Return to Rivers

In a matter of days Keri and I will be embarking on a river trip through the Grand Canyon. For 17 days, we'll be blissfully lost to the outside world and it's distractions/expectations. We'll be hiking down to Phantom Ranch, carrying our 7lb Alpacka Rafts and joining some friends with their big rafts for the remaining 200ish miles to Pearce Ferry. As one friend recently said, "you're just jumping right into the deep end!" And he's right. Three miles into our river trip, with no warm up we meet Horn Creek rapid followed in quick succession by Granite, Hermit, and Crystal. Yep, the deep end.
Keri and I are both nervous and excited. My trip down the Grand two years ago was life changing and I'm thrilled to share such a marvelous, magical place with my wife.
In the spirit of river trips, I thought I'd create a photo essay of our last voyage, also on the Colorado, via Cataract Canyon. Since a good majority of colored characters from that trip are currently on their own Grand trip, no one can voice resistance!
Cataract this past Oct 2017, was our first experience with larger rafts. It was both positive and negative. While it is great to bring our folding love seat, beer, endless food, it does feel as though one is more separated from the total wilderness experience. However, due to the 70+ or so miles of flat water on either side of the largest rapids outside the Grand, it doesn't make sense from a time stand point to packraft the entire stretch. So we went for it, lounging aboard the big rafts and covering miles via laughter and conversation. 
Our deflated Alpackas didn't seem to mind the ride, though once in sight of boiling, rolling water, they happily gorged air until their tubes were bulging and firm.
Keri launched airborne more than once and faced down all waves, except for one hidden hole. She popped up grinning ear to ear, unfazed. She will no doubt do the same in the coming two weeks. I also have no doubt that I'll be joining her, nervously holding my breath paddling into a maelstrom and grinning ear to ear on the other side, whether right-side-up or up-side-down.
I think we'll even learn to embrace the creature comforts that come along with larger boats, particularly on a trip of longer duration.
Here's to our return to rivers for another season.


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