Just returned from an amazing place where Social Media is totally irrelevant. The story begins…


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View of Grand Canyon from Nankoweap graineries

I just returned from my adventure as trip leader, taking 16 people on a rafting expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon; 21 days, 226 miles.  It was an amazing journey that explored the geologic depths of the Earth exposed by The Canyon like a biology student examines the internal organs of a frog through a scalpel cut.  Yet this expedition was as much about delving into personal introspection and group dynamics as it was about examining the physiology of the Earth.  They always are.

An expedition is defined as a journey undertaken for a specific purpose, often exploratory or scientific in nature.  While the intentions of these 16 people may have been purely for recreational purposes, the result was much more for everyone.

A  rafting expedition through the Grand Canyon has many facets: the amazing scenery; the hikes through stunning side canyons; the remoteness and what I would call protection, rather than isolation, from the outside world; the simplified lifestyle; the camaraderie of living closely among friends; the quiet time for personal reflection and introspection;  and hours of relaxing drifting on calm water with the occasional brief moment of Adrenalin anticipating the next big rapid just to remind you you’re alive.  Then there are the elements that aren’t discussed so much: the risks off the river; the hard work; the conflicts; the dry skin; the group dynamics generated from living so closely with and depending on a small group of people for your survival.  These are the elements that differentiate a Grand Canyon expedition from a vacation in Hawaii.

Many of my friends have asked me what is it like to go on such an adventure.  They want to hear the stories and see lots of photographs.  Most people envision such a trip as just a really long vacation spent sightseeing.  For some who have actually visited the Grand Canyon and viewed it from the South Rim park, they think it is 21 days of views just like what they saw.  The reality is that The Canyon is more like the backdrop for a movie and it is the action that takes place during the trip that makes the adventure.  So for the next month I am dedicating this website to a daily account of our expedition to give a more accurate feeling of what it’s like to go on a rafting expedition through the Grand Canyon.  Check back daily to get a recounting of the adventure in real time.  The adventure begins now…

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Posted on November 27, 2011, in Grand Canyon 2011 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I started downloading my pics to FB today and am at a loss for where some of them were taken. This is not surprising as I was not very diligent about writing every day. I am looking fwd to reading this and filling in some of the blanks, though I’m sure this will be more than a recounting of where we camped and which rapids were in between, though I hope those things will be included. I learned about myself on the trip and am vaguely disturbed by how much my life expects me back exactly the way I was. New possibilities are created and creation takes commitment. What new things am I committed to? Time will tell.

  2. Whenever I go on a trip, I try to keep a journal of where we were. The problem with technology like digital cameras you can take hundreds or even thousands of pictures during a trip and it is hard to remember where you took the pictures. Grand Canyon is a great place to visit. I look forward to see more pictures and your thoughts.

  3. Richard, I know just what you mean. Fortunately, I have a detailed map of the river features and I bookmarked all of our camps on my GPS each night as we went. Then I rely on the date/time stamp on the photo to keep track of where I was for each. Fortunately, a rafting trip is very linear.

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