Awe-some in it’s Original and Current Sense
To Those "Getting on in Years": Base info: I am eighty. I can carry my gear but not do chin-ups, over-used but mostly functional knees, getting up from sitting on ground not pretty but easy, life-long camping and hiking experience. This rafting trip was NOT too rigorous. Getting onto J-rig possible solo but slow. Much gracious help from others, but should not depend on it. The individualized care from phone staff was friendly, super helpful, supportive, and the published advice accurate and excellent.
Overall organization showed the outfit's experience from pre-trip notifications, to timing, to successive transfers, cheerful and outgoing intermediary guides, smooth in all details. Western River guides showed their long experience with the river and with people. Positive, straightforward, on-top-of-everything. Pretty unflappable - which comes from attitude and long experience. They projected responsibility for trippers' welfare and love for their work. The outfit was flexible and thoughtful in planning and adapting to dietary restrictions of my daughter. Guides had interesting sense of limits in that they did not emphasize much of anything about group dynamics as would have been done for a more homogeneous group - say of campers.
My one suggestion would be even more information about the natural environment. I'd instantly go on another trip with a naturalist. (Probably that would mean a slower pace, perhaps.) Barring that, maybe guides could carry some field guides in their waterproof lockers - rock, birds, plants. Geological background very complicated so very hard to cover. They (Ronnie, especially) did a good job with Vishnu schist outcroppings and various lava flows and differences between volcanic, metamorphic, and sediments. (A guide's patter could emphasize mostly telling about the unique environment rather than entertaining with stuff not related to history or what was around us.)
Top notch outfit in every way!!