Passengers always exclaim how tired they are after participating in a week long rafting trip. They’re ecstatic, mesmerized, still in-awe of the adventure… but also ready for a nice, relaxing bath and maybe a long nap! (For a great post-trip excerpt from a guest, read Back To Civilization.)
You can just imagine how the guides, who’ve been running circles around doing everything from running major whitewater all day long to cooking, setting camp, entertaining and caring for all 28 passengers, must feel. They could definitely use a nap in a nice air-conditioned dark room!
But first, just as with passengers, camaraderie takes priority. After most post-trip de-rig and clean up days, the guides – who’ve just spent 8 to 16 days working together – like to get together for the traditional post-trip dinner. A dinner they DON’T have to cook! Sushi tends to be a popular choice among the crews post-river trip, something you just can’t get down on the banks of the Colorado!
On the last day of the trip for the guides (passengers have already been whisked away days earlier by helicopter or shuttle), they wake up way down-river at a place called Pearce Ferry where GCW trucks and drivers are waiting to load all the rafts and drive them back to our operations headquarters in Flagstaff, AZ. They get a tiny nap and some breakfast on the road and then spend the rest of the day cleaning up the equipment and getting it ready for the next crew. Not an easy day. But even after all this, they finish up in the late afternoon just in time to run home and get their first shower in over a week and head back downtown to spend one last dinner together before going their separate ways. It’s a pretty impressive tradition, I must say. How many ‘real-worlders’ would want to spend 8+ days STRAIGHT with your co-workers and then top it off by hanging out all together after the last hard day of work? I would bet this is a pretty unique workplace.