Grand Canyon

 

This past November I had the opportunity to float about 300 miles of the Grand Canyon with 15 wonderful people over the course of 22 days. It was with out a doubt one of the most incredible trips I have ever been on filled with big water, perfect weather, and a lifetime worth of laughter.

 

I have filled countless pages in my journal writing about the canyon walls and the mighty Colorado River. These powerful and ancient features will forever be etched in my mind. Sitting here in Maine a month after our trip, what I find myself thinking about is not the towering walls and the giant rapids, but the people whom I was lucky enough to share this adventure with. 

 

The Grand Canyon is the most powerful landscape I have ever seen. It’s magnitude and scale are humbling. I believe that the purity of this ancient landscape enabled our party to be ourselves in a way that is harder and harder to come by in this age of push button gratification and Twitter feeds. A stripped down, unfiltered and raw version of ourselves, void of distractions, minutia and fluff.

The Canyon let us truly shine.

 

Below are some of my favorite photos from our journey.

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Chip and Rachael making progress up stream in the beautiful Havasupai Creek.

 

 
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Bass Camp! Here we spent the most amazing Thanksgiving with a giant full moon and a feast of a similar size. I laughed and smiled so much on this particular night that all the muscles in my face were sore for days after.

 

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I saw more climbable rock in our 22 days than I had seen in my entire life. Any chance I had I would be monkeying around. It is not easy to move gracefully in a dry suit!

 

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Our 21st day was Chip’s birthday. He began the day by hiking this ducky up stream so he could re run a fun rapid in front of our camp. As he paddled by 15 of us all mooned him and yelled happy birthday. He rocked that wizard hat all day!

 

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More monkeying around.

 

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Some fun bouldering in North Canyon. A few of us tried this traverse and no one was able to make it across. Zack and Dane both went for an unintentional swim with their clothes on!

 

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Morgan smiled and giggled more than anyone I have ever met. I think it is her official language. Face paint and costumes were a big part of the trip, especially on big water days!

 

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Two hard hittin’ pandas singing about vegetables!

 

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Giggletown!

 

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Relaxing in the ducky. In total we had 5 rafts, 2 duckies, and 2 pack rafts.

 

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Rachael in Havasupai Creek

 

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The womb in North Canyon

 

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Each day we would go on little adventures or hikes into side canyons. Some of the side canyons were very technical and involved lots of rappelling. The canyoneering world is cool!

 

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This technical canyon decent involved about 900 feet of rappelling.

 

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We scouted all of the biggest rapids. The nervous energy before dropping into some of these monsters was palpable. The boatman became laser focused and everyone was on point. It was wild!

 

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Redwall Cavern was one of the greatest playgrounds I have ever seen. We danced and sang and played instruments. We climbed and ran and hucked horseshoes and bocce balls. We did acroyoga and we laughed!

 

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This side canyon involved a few rappels. The last one into the ducky which we used as a little water taxi to shuttle everyone to the other side of this pool. Surprisingly everyone stayed dry!

 

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On day 19 we ran Lava Falls. This is the biggest rapid on the river and I had never seen anything like it. All 5 boats made it through right side up and we all celebrated on tequila beach just below the rapid. This was the last major rapid of our trip and having it behind us was a huge relief to the boatman. Psyche was at an all time high! This shot is of Taylor Bones who was rowing the boat that I was on. So PSYCHED!

 

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Classic post Lava smile!

 

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I found this rubber bat on tequila beach. One of many treasures I found on the river!

 

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More post Lava smiles!

 

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A wonderful man in a wonderful outfit!

 

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These guys aren’t having any fun!

 

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When the sun went down the cats and zebras would feast on bananas! pretty standard…….

 

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Not a bad view from camp!

 

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blondes have the most fun…..

 

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Bouldering in Redwall Cavern

 

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The entire trip was like a wild adult summer camp!

 

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More side canyon goodness.

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This photo was taken on day 21, our last full day on the river. As you can see, we are all very sick of each other  and no one is having any fun!