The middle of next month I'll be going down to Terre Haute where I'll make a donation of my photography books as well as my cameras and lenses to the photography department of Indiana State University. I was surprised to learn that they still use film and develop and print "the old fashioned way." It will be fun to see my professor again. (She is in her 40th year of teaching at ISU!) Anyway, here is the first installment of the "Grand" Adventure. (As always, click on an image to view a larger version). Enjoy!
What would it really be like to spend 15 days rafting through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River?
I expected to have a great time, no matter what happened... I did. Oh, yeah. It was the most amazing experience I've ever had. On so many levels.
I wondered if 15 days might be too long of a time to spend on The River... It wasn't. In fact I wish it could have gone on for another 15 days. Time passed way too quickly. The cares of the "outside" world faded rapidly. All that mattered was being there, in that place at that time.
I expected times of discomfort... there were, but nothing major. I was actually surprised at how easily I adapted to the conditions. The sand. Being wet much of the time. No showers. The sand. Bathing in muddy, gritty waters. Sleeping on the ground (albeit with a tarp, a nice soft pad and a sleeping bag) for 14 nights amongst a bunch of strangers. Lack of privacy. The wind. The rain. The sand. All just a part of the entire experience.
I wondered what the rapids would be like... would they be scary, would they be fun, would they be exciting... would I be disappointed if they weren't? There are about 70 rapids in the 240 mile stretch of the Colorado River that we traversed. Some were small, some were big. Some were like roller coasters, some really packed a wallop. Some we made it through without getting wet. Some soaked us completely and filled the raft with water. All of them were fun, some more exciting than others... but all were fun.
I expected that the hikes would be strenuous, after all about the only way to go was up (and of course, you had to get back down to the river)... they were. I started out on a few of them but didn't get far. The pace was too fast for me and the terrain was difficult at best. My legs just didn't want to work. Yes, I was disappointed to some extent, but not enough that it dampened my spirits. The side benefit of not doing the longer hikes was that I had some alone time in some really beautiful settings.
I hoped that our fellow travelers would be easy to get along with and fun to be with... they were. The guides really knew what they were doing, after all, it was their job! They were friendly and helpful, explaining things as we needed to know them. They were a fantastic group as were the other "guests" on this adventure. As we swapped rafts and rode with different guides and guests we got to know a little more about each other. We came from all walks of life to experience this Grand Adventure together. And it was, indeed, a Grand Adventure.
Soap Creek Rapid at mile 11.5
Several stops were made along the way... for lunch and for a couple of short hikes.
The Canyon walls changed with every bend of the river.
Nearing the end of the first day.
All photos in this post were taken on September 17, 2014.
You might also want to follow along with Sue and Fred Elliott...
Lees Ferry–The Beginning of a Journey posted October 23, 2014
Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Upper Canyon :: 1st Day Impressions," Kinexxions, posted October 23, 2014 (http://kinexxions.blogspot.com/2014/10/upper-canyon-1st-day-impressions.html : accessed [access date])