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Profoundly Moving – Colorado River Adventure

5

| July 22, 2015

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This was a trip for my adventurous wife. I was hesitant to go.

Each day, though, the whole experience made a deeper and deeper impact on me. The enormous solemnity of the Grand Canyon cliffs and the age of the rock, the constant flow of the Colorado River, incessant, pressing, the stories of the various rapids and learning how they were formed. The sheer massiveness of the citadels here and there. The senses of insignificance amidst the trivial frivolity on the boat and the weight of eons around us. It felt more and more like a cathedral in which the only proper response was silence and awe.

The rapids seemed less than expected--perhaps because we were on a J-rig, 37' feet of tremendous flexibility. In retrospect, I might not choose a J-rig if I were to go again--you cannot see from the tubes, the Buckboard is very hard on your pelvis, and you cannot see much but the cliffs from the chicken-coop.

The cots though, available only on motorized trips, made all the difference for me. I slept like a rock. The food was great, sometimes overly fancy; I'm not sure Old Man River approved of chocolate cake. Chicken curry wraps were perfect.

But the river and the canyon! I still see them a month later, eyes closed or open, the burgeoning flow of the green water, the towering cliffs of the granite gorges, the white spray of the standing waves, the smooth tongues and the deep holes. The hummingbird. The big horn ram. And always the river, gurgling, pressing, pushing, flowing. The ominous presence of 1.7 billion year old rock right in front of me. We should not whoop and holler, or dance in sheets, but gaze and reflect and learn and rethink all we have been taught. And do all we can to preserve this lesson book/place. I got a new river name, Ijit Flounder, while on the river.

Deservedly so. And by now my tiny bit of water has dissipated into Lake Mead and beyond and disappeared into the almost endless cycle of life on Earth.

James - Virginia
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