May 8, 2012
“ We said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all. Other
places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty
free and easy and comfortable on a raft.”
Traveling over 280 miles down the Colorado River via raft
over eight days encompasses so much more than just floating along with the
occasional rapids to break up the trip. The trip through the Grand Canyon is an
experience that offers insights into history, geology, archeology as well as
the splendor of the natural world.
The Grand Canyon offers a geological profile that is
unmatched anywhere else in the world and the beautiful distinctive layers of
rock formation vary in color and characteristics as they rise up the canyon
walls. Various shades of brown, red, orange, gray and green are common in the
upper reaches and the colors often become darker as you enter the Inner Gorge.
The Canyon has formed over millions of years with the oldest rock layers dating
back over a billion years.
The Canyon also has a rich history, with many areas sacred
to Native Americans who lived in and around the area for thousands of years.
Europeans first discovered the Canyon in 1540 when Spanish soldiers led by
Garcia Lopez de Cardenas arrived there. For the next four hundred years
intrepid explorers followed with the first organized voyage to explore the
Canyon coming in 1869 by John Wesley Powell. Seventy years later less than one
hundred people had successfully navigated the river completely, so it is a
relatively new experience for the lucky few who make the trip.
Throughout the trip, the raft would stop at times, to camp,
eat or just to offer the opportunity to hike through the canyon to areas of special
natural, historical or just beautiful significance. There were beautiful
waterfalls, sites where previous explorers or native peoples left archeological
evidence and areas of just sheer natural beauty.
Kathy & Kathy
Dakota & Kathy
The Grand Canyon, while appearing dry and barren is actually
full of life and incredible native plants and wildlife. Desert Bighorn sheep,
mule deer, coyotes, beaver, eagles, falcons and a huge variety of birds and all
manner of reptiles and amphibians (including rattlesnakes like the one that
they encountered in one of their camps) are all found in the canyon. Beautiful plant
life is also abundant, including a wide variety of cacti and beautiful
flowering plants, many of which were in full spring bloom.
Early canyon explorer John Wesley Powell
once said, “The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in
symbols of speech, nor by speech itself. The resources of the graphic art are
taxed beyond their powers in attempting to portray its features. Language and
illustration combined must fail.”
To say that Kathy, Kathy & Dakota had an amazing trip
can’t really do justice to their experience, and like Powell says, is almost
impossible to capture it with either words or photos, but hopefully this blog
posting gives a small insight into the trip. I know that they enjoyed just
about every aspect of it from the drenching waters while running the rapids, to
the beautiful hikes through the Canyon and the wonderful meals and sleeping out
among the stars in one of the most special places on earth.
Mikey & Stiner
I am so happy that they were able to go and share such a
cool adventure. I think it is one that will stay for a long time in their heart