Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Smooth Water Rafting on the Colorado River

Lynda and I signed up for an all-day smooth water rafting trip on the Colorado River.  We were to meet the van driver at the tour office in Williams at 6:15 AM on Tuesday, May 18th and would not get back until around 6 PM that evening.  So we had to put Barley and Sydney in the kennel at the RV park.  We dropped them off a little past 7 PM the evening before, and made them a firm promise to come get them by 6:30 PM the next day.  Barley and Sydney did not seem too concerned and the kennel facility was nice and clean and fairly roomy.  As always, they shared a run and so would keep each other company.

Aside from our driver, Rick, there were 6 of us that met at the Williams tour office:  me and Lynda, two young Italian men, and an older couple from Cambria, California.  By 6:40 AM, we were on our way to Page, Arizona to meet up with other groups and then board the pontoon rafts at the Glen Canyon Dam.  From there, we would float/motor 15 or so miles down the river to Lee’s Ferry, making two stops along the way:  one to look at some petroglyphs and a second stop to eat lunch and take a break. The entire trip would take around 3.5 hours.

The drive to Page took almost 3 hours and driver Rick did a good job telling us about the areas we were driving through, including the Vermillion Cliffs which are a sight to behold.  By this time, Lynda and I had determined that we could tweak our itinerary a little so we could go the North Rim and we would be driving much of the same route we were now on to go to Page for the rafting.  So, I took the opportunity of not being the driver to look at the scenery and snooze a little.

The rafting trip was a lot of fun and we were both really glad we did it.  We rode astraddle the starboard pontoon, like riding a horse. There were three boats in all, each with around 20 people and a river guide - our guide’s name was Matea.  Not surprisingly, there was a gusty breeze that day and so the water of the Colorado River was pretty choppy in some parts. Matea did her best to get us through with minimum spraying but we still got wet…and that water was COLD!  46 degrees to be exact - you definitely did not want to fall in the river!

The photos came out pretty well, and do a much better job describing the canyon and river than I could. 

We arrived at Lee’s Ferry a little damp but in good spirits.  It is at Lee’s Ferry that the Colorado River officially begins it’s southward journey into the Grand Canyon, however our pontoon boats tied off about 10 yards before that point.

Driver Rick was there to meet his little herd of tourists and he gathered the six of us up to begin our trip back to Williams. He took us past the Balanced Rock area and pulled over so we could take some photos, and he also stopped on the bridge so we could get a good photo of the Colorado River beneath us.

On the way back, we visited the historic Cameron Trading Post.  If you find yourself in the area, I recommend you stop in there to shop for well priced, good quality souvenirs, Southwestern art, and Native American art.  There is also a hotel and a restaurant.  This would be a fun place to stay for a few days - from the Cameron Trading Post, it’s only about a 30 minute drive to the Eastern entrance to the Grand Canyon South Rim.

We made it back to the RV park in plenty of time to get Barley and Sydney as promised, and they were fine.  Lynda and I agreed that it had been a fun but tiring day!

1 comment:

River Rafting said...

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