Below is an incredible letter from a Grand Canyon Whitewater passenger. He, his wife and teenage kids hiked into a Lower Canyon trip this August.
I've been on many travels and adventures and I have to say that this Grand Canyon White Water Rafting trip was the most exciting trip my family and I have taken. Even more so than the Inca ruins and Machu Pichu.
What made the trip so fantastic was the surroundings but even more so the experienced boatmen and women of GCW. This trip could have turned horrendous at any moment given the wild unpredictable nature of the environment. For me this would have been the first day on the trek down to the river on Bright Angel trail. I was packing in about 50 pounds of clothing mostly in a good pack. Little did I anticipate that a decades old knee injury that hadn't given me trouble would nearly cripple me had not it been for the heroic unselfish help of Ted in relieving me of the pack and carrying it for me from midway down the trail. I said I didn't think I could walk more this way and Ted just smiled and said "no problem" as he slung it on his back and led the way in thongs and an infectious smile.
A few miles down the trail, my knee nearly hobbling me, my wife began to have heat stroke. It was a blazingly hot day. Ted was guiding us easily, stopping for us to hydrate and giving us electrolysis packs but it was easily 110 degrees and when the sun was straight up and there was no place for shade the sun took its toll.
Ted, in his unselfish easy going expert guide manner simply took off his shirt, wet it in the creek and covered my sweltering wife with it, dousing her hair in cool stream water. His ever present positive professional attitude pervasive and calming.
As an ambassador to GCW I have to say that Ted was more than one could hope for. My knee took 3 days of hiking the Inca trail, no problem. I carried my daughter over 3 miles of trails, no problem. I recently carried my wife on my back nearly two miles, no problem. My injury caused me to lose all the cartilage in my left knee. Who would have known that the constant downward movement and pressure would rub bones together in such fashion?
If I could give a medal of valor it would go to Ted for truly rescuing my wife and I from what was promising to be a catastrophic failure and turning it into an awesomely successful adventure.
When we finally came to board the boats Rachel cajoled us onto Jason's craft where we became familiar with two more of GCW's elite boatmen and women. At camp that first night we got to know Matt and Christine. Ted of course continued his exemplary customs but on contact with his team members they all fell into one unilateral team of excellence and professionalism in everything they did and said.
This was a remarkable experience mainly due to the boatmen and women. I have trekked the Alps, been into the deserts of the Middle East, delved into far remote reaches of the Eastern block, kayaked, flown, boated, hiked and drove many wild an exotic places; mostly before I got married late in life and had a young family. I say this to gage my right to praise and in this instance with this crew and this company I have to give the highest marks ever for their distinct command of the wilds they survey. They are a savvy led team, working like a watch; always representing the GCW company thoughtfully.
So I say thank you to each and every team member and the company whose thoughtfulness and ability to select the very best folks to care for and guide us. Each team member cohesively contributed unselfishly and with tireless attention to our needs.
Thank you very, very much for the wonderful unique adventure under the care and watchful eye of proven, tried professionals who gave us the most splendid and amazing experience rafting in Arizona.
You are part of the fabric of our American heritage and wilds.
Admiringly I again humbly submit my personal gratitude and appreciation to the boatmen, boatwomen and GCW.
Richard Kahn 🙂