It has been about a year since I started to make an attempt at guest blogs for Western River. I had many questions, curiosities, and a few fears about spending seven days on a rafting trip in Grand Canyon. I read information about what was to be expected, talked to a few people that would listen to me, and imagined what the trip would be like. I realize for some people that go on this adventure, it is simply just another vacation. And that is okay. But for some of us, it is something that keeps finding its way back into our lives in so many ways.
I am finding that I look at many things differently because of this trip. My vacation destination dreams have made a complete 180-degree turn. In the not so distant past, I was the first to jump at the chance to take a trip to Disney World or the crowded eastern beaches. Although I have many good memories from these vacations, I find myself looking for something else now. I want solitude, a challenge, a chance to find that spiritual moment, to feel those that were there before me hundreds of years ago, to learn, and to step away from my comfort zone. I want guides that have the patience to keep me safe, but put up with all of my questions. I want the opportunity to meet people that are there for the same reason. Our family vacation to the busy south rim of the Grand Canyon that sparked my curiosity to what the canyon looks like from the river was good at the time, but I have grown in a different direction, away from commercialism.
I have realized that we as humans are such a small part of this planet. I remember listening to a guide talk about the Great Unconformity and trying to fathom what one billion years in history could be. As we looked at the various layers of rock along the way, I had many conversations with a fellow rafter about the size of the layer that would represent human life. A thought that is almost impossible to comprehend.
I look at our environment differently. I look at the CFS, try to read the currents, look for changes of local waterways. I read and try to understand articles that discuss information about our national and state parks, about our wilderness areas, and about the impact energy companies can play on the future of these areas. Around day five, at the narrowest part of the Grand Canyon, we were laughing and having a great time. Suddenly it was pointed out to us, the first piece of litter we have seen since leaving the North Las Vegas airport. It was a piece of paper floating in the river. We silently stared at it, no words were said, but I can pretty much guarantee that we were all thinking the same thought. A guide reached in and removed it from the river. It saddens me as I think how something as simple as a piece of paper can silence four river guides and 28 people.
Finally, it is all about the attitude! I wish I could go back to the feeling that was felt on this trip. I try to grow up and realize that life gets in the way at times, but Western River keeps finding me when I least expect it and I thank you for that!
WRE Guest Blogger