River Day 3

The Long Paddle Ahead....

Epilog (a little ahead of it's time)

by Ed

 As I have just celebrated the 30th anniversary of my 30th birthday, I reflect back to our Colorado rafting adventure and think of my 6 companions who are celebrating their first 30th birthdays.


It was a special trip for me because I got to share not only a week with my son but also to be with him as he enjoyed himself with his best friends and their friends.  I felt like the fly on the wall that got to participate, as well.

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Click to enlarge pictures

I remember the apprehension I felt right up to the time we hit the first rapids.

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The inner fear of what it might be like.  I remember the rush and exhilaration that first time in Badger Creek  rapids and the excitement of Hance rapids on day 5.  I remember the jogging and walking training I did weeks before the trip to prepare for the 7.5 mile hike up 4800 vertical feet of Bright Angel Trail not knowing if I could make it or not with that 40 pound pack on my back.

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Sometimes the hunt is better than the kill.  Jeff and I had talked constantly about what to pack, the size of the backpack, and what would be worn and what would be left; the rain coat, the hats, the gizmos to hold the pack in the boat, the hotels, flights, transfers in Phoenix, bringing my own coffee (loved that Cowboy coffee!). In fact the hunt and the kill were both spectacular.

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 I remember the sounds, the smells, the sand between my toes (and everywhere else), the sights, the quiet, the stars, the afternoon hot wind, the freezing cold water, the colors, the feel of the rock and the hot sun. 

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I miss my old friend Groover!  Who will ever forget that new experience!  Who wants to remember it?  Did you ever think you could control your body with such regularity to make an event take seconds that usually fills the time sufficient to read a novel.  I do remember the views from Groover’s site were serene, beautiful and sometimes not so private. Ah!

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As I look at my pictures, I realize that the camera pales itself to the brain and its capacity to hold the beauty of what we experienced in the Grand Canyon. 

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But, even more vivid are the personal experiences I remember; the chess game with Carl, sharing the tent with Jeff with his noises and smells on what looked like a rainy night,

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the Hearts game in the water with “the boys”, scurrying to find the best sleeping site, finding the right beer bag, jockeying to get the right guide with the right companions, napping on the raft, eating left over French toast on the raft, sampling each guides nut and candy snacks, buying Lara’s pottery from a picture, watching Lara and Lorna take a bath on day one, and on and on.


Most of all, I remember not wanting it to be over.  Most of all, I want to do it all over again.  Not a rafting trip but another trip with the boys, the friends and my family.


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