Trip of a Lifetime!
Here is my 10 cents about a trip of a lifetime! Everything about the trip was great. Even the views from the bathroom that Travis strategically placed every afternoon. Western River sets you to succeed at this trip from the minute you make the reservation. They send you a packing list to make things comfortable on your trip. My wife followed it to a "T". I brought most things on list and only used a few. Outside of the rain gear, footwear is key. Whether you bring water shoes or flip flops make sure they are well built. We had several people on our trip have blow outs.
Now for the trip. You are picked up at a hotel by charter bus and driven to Boulder City Airport. An hour later you are off to Marble Canyon. The flight is a fun trip in itself. Great views. You are met at the airstrip by the Western River guides. You then have a chance to go buy beer across the street. Then it's off to the put in at Lee's Ferry. You are given your dry bags to put your stuff in and a boat orientation. That is where we met our guides Joe Clark and Travis Parson. They were very informative. They gave us a break down of how the trip would go and it's inherent dangers. Yes you could get injured or killed it's an expedition through one of a most remote and rugged parts of the United States (You are 100 times more likely to get injured or killed going to Starbucks for your latte).
After the orientation, it was off for the first rapids. Small but fun. It was fun to see the anticipation of the next rapid for those who have never rafted. I won't spoil the rest of the adventure. If you are still reading go pick your dates and make your reservation. If you don't make it you won't commit. By the way, you will camp on the most amazing beaches and sleep under the stars. You will always have a full belly with the best food you have ever had camping. The hikes are not to be missed.
Now for the guides. Joe Clark has a command presence on that boat that comes very naturally. He gives you the rules and how to succeed on staying on the boat through the rapids. Travis has the same presence about him. They both create a fun and exciting atmosphere. Full of Grand Canyon knowledge and some pretty funny jokes. They have outstanding organizational skills. They both made some amazing meals all with portable camp equipment. They are also musicians, played great music after dinner. Thanks again Joe and Travis, you made the expedition a vacation.
I don't have a single complaint. Make sure you bring your adult beverages whether it's beer, tequila or wine. We brought all of the above. You are on vacation. I also brought my back packing air mattress. It made the cot very comfortable. You see more of the Grand Canyon than you will see from any other company. The airplane ride gives you a preview, the raft gives you another perspective, the hikes give you a more intimate feel and the helicopter ride out makes you realize how big the Grand Canyon is. Thanks again Western River for a vacation of a lifetime. We will be back soon.