For several years I have wanted to go on a power rafting trip down the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. But until March the opportunity was not quite there. Lucy in her last several years physically was not able to go, and I did not want to go without someone along who I knew. I asked Jo if she would like to go and she replied “ARE YOU CRAZY!” In March friend Jerry Grout said that he was going and that there were more seats available in his trip. A few days later I decided to take the adventure, despite my 75 years. Jerry also recruited another friend of his, Mike Biccum.
The trip was from June 9 to 15 with Wilderness River Adventures. It worked out that Jo and the motor home could stay in Moline IL so she could extend her visits with her mother, brother and sisters, plus other relatives. Allegiant Airlines had fairly economical rates between Moline and Mesa, so that made it even more doable. I left Moline on June 7, slept at home that night, and drove the old Nissan convertible to Page June 8 for the first meeting of the group at the Lake Powell Marina. We began the trip at Lee’s Ferry on June 9.
Or chief boatman, Nate, giving us instructions on packing the two large waterproof bags provided to each of us similar to those behind him . We also were given a similar smaller bag for clothes to use during the day and a 50 cal. ammo box for waterproof storage of other items, like cameras and sun blocker, we would need to access during the day.
Mike Biccum, Jerry Grout and I awaiting the bus at Lake Powell Marina to take us to Lees Ferry, several miles south of Page.
This is the back of the tee shirt given to each passenger. It shows our route from Lees Ferry at the upper right to the takeout point at Whitmore Wash, about 188 miles downriver.
At Lees Ferry, loading the rafts with our waterproof bags, with lifejackets in the foreground. We wore them, duly buckled, every moment we were on the rafts. There were 28 of us, 14 on each raft, with a boatman and “swamper” (assistant) also on each.
Wilderness River Adventures supplied all of the food, drinking water, and sodas. Passengers brought their own beer, wine and spirits and mixes. Here two cases are in being prepared to be loaded!
Our two rafts tied up on a beach for the lunch stop.
Typical lunch table. We made our sandwiches with cold cuts and the trimmings, with Pringles chips. Jerry is at left, Mike in the foreground and Chelsea, the young lady who asked her father for this trip as her high school graduation present, in the background.