Weather suits Grand Canyon rafters

Recent retirees, Mike and Jean Ober, celebrated their 35 wedding anniversary in April, with a trip down the Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon. The 187 mile trip started at Lee's Ferry and ended 7 days later near Whitmore Wash with a helicopter ride to Bar 10 Ranch. The days were warm, sunny and dry. The temperatures were in the mid 50's in mornings, mid 80's in the afternoon, on several days, we had high winds, which are common in the canyon. The constant blowing sand surprised us and was an added seasoning in all of our meals and our morning coffee. The views were unforgettable. Many of the rapids were huge; some were a real adrenaline rush. The water temperature was a cool 46 degrees. By the end of the trip, only three cameras were working in the whole group. Jean and I had 2 of them. I had a waterproof Olympus 8 mega pixel point and shoot that did great with the on-raft shots and video. Jean had our other camera, a 6 mega pixel Olympus SLR for some of the on-land shots. I have a feeling the sand took a toll on the SLR. The Grand Canyon was beautiful! The Colorado River had an emerald green hue that ran clear and cold. Meals were, for the most part, fantastic. Camp sites were breathtaking. I wish there had been more hikes (to warm our bones), but the ones we did take got us to some spectacular overlooks of the river and to some beautiful side canyons. One of the best and highest was to an overlook of the Granite Narrows, the narrowest part of the canyon (76 feet wide). This hike took us above Deer Creek Falls and back up the slot canyon toward the origin of Deer Creek. Getting to the overlook was the stair master from %&*#. The ledges we had to walk and the big drop offs were not for the faint-hearted in this slot canyon. Only about half of the group participated on this hike. The days went by very quickly; the nights were long for me, except Margarita Night when I slept very well. Bathing in 46 degree river water was a breath taking daily adventure as well as a being cold and wet all day from the rapids. Maintaining a good hand(s) hold in the rapids was a challenge. On what the boatmen call "rapid day", we had a series of 20 major rapids in 9 miles. One of those rapids tore me loose from the ropes (both hands) and pitched me over and backward on the boat so quick I didn't even realize what had happened. I was fortunate to have not ended up in the water, or to have landed on top of someone. That would have been a great picture though. I am not sure I would sit up front for that particular rapid again. One of the boatmen asked if I was alright. When I answered "yes", he said "well get back up there"! I really didn't have a choice, no one would trade places with me. We did have a great adventure. We shared this experience with a fun loving group of people. I haven't quite reconciled the word "fun" for the entire trip yet, but, we would do it again."

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