Baby Boomers ‘Bucket List Travel. The Time is Right.

February 19, 2012 by · Comments Off on Baby Boomers ‘Bucket List Travel. The Time is Right. 

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.

Travel Journaling – 10 Tips to Make It Easy

June 29, 2011 by · Comments Off on Travel Journaling – 10 Tips to Make It Easy 

Travel Journaling that Works for Everybody—10 Tips to Make It Easy

Journal entries do not need to be written like I’ve done below, but I had to share…

We woke up with a start, dressed in the traditional white and red, and immediately made our way out of the hotel and down the stone street. We were finally doing this, and could check it off our “bucket list.” We had to get there in time! My stomach churned and anxiety increased. Squeezed and pushed along with the energetic crowd, we felt their energy and the warmth of the morning sun. Excited people shouted out in a variety of languages. What the heck were they saying?

Once in a lifetime, this was it! I kissed my husband, and found what I hoped was a safe spot to peer over the fence and down the street. Nothing yet, except people excitedly crowding along as far as I could see. Above, I could see the flowered balconies and windows filling with excitement. People in white and red waved and peered down from several stories up. Pamplona’s San Fermines Festival’s “Running of the Bulls…” El Toro! I couldn’t wait for the bulls to run by in a blur of black, hopefully followed by my husband and friends. I wanted them safe…

Are you curious? I am, because this hasn’t happened yet. It is only how I imagine it will be. I’ll let you know in the next newsletter what it really was like, after I return from our trip to Spain. You might be asking, “Is your husband actually going to run with the bulls?” Yes.

Why journal? It allows you to experience a trip again. I can nearly hear you saying, “I don’t like to write. I won’t have time.” Either way, the suggestions below provide a variety of ways to keep memories alive from a special trip and your travels.

Try one or more of these:

  • Purchase a lightweight journal (with plenty of pages) that has something on the front that attracts you, makes you smile, or represents the trip or you. Begin.  Take double-sided scotch tape. I’ll tell you why.
  • Don’t stress over having to write formal sentence structure like I did above. Instead think of it as a chance to remember your trip, and to be able to share with others using whatever method you find easiest. If it is totally personal, just for you, write whatever!
  • Use single words that inspire your emotions and memories. You don’t even have to write full sentences, but just enough to help you remember if you want to write more. (e.g. adventurous, daytrip, lost, boat charter, hike, colorful, water, people, wildlife, skyline, etc.)
  • Simply draw pictures. Use double-sided tape to tape in a ticket, a napkin, swizzle stick, postcard, wrapper, small menus, matchbook; any memorabilia that fits. Anything that will jog memories.
  • Write in the day and place, the name of a street, restaurant, event, tourist site, hotel, ship, etc. Take a picture—insert it on the page after you get home. It will jog your memory of where you were, what you did, and why it mattered. Or write about it on your way home.
  • Use your senses: what you see and hear, the noises, tastes, smells. Think about the impact they have on the enjoyment of your trip—the good and the bad. Write about them.
  • Write about how the trip is different from what you expected. What did you learn? What experience changed or impacted you the most? What surprised you?
  • “Ah-ha” moments always happen when you least expect it. Where were you? What happened? How did you feel?
  • Meet local people, and ask them to write or draw in your journal, or ask others who are with you on the trip to write or draw in it. Kids are very creative and love this!

Most importantly, enjoy your summer travels, near and far. Be safe and build memories for a lifetime. Remember, even the mess ups along the way make a good story for later!

If these suggestions make journaling easier for you, or you have additional tips for travel journaling, please post them on my JLD Writes Facebook page. Be sure to tell me about where you travel this summer. We all can add to our “bucket list” through your experience.

Every place is special if we stop and pay attention! I can’t wait to hear from you.