February 19, 2012 by judy · Comments Off
Baby Boomers, the Time is Right to Just Do It!
Countless travel destinations lie ahead. Boomers, are you ready to pull out all the stops and realize
your “bucket list” dreams and passions?
by Judy Dippel
See Judy’s article with the photos at:
Lists may be tacked on the wall, or deeplyembedded in heart and mind, but either way, by the thousands boomers know it’s time to begin to fulfill their “bucket list.” There are magnificent destinations, a whole world to explore, and thrilling escapades for boomers who want to live life to the fullest. Go ahead, do it, then with memories and a smile, check off one more thing from the list!
Need a cool idea?
Consider booking a white-water rafting trip through the Grand Canyon, on the Colorado River.
This is a destination that will get the heart pumping, and adrenalin flowing. It’s a unique experience for each person—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Guided trips are a must on the Colorado, except for world-class, white-water rafters. Prepare and schedule at least a year in advance.
Federally protected, there are stringent guidelines for floating through the mystical and magical, spectacular and dramatic, Grand Canyon. Review the variety of outfitters and raft trips that are approved for commercial trips on the Colorado. Each outfitter varies in style, offering those who float the calm and white water rapids, a one-of-a-kind adventure. Expect temperatures in the bottom of the canyon to be the same as Phoenix, AZ, all times of the year.
We chose Wilderness River Adventures, 7-day, 188 mile motorized raft trip (277 total miles), from Lees Ferry (launch at Lake Powell) to Whitmore Wash. For those with time limitations, motorized trips maximize opportunity to see more of the color and majestic layers of strata and upon layer of canyon rock. If only rocks could talk! In some ways they do, as a traveler’s days on the river become a treasured personal experience.
Side hikes into the splendor of the 5-6 million year-old Grand Canyon are like none other, and a challenging adventure. Bouldering and traversing narrow paths are not uncommon, and like the thrills of the river, hikes too, get the adrenalin flowing. Guides are professionals, preparing hikers for what to expect. Another rafting option, are oar trips. They offer a uieter, more serene river experience, and are incredible if time allows. Assess what individually works best, and what type of trip fulfills your “bucket list” dream.
If booked in springtime through June, the chilly waters of the river are a deep emerald green. The river turns brown as summer progresses, due to thunderstorms that cause flows of water drainage down the sidewalls of the canyon.
Drift the Colorado and go back in time. It is a freeing experience. In quiet moments on the river, guides share the fascinating and diverse history of the Indians and those who inhabited this harsh land. Stories of white men (and a few women), whose courageous spirits led them to taking on the odds of this treacherous river in wooden boats and rafts. Hearing the stories of such people, while sitting in a maneuverable, motorized rubber raft, feels unimaginable to us today—and back in the day, some made it, but more didn’t!
So what’s it like?
It is isolation and camaraderie at its best; the only way out, a helicopter. That’s part of the
thrill—isolation from the world, cell phones and life. The professional guides in our trip experience deserved the confidence we had in them—they were professional and personable, skilled and helpful with anything and everything … and great cooks! Phenomenal—it’s amazing what a raft can carry, besides people, to add to our comfort!
Wake up to brewing coffee, as a hot a hearty breakfast is being prepared. As a “river rat” does when rafting the river, do the same on land; take in the geography with all your senses: look high and low, hear murmuring voices of campmates, take in the wonderful smells nature offers, feel the coarse sand on your feet. Another day on the river beckons, as sunshine reflects from river and rock.
Nighttime parallels daytime in beauty and distinct experience. Incomparable when the moon is full, when sleeping under the stars. Watch the ‘bright light’ of the moon light up the black rock canyon, as it presses darkness downward. Illuminating, it brings the black rock cliffs to life. The bold light of a full moon presents a surreal image of the canyon. A nature drama plays out in black and white … and in shades of gray, as if it was created just for you!
Grand Canyon/Colorado River raft trip is a worthy destination and a valuable “Bucket List” option. It changes and challenges all who go, mile after mile. It leaves us asking: What is our place? What is our role, and how does it beckon to us? Throughout this trip, the personal privilege of seeing such splendid display of nature, day-after-day, is humbling and remarkable.
Unforgettable… a silent time of drifting, soft lapping waves … and the music of a lone flute playing on a river, in a canyon … far, far away.