If I use too many words, I'll ruin it. Dear friends this, for me, was the trip of a lifetime. And I got to share it with my husband John, our teen children along with old raft guide friends of nearly 30 years, and their teen children.
The environment was intimidating to me, clocking 46 to 48 degrees Celsius the week before we arrived, and the "monsoon" overdue by six weeks. White long-sleeved shirts felt a paltry response to the intensity of the environment.
By the time we put on, we were ranging in the low 40's, and while it took a few days to adjust, we did all learn to deal with the heat with the right amount of river immersion, hydration and salt in our daily routines.
This trip, fourteen days on the Colorado River, was one that I'd accepted that I wouldn't ever do. I retired as a guide, became a Mum and settled in New Zealand. Closer to 60 than 50, I put down the any missions that didn't get done on the bucket list, and let them compost with all the ones that did. There were so many great trips that I can't say it was hard to let a few go.
But, oh, what a life-impacting experience. We've been home for just over a month, and my body still hums with Vishnu schist and Zoroaster granite, still feels the up and down of the largest wave trains I've ever experienced, and still celebrates being allowed to participate in such an immense environment.
The monsoon came, the afternoons were as exciting as an ocean squall hitting a sailboat. And the river turned brown.
Nights were a miracle of moonlight moving across the walls, the sound of water flow, sometimes quiet, sometimes quite energised as we slept on the rafts tied to shore.
Awe is the word that comes to heart- fear, effort, respect and gratitude all mixed. For the place, and the people I got to share it with.
We shared our clips and images, and I put this video together. The music is from Paul Burke, who was on our trip adding the magnificent vibe of sound in the canyon, and he's graciously allowed me to use his band's music (Toy City) to tell a story.
There's a lot of Grand Canyon videos out there- you'll notice I didn't really focus too much on the whitewater side of it, which was more consistent and bigger than I thought it would be. That's because for me, the miracle was our shared experience of life on the river and the magnificent area that we transited together.
I share it with you as I feel sure the energy of it is better than vitamins. As always in encouragement, time spent outdoors is how we give ourselves a great gift. And where we find the best of ourselves and each other.
ps. Canyon Vanilla was the oil I made for our family to look after our skin. We all felt so happy using this oil. Taking care of skin in that kind of heat in a river environment is no laughing matter. When we got home I went to make more for us, and I made some extra for a limited release on the shop. Canyon Vanilla Recovery Oil