pm. Of course then we would have to unload the boat with all our stuff on it. Takes about an hour to unload, set up the kitchen, get water and get our cots and beds ready. Dinner is always the best meal of the day. Started out sleeping in a tent with my sleeping bag and an air mattress while everyone else had a cot under the stars with their sleeping bag. One night in a tent on the hard ground convinced me to switch to a cot. It got down to 37 one night but that is why you invest in a good sleeping bag. We always went to bed at 9. Watching the stars, satellites, planes, and shooting stars at night was one of my favorite things I enjoyed on the trip.
Note: The rapids varied greatly. Some just looked scary while others looked easy but weren't. One rapid involved had a 20 foot wave which came over our boat and soaked everyone. JC and Lance made it look easy and JC's experience was invaluable. I wish the pictures could convey the beauty and wonder of rafting down the Grand Canyon but it won't, at least not to the level that it truly is. It is just one of those things you should experience yourself.