There Are No Adjectives That Can Describe This Whitewater Rafting Experience
I was quite out of my element on this rafting trip, being over 60, quite out of shape (though I did do some pre-trip shaping up), and being pretty certain that I was bordering on insanity for accepting the invitation when my brother came up with the idea of this "family" trip.
If you've never done anything like this, Western River Expeditions is the company you want to use to do it. They have all the bases covered, from the reservations to getting you back to your hotel when the river run is over - exactly when they say they will.
The tips on the website, supplemented with videos about every aspect of what you need to know about the trip, are spot-on. I took with me exactly what they said to, and actually didn't use some of it, but better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
Now you are thoroughly prepared - just think about the adventure you are about to embark on. The day at the ranch was fun and informative. I was impressed with the ranch hands and all of the staff there and when I saw them all doing the dishes (ranch hands included) after dinner was finished, I was even more impressed with their organization. And the after-dinner entertainment was very special. Where do you find young people who are great ranch hands, can cook, run the store, and can play the fiddle, sing and dance? Arizona, apparently!
And the river trip begins. First the small plane to the ranch, then the helicopter to the bottom of the Grand Canyon... I was crossing things off my bucket list that I didn't know were on it! And how can anything be compared to what God has made? The beauty of what you are about to see is indescribable. Every scene is different and more beautiful than what you just saw. There really are no adjectives. It is awe-inspiring, it is overwhelming, it is amazing, it is brilliant! Add to that the knowledge of the guides - about the history of the area, the geology, the peoples that have inhabited the Canyon and the rocks around you. These guides are so passionate about what they do, they make it contagious - you want to hear everything they have to say - they are not just spewing facts, they are great stroy-tellers.
And they are great cooks - I could not believe the meals we were served out in the wilderness. They created magic with charcoal and Dutch ovens! Every meal was delicious and served with love - and dietary choices and restrictions were thoughtfully taken into account.
Did I mention how warm and caring the guides were? This is not just a job to them, they love people as well as the rapids. Each guide on our trip took the time to talk with every person on the trip - and to listen. They were as interested in making friends with each one of us as they were about making sure we knew the appropriate safety measures.
I hope when you go you have the team of Newtie, Travis, RD and Joe as your guides because there can't possibly be a better team. All too soon the trip ends and you have to leave this amazing crew whose hands you literally put your life in for the last 3 days. It is bittersweet for sure! And we were blessed that our whole group of 28 guests gelled, learning about each other, getting to know each other, and looking out for each other. Some of us will definitely keep in touch.
Western River excels at making sure that every minute detail of your trip is well-planned and executed exactly as it's meant to be. Surely there must be something that goes wrong in the background from time to time, but I'm certain that if it does, you'll never know about it.
Anita - NJ
Arizona - Grand Canyon Rafting & Ranch 4 Day