Some time over the winter, my husband got a phone call from an old paddling friend. The phone call changed our life. The friend, RS, said he had hit the Grand Canyon private permit river lottery. He and his wife had combined 15 years each of wait-listing for 30 years in the weighted lottery in order to get the coveted permit. Now they were amassing a group of friends and other boaters to fill their permit. They invited us.
I suppose it’s safe to say in western rafting private-permit adventures, two brass rings, two jewels in the crown, two incredibly special trips vie for the top spot among rafters: the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. We won a coveted Middle Fork permit in 2004. Journeying into the largest wilderness in the lower 48 states, starting high in the snowy mountains and finishing in the desert 8 days later was amazing. The Grand Canyon, however, was always more my husband’s dream than mine because non-motorized trips last at least 14 days. Our invitation from RS was for 280 miles in 19 days. It was over my girly limit. It would stretch our ability to come up with tasty meals with no refrigeration. It would try our whitewater abilities and tolerance for things that bite and sting. But we accepted the invitation, and we’re still alive to tell the tale.
Come along on our Grand Canyon adventure over the next month or so as I intersperse my regular Ozark Homesteader posts with our trip report. I promise you unrelenting heat and blowing sand, tales of wilderness hygiene, a bit of cooking, and lots of history, hiking, and heart-thumping whitewater. Climb aboard and tighten your PFD!
Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader.