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Day 194:  Grand Canyon River Trip Day 1: Launching on my Birthday

River Miles: .01 Steps: 9,310 Wildlife: Saw a Lizard run across the road Faith in Humanity: great outfitters from PRO really went the extra mile to help us out: Thank you!!! Wow, what a crazy day! New adventure starts within the big adventure! Big day today. It’s my birthday, first off. No big deal, but pretty cool that it coincides with a Grand Canyon raft trip! Made eggs for Tree and myself, met Puppy at her rental car spot, drive her downtown, drive to the airport to drop another rental car off, back to downtown, back to the airport, then downtown, then my place, then a cab back downtown. Round and round we go! The rafting outfitter picked us up at 10:45, brought us to a grocery store did last minute provisions (I bought some fruit), then we drove 3 hours to Lee’s Ferry, starting point for pretty much all Grand Canyon raft trips. Margot was our driver, herself a raft guide, and a really cool one at that. She was interesting to chat with for much of the ride. I don’t know most of my other fellow rafters well at all, but they seem pretty cool. I did find it kind of odd that after driving around so many people I ended up paying for a cab since no one else could give me a ride, but not a huge deal... it’s super cool that there’s a geology professor along who is super knowledgeable about the area: I had tons of questions and so far he’s happily answered the all! Lee’s Ferry is really pretty. Desert, beautiful red towering rocks, the mighty Colorado gushing, the mallards quacking. All the essential ingredients for adventure. Shaun, our PRO outfitter, patiently helped us set up our rafts. In all honesty: our group is a bit novice. Some have pretty good river experience but those people are few and far between. Makes me a bit excited and a tiny bit nervous, but again, this is an adventure! We rafted all of 100 yards from the boat launch to the campsite! Most people set up their tents, but I am taking my amazing roommates advice to sleep on the boat. It’s going well so far, but I haven’t slept yet.... I mostly relaxed, drank a couple beers, and sat in my $5.46 camp chair. We were driven to dinner at the only restaurant open. “Mediocrity” was it’s name, and it certainly lived up to it! If you have low expectations they’re frequently exceeded! I ended up buying our outfitter dude’s dinner since no one else volunteered. I found that a little lame: as a group we spent well over $10,000 to Hire this company. Sure, we’ve already spent a lot of money to go on this trip, but you absolutely have to do the right thing and tip these peeps and buy them dinner... come on! I bought a pair of neoprene gloves as they’re intended for the purpose of rafting so hopefully I’ll stay warmer. We actually have a really good forecast for the beginning of the trip with lots of warm temps, but the water is quite cold, as is the shade. I’m confident we’ll have quite a bit of extremes! Back at camp we chatted until 10pm or so. You can feel the excitement in the air! Tomorrow it’s an equipment briefing (THERE IS DO MUCH GEAR AND EQUIPMENT!!!!! It’s unreal), then a ranger gives us a talk and checks our ID and I think then we are off! I’m excited to get to know everyone better and see what this rafting thing is all about! I really hope I don’t ruin all of my electronics!

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