The Fearsome Foursome Ride the Colorado River


 

 

 

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The Fearless Foursome (Donna, Judy, Shannon and I) headed from their homes in the Phoenix area to Peach Springs, Arizona for a one day white water rafting trip on the Colorado River in the western part of the Grand Canyon. The trip from Phoenix to Peach Springs took about three and a half hours.

We stopped at Seligman, an old town on Route 66. We visited in the souvenir shops and ate at Westside Lilo’s Café, a restaurant with excellent German and American food. My lunch, a dense and delicious carrot cake was so big I took it with us and we ate on it for several days.

After we checked into the Hualupai Lodge, Donna and Shannon got on their suits and went to the pool. Judy was still recovering from food poisoning four days before the trip. Donna and Shannon came back and convinced us to join them at the outside spa. The rules of the pool gave us the giggles, especially the exhortation to not go in the pool if suffering from diarrhea.

Judy and I went to the Lodge’s dining room for dinner. (Donna ate the leftovers of her lunch in the room. Shannon has a specialized diet and had brought her own food.) I tasted the Hualapai green chili, but it was too spicy for me. I ate the Haulapai stew instead. It was tasty and served with piping hot fry bread.

We did a lot of laughing before finally going to sleep.

We went to the complimentary breakfast the next morning, turned in our injury waivers, received white bracelets and awaited the start of our adventure. J.B., our driver, arrived in a van. He flirted shamelessly with Donna.

There were only six people on our trip. During the height of the summer, the trips had sixty to one hundred people. We met the other couple on our trip, Bill and Angela. It was his birthday. Donna and I were the oldest of the bunch.

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B.J. drove us from Peach Springs down to Diamond Creek, the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We had to stop for a rattlesnake that didn’t want to get out of the road.

After we visited the last bathroom for the day, Robert and Bronson, our boatmen, outfitted us with PFD (personal floatation devices) otherwise known as life jackets. There were two boats: one with us, Robert, and Bronson; the other with a camera guy, a boatman and an extra fellow.

The scenery was gorgeous. All the photos of the Grand Canyon cannot communicate its magnificence.

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The rapids are scored from one to ten. The river was low so the rapids we experienced were three to five, big enough for thrills but not dangerous or too scary.

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We had our ponchos and rain jackets on, but we still got soaked as the water sprayed the pontoon boat. I couldn’t stop laughing as we bounced up and down in our craft.

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We headed to a beach to take a hike to the Travertine Falls. I was worried about this part of the trip, concerned that I wouldn’t have the stamina. I went to the gym more than my usual once a week and put the incline of the treadmill up to “seven.” It didn’t make any difference because “hike” is a loose word for this part of the trek. It was more a rock scramble. Luckily there were only six of us and five helpers. We walked up sheer rock holding on to a rope. We climbed up two rope ladders. Since I have a size twelve foot, it was hard to get a toe-hold on the short steps. The helpers had us put our toes in rock crags and pulled us up.

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We walked in the creek, through a cave and came upon the falls. It was worth it.

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I bought Coolibar SPF 50 clothing for the trip, a long-sleeved tee shirt and beach pants. As the pants got wet, they elongated. I had to roll them up so I wouldn’t trip on them. However, I was the only person who did not get any sunburn.

 

When we got back to the opening of the cave, Robert suggested that I slide down. I sat down and away I went, ending up on my feet in a deep pool. A bit hard on the knees but so fun!

As we scrambled down the rocks, I substituted sliding on my butt for going down one of the rope ladders. Now my pants were brown and too long.

After a short rest, we got back in the boat and went through the bigger rapids. Everyone but me go into the bottom of the boat. I sat in the middle seat and hung on.

 

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We travelled about twenty miles on the Colorado River. We stopped at a sandy beach and had lunch. Luckily there was a salad that Shannon could eat. The cold cut sandwiches were hearty, too much for me. We also had chips and soda, tea or water.

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The motor boat took us the next twenty miles with no rapids.

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We were very upset to find out that we were not going to get the helicopter ride out of the canyon. I was sure I had arranged it. The booking agent had even asked our weights, saying it she needed them to balance the helicopter. The waivers we’d signed that morning also asked our weights. We left Bill and Angela at the heliport for their trip back to Las Vegas. That’s also where the glass bridge is that juts out over the canyon. None of us were interested in paying the money to see it.

We continued another seventeen miles to the end of the Grand Canyon. After we used the porta-potties, a different driver took us back to Peach Springs, via Kingman. It was a two-hour ride back to the Lodge.

I spoke with the man at the expedition desk. He said we could have added the helicopter ride that morning, but of course we didn’t know it wasn’t included in our package. I was not that upset, as I was not happy about going in a helicopter. The ride from the bottom of the canyon to the rim was only six minutes long and would have cost an extra ninety dollars.

We took much needed showers and went to dinner at the lodge’s dining room. It had been a long day and we went to bed early.

On the way back to Phoenix, we did car karaoke. We stopped at the Rock Springs Café for lunch.

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My thanks to Donna, who did all the driving. I think Shannon, who’s forty, found out that old people are fun.

I would do it again. We got the package with four to a room. There were two king-sized beds in the room. The package was $383 each, and included one night’s stay at the lodge and the one-day river trip, and trip insurance in case one of us couldn’t make the trip. The second night’s lodging was $112. Add $90 for the helicopter ride. Go to http://www.grandcanyonwest.com to book your trip. I think they’re running a Mother’s Day special.

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2 Responses to “The Fearsome Foursome Ride the Colorado River”

  1. Judy M Says:

    Thank you, Annie, for arranging an amazing trip! I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, this would be #1!!! So worth it….indescribable!!!!!

  2. Sharon Says:

    Great job ladies. Next year for me.

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