Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Back from Vacation...

I am back from my vacation - 180 miles of rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon - and it was fabulous. The trip totally exceeded my hopes and expectations.
Wilderness River Adventures
I didn't miss any planes, I had no airline security horror stories and both me and my daughter Miranda were upgraded to 1st class(!) (on a 4 hour flight too! HUGE bonus.) The planes didn't crash, and both Miranda and I traveled well, even in the little prop (propeller) planes that bounce their way into the Grand Canyon. (And bounce they did, now and then... air currents are apparently tricky near the canyon.) Bonus roller coaster sensations! [Did you ever notice that as you get older it's a lot harder to get the whoosh sensation in your stomach, like when the car goes over a rise and down a steep hill? My children get them all the time, and me - hardly ever anymore.]
My 10 year old daughter loved the trip, which was a huge relief. I was worried she would become bored after a day or two, but I am now convinced she could probably outlast me by several weeks. (And we both outlasted our budget, which ended well before we boarded the first plane.)
Wilderness River Adventures
The raft trip scenery was so spectacular that it can brainwash you - I can hardly remember anything negative about the trip at all.
Supposedly, I guess we had unusual weather for Arizona. (Which is to say - that we actually had weather, and ...gasp... rain.) I don't buy the line now that Arizona hardly ever has rain. Since it rained nearly daily while I was there, I now believe they want to advertise that they only have hot sunny days to lure you in, but they have a shameful little secret that actually, like the rest of the world, both rain and "weather" occurs in Arizona as well.
But since I'm from Wisconsin, I'd probably find constant sun a bit boring, so the rain only really bothered me one night.
Grand Canyon Colorado River Jeanne Selep Imaging
[Friday night - After a rainy day and cold soaking rapids with no sun to dry us, I wanted to curl up in my damp sleeping bag in my wet tent that I set up in the pouring rain, as the river turned a muddy chocolate brown. I wanted to skip dinner, go to sleep and deal with the wet in the morning, in the light of day. I wanted to lay in my little tent and worry about "flash floods" while I waited for sleep.
Miranda, however wanted to eat dinner. I expend nearly all my energy to get my freezing little child warm and dry, and she wants to go back out in the rain for dinner! So I sent her to dinner, and she kept coming back with news reports and updates, in the process getting the few corners of the tent that were drier - wetter! Eventually I resigned myself that I wasn't going to get any sleep until "after dinner". I got up and went out (the rain had "let up") and ate dinner. Of course, dinner was one of my favorites, really rich spaghetti and sauce with meatballs and mushrooms, probably made with leftover ground up strip steak, for all I know. I'd missed the garlic bread, but my main regret was that I missed whatever the appetizers were for the day - and the appetizers were always so good.
We got back in the tent and went to sleep - and (no surprise) things were brighter in the morning.]
[[OK, safety note here. I did carefully analyze our camping location with everything I didn't know but could imagine about flash floods - campsite height above the river level; where mud, sand, soil and rock types were around us; width of the canyon at this point; locations of rapids above and below us; plants and shrubs locations near the tent, etc. I determined, (with my extensive computer background and no college geology classes) that if I were going to be a flash flood, I would not choose to reach or race through the location I had chosen for my tent. Plus I had already seen some of what and were the water would flow in a heavy rain. (Like in the Colorado river which had been busy soaking me most of the day already; and in the Chocolate water fall photo which I intend to post someday.) So I did consider safety when selecting my campsite.]]
Well, back to getting on topic. The vacation was wonderful. I took thousands of pictures, and I will be blogging about this vacation possibly all summer long. I'll be sharing more as I can, (photos coming soon!) but for now I need to catch up on real life and get the kids through the last week of school before I can devote much more time to vacation photos or blogs.
Has anyone waded through this entire blog post? God Bless you if you have.


I'm Julia said...

I'm not a camper or a rafter, but I love the thought of wide scenic views, waterfalls, rich spaghetti sauce & a free upgrade :-)

Coming down from vacation's a shock, isn't it? Home, no matter how sweet, can be a bit foreign for a day or so. Sounds like you had a grand time; I'm looking forward to your pics.

Penny said...

This looks wonderful! The scenery looks spectacular. I concur with Julia -looking forward to your pics.

Becca said...

Wow beautiful pics! I have not yet seen the Grand Canyon, I've been to the Taj Mahal, but not to Colorado(very backwards I suppose)It's on my todo list :)

SumpinElse said...

What a beautiful update and the pictures are spectacular. Glad you had a great time!

Brayton Homestead Interiors said...

Hi Jean,
I'm passing along a "One Lovely Blog Award" to you today. To accept it you can blog about 15 other blogs that you appreciate and enjoy.

zeropumpkin said...

what a great the canyon pics :)

cabin + cub said...

Great pics! Would love to head down there one day! ;)

rabbitwhiskers said...

Hi! I loved reading your blog!! Your trip sounds like you had a great time in spite of the rain. I think some rain on things like this- especially camping, always adds adventure, although it's not always easy to appreciate at the time~ much more fun to look back at- from a safe distance! I'm looking forward to reading more about your trip. Thanks for sharing!!

Tho Dinh said...

Your trip seems to be a blast. Thanks for sharing the fun!