In September of 2018, I needed a getaway/gift to myself to figure out what and how I was going to live the next 50 years of my life. I decided to float the Colorado River through the heart of the Grand Canyon. The most important statement I can say is the following, “do whatever you must to experience the Grand Canyon by floating the Colorado River.” There are just not enough words in all the languages combined that can describe the beauty of this scarred part of the earth's crust.
Grand Canyon National Park is one of Earth’s greatest gifts to all of us. Its size beauty, geology, and epic human stories are unsurpassed anywhere in the world. Located in Northwestern Arizona, with viewing from the rim a few hours drive from Las Vegas, Nevada, The Grand Canyon is a scar in the earth’s crust 4 to 18 miles wide were the Colorado River winds through the Canyon for 277 miles. It is enormous, awe-inspiring and a must-see for all Heart Sticker readers to experience.
I had mentioned above, floating the Colorado River is the best way experience the Grand Canyon. Here are several companies that help you get started on your adventure www.riversandoceans.com, www.hatchriverexpeditions.com, www.azraft.com, www.oars.com These companies can offer you several options for your Grand Canyon float adventure. You can find more by clicker here Grand Canyon Rafting Trips. There are many options for your float adventure ranging from 2 to 21 days and completely motorized to 100% human-powered oar trips.
Here are some critical and vital lessons learned from this float and things to know about floating the Colorado River.
- Whitewater Rapids. I am a water-child and for me, the Canyon is all about the river and the 100+ major rapids. When riding a rapid, you and everyone on the raft are a single unit working together to survive and enjoy the next stretch of “flat water.” You have to shift your weight to survive the rapid(s) and maximize your ride. You’ll have to “bail out the water” from the boat, or remove water that has filled up the raft, so the guide can have a lighter raft to row. On occasion, you’ll have sit perfectly still and hang on for dear life so that you all make it through the section of rapids, with your raft’s bottom side down. And, if your lucky, you’ll get to ride-the-bull. This is where you sit on the front of the raft, feet dangling off, and you hold on the front rope like a bull rider for 8 seconds.
- Duration and endurance. 17 days is a longtime to be on a boat with the same 20 people. You can become great friends or you can get sick of each other very quickly. Given the choice between the two, which would path would you rather take? As we look at our current state of affairs in America, I can share with you that making friends and being respectful is easier and far more rewarding than not. As mom often said, “you can get more with honey than you can with vinegar.”
- I went to the Canyon to lose myself but found myself. It’s true, I wanted to get so far away from my life, my work, my friends, everything. Well, I got so far that spiritually I circled my own hemisphere and bumped into myself. And I was better for it!
- Here are some facts: 1. Everyone pee’s in the river, no exceptions. 2. Feet off the river is often a 500 foot tall wall. 3. Privacy is rare. But, our Master Guide gave me these wise words, that I will apply for the rest of my life. “Canyon privacy is rare, you can’t always get it, but you can always give it.” The more I think about this statement, the more I can see applying it to many aspects of my life. It can be applied to bathing in the river, not participating in a conversion that does not involve me or the others with me or notes writen in someone elses notebook. Privacy is both a gift and right.
This road warriors’ entry is completed for now. I have over 60 “on river” days in the Grand Canyon and loved every day. If you have a specific question or comment about Grand Canyon National Park or rafting the Colordado River or any other questions here, please leave a comment and I will reply. I’ll make more Grand Canyon entries as time passes.
Thank you and follow your heart.