lthough I am a private boater, I have thoroughly enjoyed your newsletter,
particularly the depth of the articles, interviews and historical
stories of the canyon. I also appreciate the poetry, pictures and
drawingsanything that helps me mentally get back to the canyon.
I have been privileged to raft the Grand four times, first in 1975.
I've run it once in my '20s, '30s, '40s and now '50s! Each journey
was exquisite and they have left in me impressions as deep as the
This May we spent 22 incredible, perfect, cloudless days down there
with great water18,00022,000 cfs! I waited eleven years
for this permit. If the list is truly 7,000 people and 20 years,
I will be 71 for my next trip. Among my group of 13 friends we had
33 Grand Canyon trips unlike my '75 trip where none of us had even
It has been interesting to note the changes through the years. The
motors have gotten quieter (although the helicopters are still obnoxious),
most of the big beaches were gone or under water. Havasu was a bit
of a shocksome vegetation, the travertine pools and parts
of the trail washed out. But the sense of solitude (except for the
usual places) and grandeur, and the wonder I feel hiking up side
canyons discovering pools and falls and flowers and so much more
all of that thankfully has survived the onslaught.
There is another more human quality that remains in the Grand Canyoncaring,
brotherhood, and looking out for each other. We had nothing but
very positive encounters with the professional boatmen and women
whose paths we crossed. You were all willing to negotiate campsites
in a friendly manner. Someone gave us two blocks of ice on about
Day 10 or soa gift most appreciated. At Little C a Hatch boatman
ferried several of our party from the island across to shore. They
had missed the pull-in and would have missed the hike without his
generous gesture, and I got my first ride on a really big boat!
He also gave us a pound of coffeemuchas gracias!
A really big thanks to Hatch and oars for their efforts and assistance
after our (not one, but two) flips in the ledge hole at Lava (don't
ask how or why). The Hatch boatmen grabbed and righted our 18-foot
raft from which the frame had been torn off. They then towed that
raft and the remaining half of our 16-foot boat across the river
to the rest of our group. Michael Ghiglieri from oars donated glue,
material, D-rings and some great advice. The bandaids
worked great. Thank you Michael! You all helped immensely on that
not very fun day. Most of our flotilla of cooler, ammos, oars, dry
bags, onions and zucchinis was retrieved. Even the Teva I lost in
the flip and never saw again on the river has come home.
The river experience lingers on. I'll never know all the answers,
like who found my Teva and how it found me, but each journey in
the canyon is enlightening, uplifting, gives me sanity and food
for my soul. It is home.
Several of us middle-agers are considering a commercial
trip in the future. One friend wants to take his father and many
of us want to hike, photograph and relax! Funny how these trips
are a lot more exhausting than they were 24 years ago!
Thanks to all the Grand Canyon river guides who helped make our
May journey most memorable.