Grand Canyon Trip of a Lifetime
My wife and I along with 16 friends took a 6 day Grand Canyon expedition from July 10, 2018 thru July 15, 2018. We originally started talking about the trip about 2 years out and then booked about a year and a half out. We originally had 2 rafts full, but due to some health issues, conflicts, etc... we had some participants that had to drop out and we accounted for 18 of our 28 expedition party. We did a lot of research in advance, watched videos, read testimonials (such as this), etc... As amazing as the pictures and videos are, let me tell you, they cannot do justice to the real thing. The majesty and beauty that surrounds you for a constant 24/7 during this trip is incredible. Around every corner is a peak, design or shape more beautiful than the next and this goes on for days. Seeing the Grand Canyon from this perspective cannot be replaced. You can visit the rims and even hike down or fly over, but you cannot get how immense and incredible it is until you take an expedition like this. I cannot express the beauty enough to anyone who cares at all about the outdoors. The J-Rig raft that Western River uses is another marvel. You see other rafts along with kayaks, etc... and it is obvious that the J-Rig is the way to go. It offers so much diversity in seating, space, etc... My favorite spot is up front and center, but the diversity of "the box" and the "chicken coop" give you options and time to relax, stretch, etc... This rig is incredible and it is nothing short of an engineering marvel how they fit everything on this raft. I would really LOVE to see one of these things being loaded from empty one day to see how in the world everything makes it on and in a very useful way.
The staff...I cannot say enough about these guys (and gal). Our crew consisted of Trip Leader and Captain, Joe, Captain Ben and swampers Alora and Paul (Skinny). These folks were amazing. They know so much about the river, the canyon and the history. They were so professional, but at the same time so relatable and laid back. They made us so at ease, but made sure we knew what we needed to know to be safe and have a great time. We bonded with all of them and they are such wonderful people...they all felt like family by the time our trip was over. The captain of my boat, Ben, had an accident on the trip with boiling water getting knocked over on his foot and giving him a very nasty burn. What did Ben do? He got first aid to it and kept moving, not letting it interfere with anyone's enjoyment of their trip. I know there were times he had to be miserable, but if you did not know what had happened, you never would have known from the way he worked and handled everything. He was such a true professional even in extreme pain. Getting to have conversations with these folks, especially during down times and learning about their life, experiences, etc... was a joy. They are Western River's greatest asset. I have nothing but love and respect for each of them and wish them the very best. The food...."Are you kidding me" was the expression of the week when it came to meal time. Grilled chicken and strawberry salad, grilled rainbow trout, cornbread, blueberry bread, eggs to order, pancakes, french toast, wraps, incredible sandwich selections, bananas foster with ice cream, eggs benedict, spaghetti, shrimp cocktail, grilled steak and baked potatoes... and that was just the highlights
If you are considering a trip like this, I implore you to strongly consider going with Western River Expeditions...you will not be sorry and if you are considering a trip like this, I absolutely suggest you do it. It is a fantastic adventure with fantastic people that you will not regret.