The Raft Trip Through the Grand Canyon… Conclusion, and Happy Earth Day

We were nearing the end of our 18-day journey down the Colorado River and had left the Grand Canyon behind. There were still spectacular views, however.

The river was slowing down, backing up as it approached Lake Mead. The rapids were behind us. We formed a flotilla and leisurely made our way toward take-out. We were ending our 18-day raft trip that had taken us through the Grand Canyon. Today’s photo essay reflects our final three days.

It is Earth Day tomorrow, and few things remind us better than the Grand Canyon that there are beautiful, wild places on earth that deserve our love and protection. I bumped up my normal Monday post to Saturday in honor of those who have fought so hard to save the Grand Canyon— and the earth. Enjoy.

The flotilla of rafts only required gentle corrections. Jame demonstrates just how gentle those corrections were…

And then lines up with several of our women rafters for a photo op.

Our adventures weren’t completely over. A sandbar that had been dry the night before provided an interesting challenge in the morning, as it had the night before for those who had chosen to sleep on the sand bar. (I’d picked a site above the river for Peggy and me. Grin.)

Our journey had been about several things, but certainly the people were central to the experience.

We had a whole cast of characters, including Yours Truly, looking like I had just spent 18-days on the river.

Peggy balances on the end of a raft and assumes a Titanic pose, which is something she likes to do. I have another photo of her like this poised above the piranha infested waters of the Amazon River.

Susan shows off by hoisting a five gallon propane canister! Strong woman, eh. 🙂

And Bone, of course, who found a prickly seat for this photo.

More than anything else, our trip was about rafting through the Grand Canyon. I took this photo of Hance Rapids from the rim after the trip. Each set of rapids was unique, and some were massive. Boatmen live for the challenges these rapids provide and our boatmen proved to be experts at negotiating them.

For me, the journey was more about the incredible beauty and natural history of the Canyon.

The beauty continued even as we approached Lake Mead and our take-out.

The Canyon walls were particularly beautiful in early morning and evening light.

But there was beauty any time of the day, and along every mile we traveled.

The Hualapai Indians provide a different perspective from their Skywalk, which is perched 4000 feet above the river.

And our eyes were always searching for wildlife along the river, such as these Big Horn Sheep.

A final reminder of the beauty along the way…

Eventually all great adventures come to an end. Here we are deflating the rafts that it seemed like we had filled ever-so-long before, literally lying down on the job!

A special thank you to Tom Lovering for organizing and leading our adventure. As you may very well imagine, a great deal of effort and expertise goes into planning a trip like ours. BTW, this may be the only time you ever see Tom with a halo.

And a special thanks to Don Green who so generously allowed me to use some of his excellent photos from along the way.

Bone, whose vest has now been signed by all of the rafters, looks down on Tanner Rapids, which we had made our way through a couple of weeks earlier. In addition to rafting through this section of the river I’ve backpacked into it twice and Peggy has backpacked into it once.

I hope you have enjoyed this trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon along with Peggy, me and our friends. Thanks for joining us! The Canyon is a very special place. And it is one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Happy Earth Day!

Curt and Peggy

28 comments on “The Raft Trip Through the Grand Canyon… Conclusion, and Happy Earth Day

  1. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a man wearing pigtails — especially such jaunty ones. And Bone’s signed vest is a treasure. I think my own Bone has come into my life. Suffice it to say I found him looking at me up in the hill country, and I think his name must be Rocky. I’m not sure about that, but once we know each other a little better, I’ll ask.

    • Steve is a true character and a free spirit, in addition to being a good person. I really enjoyed and appreciated him.
      Bone is excited to think that he might have another friend in addition to the lovely Bonetta! Keep us posted. 🙂 –Curt

  2. This has been a fabulous series Curt. I’ve really enjoyed my vicarious journey with you. Having cooked for many years in wilderness camps I can’t even begin to imagine organizing the food for that many people for that many days, let alone all the rest of it.
    Alison

    • Tom ran his own restaurant in Davis for several years, so he was used to the food organization side of it. I ran 500 mile bike trips for a number of years where we bought our food as we traveled. We were like a swarm of locusts. 🙂
      Thanks, Alison. I enjoyed reliving the journey myself! –Curt

    • “It must have been an adjustment going back to “reality” after a trip like that.” Always, Dave. But it also brings a balance. At least it always has for me. Thank you. I enjoyed putting it together. –Curt

  3. A perfect location for Earth Day posting. Some great images of a wonderful place. Can’t seem to get my head around the Skywalk at the Grand Canyon. To me it represents a lean toward more commercialization and less of simply being there.

    • Thanks, AC. I had fun reliving it! And yes, the beauty of the Grand Canyon is a serious reminder of the importance of protecting our natural resources. There are plenty of folks who have been willing to destroy it for immediate profit. –Curt

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