Awesome Adventure! Rafting the Grand Canyon
Amazing trip ... amazing guides ... amazing scenery ... amazing food ... amazing experience !!!
I took the 6-day trip down the Grand Canyon with Lat Smith as trip leader and Corey, Travis, and Melissa as guides. I cannot express my gratitude for all the guides did to make this such an awesome adventure for me and the rest of the group. I have taken many river trips (the last time I went down the Grand Canyon was when my daughter, Traci Sundberg, was a river guide with Western River twenty years ago). The trip I just experienced with Lat and crew was run to perfection. Things ran smoothly and felt flawless. The guides were always friendly and helpful, but they constantly stressed safety and watched over us in many different situations.
I want to express a special thank you to Corey, who stayed behind the group and encouraged me as I made the long climb to the Nankoweap Granaries (I am seventy four and this was a long, steep hike). Without Corey I probably would have turned back, but he told me if I wanted to make it, I would ... and I did. I did it myself, but he was always there with a helping hand if I needed it. It was a very special experience for me, and Corey's encouragement made it possible.
The knowledge that Travis shared with us as we drifted down the canyon was so helpful (as well as his jokes). It made the trip so fun to understand what we were seeing. Melissa was so helpful and friendly, always smiling as she carried the heavy gear and prepared meals. She was also great in helping the women with questions about living on the river.
The actual time on the river was so fun. I only knew three people, but quickly became great friends with all the people in the two boats (rapids and danger seem to bond people together). Some of the friendships I formed will last forever.
Lat was a great trip leader! He was professional, yet friendly. He always let us know what was going on, and we all felt trust as we traveled the river with him. The boatmen were great in the rapids ... we seemed to always find the right line that gave the most exciting ride! All the guides were continually safety conscious and reminded us what to do in the big rapids like Crystal and Lava ... "suck rubber".
Oh, and before I forget ... the food! It was exceptional and beautifully served, impeccably prepared, and delicious. Several guests from New York said they felt the food was as good as any five star restaurant. It is still amazing to me that they can serve fresh fruit and salads the entire trip. The appetizers in the evening were great ... and the meals always incredible. Each meal seemed to be a little better than the last. I loved the different themes of the dinners ... with the guides dressed to match. And with living and eating on the beach, I never had a bit of sand in my food.
I was also impressed with the sanitary conditions. Water, soap, and hand cleaner were continually available, and I loved the way we could get the clean water with the bulb and the bucket. Also, four different food washing pans made cleanliness easy. Bathrooms on the river are not easy ... but I especially liked the "bathrooms with a view" that the crew set up each day.
I could go on and on. The friendships, the camaraderie, the rapids, the scenery, and the fun all combined to make this the best river trip I have ever been on!!! I was sad when it was time to leave ... but the helicopter ride out of the canyon and the plane ride to Marble Canyon provided a great experience.
Thanks Western River, Lat, Corey, Travis and Melissa for such a wonderful adventure. I know the time and energy it takes to put on a trip like this ... especially when it runs so smoothly for the guests. I would recommend this trip to anyone (young or old). As I look at my pictures, I remember the majesty and beauty of the canyon and the magic we all felt as we traveled down the incredible river together.
Rain - UT
Arizona - Grand Canyon Rafting 6 & 7 Day