I Couldn’t Have Been More Wrong!
Sadly, I was not thrilled about taking this Grand Canyon rafting trip; numerous significant dramas occurred the week prior and sadly while we were on the water (e.g.7 deaths of friends in 14 days, finding caregivers for almost 100 animals, etc.) all of which strongly dampened my enthusiasm.
I could not have been more wrong! Our boatman was RD and swamper Grace Rich; their knowledge, professionalism, patience, skill, and talent are perhaps only surpassed by the size of the canyon (and if that, then not by much!). Example: while in Sockdolager, we had two passengers loose their "rapid position" and fly into the air. Before they had even landed, RD had cut the engine and Grace had done a Cirque de Soleil maneuver so impressive that we were awestruck. She lept from the middle of the boat to the front, simultaneously grabbed each passenger by their life jacket, and drilled them safely back down onto the rubber within a heartbeat.
I grew up on a high-end guest ranch so have catered to many wonderful guests in a back country setting while taking out week long pack trips into the National Forest, Wilderness Area,and Continental Divide in NW Colorado, so I truly do know of what I speak. RD, Grace, Roni, and Jeff exemplified everything one could hope for in a guide, and then surpassed it at least ten fold. There was incredible hospitality, humor, and service. Roni's morning boat-side chats and literature sharing set the tone for each wonderful day, though the kazoo was a ten! Jeff's tails at our formal dinner were 5 star and his back-country wisdom always evident. RD should never leave home without his tube, snorkel, and face mask, and does his uncle very proud. Grace was the icing on the cake and left our entire boat in awe of her outgoing service, thorough geologic knowledge, attention to safety, and total commitment and passion to her job. She had 17 of 18 clients (we had 1 napper) on our boat making friendship bracelets; not an easy feat with ages 25-56 and a bunch of type-A's! She generously gave of her stories, her great gorp a friend had sent her (although we did save her from gaining 20 lbs.),she gave lessons on yoga, history, geology, reading water and rapids, etc.
In conclusion, we could not have had a better boat, staff, food, service, amenities, and safety first trip...comfort and humor a very close second. Hats off to you all!
I know I speak for all in our group in sending along heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the outstanding quality of people in your employ. Though we all feel ours were the best and the planets must have aligned for out trip, our motto is now, "Go Western or go home!" Your staff is loyal, but so our your clients!
Bethany - Green Cove Springs, FL
6 Day Grand Canyon Whitewater Rafting Trip