Every time I get to go on a rafting tour of the Grand Canyon, it turns out to be the best trip ever of my life, and my most recent Grand Canyon adventure was no exception. I just returned from a 7-day full Canyon trip, which started at Lees Ferry and traveled nearly 200 miles downstream to Whitmore Wash.
This was a really neat trip for me for a number of reasons: It was my first trip through the full Canyon (in the past, I had done upper and lower Canyon trips), it concluded with my first ride in a helicopter, and I got to do a bunch of side hikes I’d really been looking forward to for quite some time. (I might have, maybe, done a “Deer Creek dance” and wished everyone a “happy Deer Creek day” the afternoon we hiked up to the Throne Room.)
Probably my favorite part of this trip, however, was the privilege of witnessing the incredible family dynamics. River trips really are amazing family vacations. I was so lucky, on this trip, to raft with a group of three different families. Our trip leader, Jason, brought his 15-year-old son, James, on the river with him. It was James’ first time whitewater river rafting through the Grand Canyon, and it was really cool to see him experience that excitement and wonder with his dad as his guide. Another group of rafters consisted of a father, his two grown children and their spouses, and an uncle. The third group was three grown sons who were taking their father and his best friend on the expedition for their father’s 60th birthday present.
Magic always happens on Grand Canyon whitewater trips. People always surprise themselves, rediscover their inner child and find peace with the world around them. It truly is a privilege to see people sharing those magic, once-in-a-lifetime moments with those they love most.