The Grand Canyon is a place that I like to give an analogy to the river of life. Everytime before I come on a Grand Canyon trip I have a list of everyone's names, but it isn't until I get down here and actually get to know them, put a name with a face that I really really begin to understand what it is what the river of life can do for people.
The river is kind of like life itself, it looks a lot what people look like sometimes. They're all smooth on top, they don't have any rough edges but the river has a lot of things going on underneath it. There's whirlpools and rocks that cannot be seen. What the river does, is bring everybody down here, they all have their different hats on, they have a chance to take off their hats and we all become a family. That family works together, we help each other, we strengthen each other, we laugh at each other.
As you're hiking you reach out a hand to someone and they can take your hand. If you were doing that on the street, probably not. You don't have a chance to really mesh as a family.
A river goes through a lot of white water, and those rapids build and build and the waves build and build but they never quite break the same. That's kind of the way life is too. You can help somebody get through a rough time, a rapid, but you never going to know exactly how it's going to break or how can it be for them. So maybe it's better just to sit back and give them support--not give them necessarily advice, but just give them support. Love them, be their friend.
I liken the guides that we have on the river to medical professionals because they help to bring out the best in us. They help us to learn things about ourselves that we didn't even know. They help us to push limits that we've never pushed before. To give us a good feeling about each other and to just tell great stories and enjoy the time that we're here in the canyon. That really is who Western River is, is our guides down on the river.