The Grand Canyon...
There's something truly special and magical about this place that just shows in the face of every guest that we bring down. Many of our guests have stood at the rim, and they've looked down at that postcard of Grand Canyon... and it's mind-blowingly beautiful! But it's impossible to get the scale of Grand Canyon when you're standing at the rim.
It's pretty exciting to watch their eyes just get open to how big this place is, but yet how small and intimate each little moment is.
From the bottom, you get to see all the different rock layers, and all the amazing waterfalls and oases and side canyons and hikes and history that really makes the Grand Canyon... grand. That's when you get to know the canyon, not just see the canyon, is by traveling through it.
The Grand Canyon, in my mind, is the single greatest gem in the National Park system. It's so difficult to describe the awe and wonder of what you feel and see when you're down in the canyon.
Every turn around a corner is literally a postcard experience that you're living. In every moment you're just soaking in the vastness of this place, and that's just so powerful. There's no place in your mind where you've got these images when you start off up in Lee's Ferry.
You get the excitement, you get the adrenaline rush, and that adrenaline rush literally stays with you all the way through the whitewater in the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon does not disappoint. From get-go to end, it's just some of the biggest, best white water in North America. I love the rapids. It's like being sprayed with a fireman hose, I guess... just that wall of water coming... I love that!
You get wet, you get dry, you get wet again... and it's just a wonderful experience. Also, it's so awesome to be able to get off and walk. Every little grotto we stop at, every little baby waterfall, every swimming hole we stop at, or every little hike that we do up to a vista where you get a view, really brings everything into perspective.
People really are drawn to those quiet little moments. It really completes the whole experience for them. This place is so big, it's so grand, it's so massive that it's almost incomprehensible. Even going down through the canyon it's hard to just pick up on everything.
My favorite part was the Little Colorado River - and this time it was running blue! I've never seen water so blue in my entire life. It's not always the color that we happen to hit it on, but it's a little bit warmer so it was fun frolicking.
My favorite thing about guiding is watching full-grown adults turn into little kids. At Deer Creek there's an area called "the patio". It is the quintessential oasis in the desert just this cottonwood trees and green and intimate and lush. It was surreal to get in there and have this huge waterfall coming from a couple hundred feet down, wasn't it? Yeah, and you could just feel that wind just blowing at you from the force of the water coming down. Getting to swim in that that was really cool.
One cool thing too is the animals... the bighorn sheep... big amazing rams, I guess. Yeah, right along the water. The water was so clear we could actually see trout in the water it's just amazing to see all the wildlife.
Nothing beats the canyon at sunset. The sky changes, the rock changes, and they come to life and then in the morning you get to do it in reverse! One of my favorite things to do was stand by the water in the morning with my coffee and just watch the canyon wake up. The colors come back, and then they get whitewashed with the sun, and you go and play, and then you wait for it to happen again.
Then the stars come out... you see the milky way... you camp under the stars and we watched satellites go by... it just took your breath away. I know no camping experience in my entire life where you can sleep outside without the bugs and see the universe... not something I expected, right?! I thought i'd fall asleep and then the Grand Canyon would disappear in my mind but that's not the case here.
Well, at the end of the trip, you know, you helicopter out then you get to see this incredible place from the air. It's a great experience. I love that helicopter ride! Here you're getting a six-day event of a national icon, you know? You're looking at a place that has, you know, retained that specialness. To live in it for six days and really unplug has been really refreshing. I think we get distracted way too easily and our hearts, and our minds need a break. Watching people disconnect and reconnect with each other and reconnect with such a beautiful place... that's what keeps me coming back.
From Lee's Ferry to the helicopter pad there is a drastic change in almost everyone that comes down here. You start off with all the tension that you bring into the canyon and then as you're going through... at some point that tension starts to release. When you get to the end it's like... you can breathe.
Well, Grand Canyon is a trip of a lifetime there's no doubt about it. We literally came back the second time because it beckons you back!
The Grand Canyon, for me, is such a special place. Letting go of the time and letting go of what's next, what's tomorrow... and just living in the moment and being content... I find that down here and I don't always find that on the rim. I mean it's magnificent! It takes your breath away. In many cases it does something special that really just touches your heart, touches your soul. There's just no other place like it. It's one of the seven natural wonders of the world for a reason!
The magic that comes out of the canyon walls can't be felt through a coffee table book, or a video online. You just have to come and experience it. That's why we're here. We're the adventurers! We're the people who wanted to say, "Yeah, I did the Grand Canyon!"