Cataract Canyon Rafting
We cannot imagine a more perfect Cataract Canyon experience! From start to finish, Western River Expeditions had EVERY, and we mean EVERY detail covered. We are a set of grandparents taking our 13-year old grandson for a one-on-one vacation. So clearly, we anticipated probably being the “seniors” of the group. A special thanks to Marcie with WRE - she was patient and most informative in the planning of this special trip! She arranged for our lodging before and after the float trip and a number of additional excursions we enjoyed upon our return to Moab. Western River Expeditions is the parent company of the Moab Adventure Center for “one stop shopping”, so our plans were made well in advance of our arrival. Everything was seamless!!
Early on, the advance preparation was thorough. We purchased (if we didn’t already have) items listed that were definite “needs” as well as “suggested” items. Our only comment here would be, IF it is a low-water year, do not purchase some of the “suggested” items (i.e. rain gear) until closer to your float date. Being the “eager beavers” that we are, we purchased them. This year is a record low-water level year for the Colorado River. We were anticipating 50 degree water temperatures and it was about 70 instead. The rain gear (in this case, the “rapids-are-going-to-wash-over-you-gear”) never came out of our required duffle. Both the warm air and water temperatures rendered those items useless.
We cannot stress enough how impressed we were with the safety-consciousness of the entire crew. We were given concise instructions prior to reaching the rapids and felt quite prepared. This was our first time white-water rafting, so we really didn’t have a realistic feel on what paddling and/or oar-boating would be like. The only clues we had were the videos. You would be wise to watch a number of Western’s videos found on YouTube, as well as their website, if you are novices. Even though the water level was much lower than normal, the river still provided excitement for us through 30+ rapids!!
The crew was amazing! They far exceeded our expectations. A big shout-out to Team Leader Steve, Stu (from Scotland), Derrick, Abbey and Angelique. We are betting this group ranged in ages from 20-28 and their vitality and enthusiasm was infectious. From the moment we left the dock, they proceeded to interact with EVERYONE aboard, especially the teens. They went above and beyond to make everyone feel included and demonstrated a real interest in getting to know all of us. We were so very fortunate to have quite a congenial group - there were roughly 35 of us and we all got along better than your own family! We looked out for each other and enjoyed each other, start to finish!
Allow us to “gush on” about the fabulous food!!! How in the world the crew is able to set up camp, bring culinary equipment and food, prepare most meals that were better than what we would prepare at home, is mind-boggling! The variety was wonderful and special dietary needs were provided. Our grandson has a peanut allergy and Western had notified the crew of this, they were all aware and made sure they had suitable snacks and alternative meals ready for him. We hope we will not be ruining any “surprises” in store for future guests, but the highlight was the Captain’s Dinner on our final night of the trip. The girls passed appetizers, the guys prepared steaks, grilled onions and mushrooms, seasoned green beans and salad in dressed up attire. This crew never ceased to amaze us!!! Dessert was even superb - wait for it - Bananas Foster!! Day 3 on the Colorado River, and we are transporting ice cream!!! And this was the type of cuisine we enjoyed EVERY day. Aside from all of the hiking, lifting gear in the “fire lines”, camp set-up and take-down, paddling and swimming, we did not lose weight, we gained it!
Sleeping under the stars, outside of the tent, was a real thrill!!! We couldn’t decide which we preferred the most - a good night’s sleep or seeing the Milky Way and counting shooting stars. We were a bit apprehensive about bugs and wildlife, but those fears were dispelled. We are happy to report the bugs were almost nil. There were some flying things that would occasionally land on you, but they didn’t bite. And if the winds were steady, they were a non-event.
Even the 102 degree temperatures were not too harsh. Steve allowed a number of swim breaks during our calmer water floats which were thrilling! Jump overboard and drift with the current, climb back aboard and do it all over again!
So Western River Expeditions, we cannot offer any suggestions - in our estimation it was just PERFECT - truly the trip of a lifetime and to be able to share it with our grandson was unforgettable!!! This trip exceeded all of our expectations - absolutely PERFECT!!! Thank you, thank you!!