A few days ago, I received in the mail the “Paid in Full” receipt for our 7 day Grand Canyon rafting trip. Now I know this is real. As much as I hate to wish my life away, I find myself checking my “days until” app on my phone much more than I should, which by the way is at day 84. I can’t help but share this information quite often at work, the dinner table, on Facebook, a night out with friends, and in my classroom. Some days I feel like I want to turn to a random person on the street and yell, “Hey, I am going to be spending seven days with complete strangers traveling 188 miles down the Colorado River!” Wait a minute…..am I nuts?
When I bring this trip up in various conversations, I have noticed a wide range of reactions. I have had people roll their eyes at me, I can feel others chuckle about the idea as I turn around, and I can sense some judging as to why I would ever waste money on something as frivolous as this trip. But the question that I am asked most often is, “Why would you ever want to do this in the first place?” I find myself struggling to find the right words so friends, family, and coworkers can understand. There are a few ways to answer this question. I thought I could simply reply that this was on my bucket list or I could say that I love to travel, but that isn’t enough.
I think it all comes down to the fact that I have a yearning for nature’s giants. In the past I have found myself drawn to the oceans on both coasts, geysers of Yellowstone, the power of Niagara Falls, the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, and the monoliths of Zion National Park. And then there is the Grand Canyon. My family and I took a trip to the south rim in 2005. We took the bus out to Hermit’s Rest and the bus driver pulled over and told us to walk out and listen. We could actually hear the power of Granite Rapids from the rim! It scared me to imagine what it would be like to be face to face with these rapids. So in 84 or so days I will be facing them head on.
When my husband and I discussed what we wanted to do for our 25th wedding anniversary my thoughts revolved around a warm, romantic trip, possibly to a tropical island or maybe Paris. We will be about as far from that thought as possible. But when I think what we will be experiencing, it will be above what Paris or a tropical island can provide. We will have seven romantic days with no hot showers, clean clothes, or bathrooms. However, we will have seven unimaginable days sleeping under the stars, hiking to sights that most humans will never experience, no connection with the world above the rim, and forming new friendships with 26 strangers and river guides. And how can I forget…..meeting Granite Rapids face to face.
So the next 84 days I will continue to face those that just don’t “get it.” But that is okay, I have a feeling many of you reading this understand just what I am saying!