TheAspenStand: Trip of a Lifetime

Monday, July 26, 2010

Trip of a Lifetime

We recently enjoyed our most memorable vacation to date.  It's not like we've had a lot of  "real" vacations so this sounded like the trip of a lifetime. We signed up a year ago to ensure our place on the same trip with our neighbors and suddenly it was time to go.  
We spent 13 days floating on a raft trip through Arizona on the Colorado River from Lee's Ferry in Marble Canyon to Pierce Ferry just north of Lake Meade.  We traveled with Outdoors Unlimited who's congenial  guides enraptured us with geology, history and tales of the canyon.  Six of us traveled the entire route so at Bright Angel Trail near Phantom Ranch, we six along with the guides and baggage boatmen, said goodbye to 15 old acquaintances from the US and a wonderful couple from South Africa and welcomed 13 new to the adventure. 
We ran the rapids with screams and laughter; floated silently enjoying the serenity of a technology free environment (sans cameras); shared life experiences; hiked into slot canyons; floated the Little Colorado giggling and splashing like kids and so much more.
Organization of events from morning to evening was incredibly efficient.  Lunches were filling and plentiful and evening meals full of variety and delicious.  Group gatherings at lunch and after dinner heard repeats of the day's memorable events, singing, a fictional tale of "El Gato" (a cat toy prize found in the breakfast cereal one morning) and even a marriage vow renewal ceremony. 
Each evening we watched the natural swap-over of dashing swallows to insect eating bats.  And many of us will forever repeat tales of the intelligent "thieving" ravens and their incredible talents.  After lying our heads down each evening we dozed off under the wonders of a star filled sky the likes of what some can only dream.  
And suddenly with hugs all around we said our good-byes and this little river family was off into four directions with our wonderful memories.
Would we do it again?  You bet!  
I'm going through and will slowly add some of the trip photographs to products in TheAspenStand, my online Zazzle store.  The photographs may reinforce the memories but the pure enjoyment will forever bring a smile to my face and a peace to my mind.
One of the many photographs now a poster in TheAspenStand store is this downstream view at the Navajo Bridges at Lee's Ferry from within Marble Canyon on the Colorado River.

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