Tag Archives: Canyoneers

Go Big or Go Home: Our Grand Canyon Rafting Adventure Continues

Morning in Grand Canyon

(This is the second part of a two-part series. Click the following link to read Part I of our Grand Canyon Rafting Adventure)

Bedding down in the Grand Canyon meant finding a spot along the surprisingly beach-like banks of the Colorado and pitching a tent; although our tent went mostly unused. After the first night, we found we preferred sleeping directly under the stars.

Without the overwhelming light pollution of our native Manhattan, the night sky lit up like a Christmas tree. Even though I was exhausted by sundown most days, I’d still spend a couple of hours each night watching satellites drift past billions of stars before drifting off to sleep.

Morning came with a rising sun that painted the canyon in hues of red light and bluish shadow. One of the things we found most rewarding about our trip was seeing how the canyon changed throughout the day and with each passing mile. From striated red sandstone cliffs illuminated by soft evening light to towering black schist shining beneath a mid-day glare, we didn’t just experience one Grand Canyon, but dozens. Every day and every hour offered something remarkable and new.

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Go Big or Go Home: A Grand Canyon Rafting Adventure

Grand Canyon River View

Four years ago we embarked on what is still the best trip of our lives.

In what we now clearly recognize as a prelude to our current travels, in July 2008 we set out for a seven-day, six-night Grand Canyon rafting excursion. Before that trip, we had never pitched a tent under the stars; never rafted; and certainly never experienced whitewater of any kind. Yet there we were, flying off to confront some of the biggest whitewater in the country, on a trip that once started had to be seen through to its end. The only way out of the Canyon for us would be by medical helicopter.

That assumed we made it into the canyon in the first place. We almost didn’t.

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