In early July, 1995, I spent 9 days rafting 280 miles down the Colorado River thru 160 rapids and hiking thru the Grand Canyon’s side canyons, up the canyon walls and even across a long canyon desert in 100 degree temperatures. My companions and I slept every night under the star filled sky – too numerous to even try to count – watched the rising moon each evening as it got fuller and woke with the morning sun to delicious breakfasts prepared by the boat crew. (They did lunch & dinner too.)
I touched 2 billion year old rock called Vishnu Shist (try saying that 3 times fast), saw so many amazing waterfalls that I almost began to take them for granted, swam in tropical blue water which was this way because of natural Epsom salt deposits, saw wall paintings and even graffiti from the ancient peoples, went fossil hunting in the dry river beds and relaxed the day away in rock chairs and pools of water while others napped. I had beach front property for my camp sites – probably the only time I’ll live near the water – and saw an amazing 4th of July display – you’d have to see it to believe it and it did not harm/pollute the environment.
It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life thus far. A Geology professor from Wooster College in Wooster, Ohio has been coordinating these trips for several years. The focus of the trip is the geology and ecology of the canyon and how precious the Grand Canyon is to us all. Coming back to life on the “Rim” was very hard and in some ways still is. However, it’s the type of experience that one can carry with her through each day and enjoy the memories and learning’s (yes you do learn things about yourself) from the trip.
Ann Pellagrini holds the copyrights on all of these photographs.