Sneak Peek: Grand Canyon 2012

We're back! A week away after this trip somehow feels like a month away, and we're back home in Calgary, in the basement in our robes, after a long day of work and returning to a car whose battery (despite being new) refuses to work...But life is good! Coming off the Canyon is hard - I miss being kind of dirty all day (there's a little fact about me - I love living among the earth!), the community and laughter on the river, the huge hits from the waves, and learning more about myself with each beach stop along the way.

So how do I sum a trip like this up?

Grandcanyon

Amazing. Incredible. Meaningful. New. Experiences. Hard to put into words. Returning from the Grand Canyon has been a whirlwind, and highlights include wonderful talks with new and old friends, waves up to 15, 20 feet high (no joke!), breathtaking hikes with lucious, hidden waterfalls at their ends, a helicopter ride out of the canyon, and taking in a Vegas show ("Ka," by Cirque du Solei).

Grandcanyon

It will take me a long time, I think, to really digest this experience for many reasons and on different levels. But for now (and until Mikey finishes the highlight reel clip - seriously, you've GOT to see some of these Go-Pro shots!), I thought I'd share a few pictures and just a few thoughts.

Honeybadger

The group was, once again, amazing. We had 22 people on two HUGE barges (rafts - but check out the size!), some returning alumni to Survive & Thrive trips and some new for the first time ever, but everyone (for the most part) got along and went deep with each other. There was an unbelievable amount of laughter on this trip - from the funny people to the shared experiences to the SMACK of the waves in the face time and time again - for some reason it was hilarious and provided some great moments laughing together.

Hh

I have never before seen such views as this...the canyon walls are huge - it's hard to even understand and fathom the depth and comprehend the immensity of the waves. The history is also amazing, be it learning about people who rafted in the early days of exploration trips on the river or the way the many rock layers were formed - it's engaging, interesting, and you get a sacred feel there.

Hh Waterfall

Trips with my husband are such a blast, and this trip more than ever we were participants since we didn't know what to expect and were experiencing it right alongside of everyone else. What a blast! What a blessing. And what a learning experience; if we are able to do this trip again, we already know many ways in which we'll improve on our communication and the flow of the trip. You never know until you go!

Group

We helicoptered out of the canyon on the last morning bright and early, and I've never experienced such excitement! It was emotional, fun, and breathtaking to see the river from this perspective, 6 of us at a time flying away to the Bar 10 Ranch where we hopped on this small plane and flew out to the Las Vegas airport.

Plane

The manmade lights and flare of The Strip simply don't compare to the beauty and grandioseness of God's creation in the Grand Canyon - it pales in comparison. But we did have a fun dinner out with the remaining people left and then Mikey, Eamonn and I saw Ka from Cirque du Soleil - another display of amazing strength, beauty and gravity-defying feats but in a different setting. What a way to end a trip!

It's a place I would visit again and continue to explore and learn about, although I'd previously thought there was NO WAY I'd ever get there. Do you have a desire to visit the Grand Canyon? Raft or backpack? Is it a bucket list thing you'd like to do one day?

So much more to say, but for now we're back to work and back to "real life," all while feeling blessed to have these opportunities. Thank you for your support, your prayers, your encouragement, and to the survivors and supporters for an incredible trip! Special thanks to Matt at Single Jingles who helped set up this trip in a huge way and was a blast on the river, to Hatch River Expeditions for running us down the river safely and treating us so well, and the group for an amazing time!

More thoughts and videos to come, but for now, live well & be well friends, and I'll catch up with you later! Have a good one,

Bonnie

22 Comments
  1. August 14, 2012 at 15:17
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    Wowza! Your pictures are AWESOME! It looks like so much fun--I'm glad you enjoyed yourselves, and can't wait to hear/watch more about it.

    • August 16, 2012 at 03:55
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      Thanks! I can't wait to share more. :)

  2. August 14, 2012 at 16:46
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    amazing amazing! i'm so glad it was a success, but also a learning experience, as always. Welcome home.

    • August 16, 2012 at 03:50
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      Learning experience as always, yes! ;) And thanks for the welcome home message!

  3. August 14, 2012 at 17:14
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    Oh wow - such an amazing trip from these pictures, can't wait to see the highlight video for this one. I can't remember going to the Grand Canyon, although I think I have been when I was a kid. Breathtaking!

    • August 16, 2012 at 03:50
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      SO breathtaking, yes! And I can't wait to post the video!

  4. August 14, 2012 at 17:43
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    amazing pictures!!! so jealous, love the Grand Canyon!!!! can't wait till we can go back!

    • August 16, 2012 at 03:49
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      You've been before? No way! Did you hike or raft or look into the depths?

  5. August 14, 2012 at 17:51
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    I hope you know that you lead a pretty amazing life!! Even with the dead car battery, God has and is blessing you. I love it!!!

    • August 16, 2012 at 03:47
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      ha - you sound like my mom! I DO know and man am I thankful for the life we lead - all opportunities God has brought into our lives! So grateful. :D

  6. August 14, 2012 at 18:34
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    Wow, that looks amazing. I've always wanted to visit but never thought of rafting through the canyon.

    • August 16, 2012 at 03:46
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      Oh man - if you get the chance to do it, Becky, you've got to! What an amazing experience.

  7. August 14, 2012 at 19:38
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    AHHH! what an incredible time!!!! you guys need to come to SLC for your next adventure :) in the winter!

    • August 16, 2012 at 03:45
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      Okay - I'd LOVE that! Gotta talk to Mikey about winter trips! :D

  8. August 14, 2012 at 19:38
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    wow that looks incredible!! I have been to the grand canyon briefly, but not nearly as cool of a trip :) dregarding your battery in your car...did you check the alternator? That's what happened with my car...I though it was the battery but it was actually the alternator...just a thought...best of luck! :)

    • August 16, 2012 at 03:44
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      Thanks for the note re: alternator...turns out it was only the batter (but again?)...we've been in the market for a new car and I think our time is getting nearing! Thanks for the thought though - I mentioned it to my husband. :)

  9. August 15, 2012 at 07:43
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    Brilliant article Bonnie, and I think you captured the sense of fun perfectly!! Thanks for sharing :)

    • August 16, 2012 at 03:42
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      Hey thanks so much, Adam! :D

  10. August 15, 2012 at 09:44
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    LOVE your line about missing being dirty all day :-) thats me and back country camping when I git home....

    • August 16, 2012 at 03:42
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      dirty, dirty, dirty - I love to be outside and get down with nature! :D

  11. August 16, 2012 at 20:53
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    My husband and I have talked about wanting to raft in the grand canyon! I've never been and have always wanted to go :) We love rafting on the Ocoee River in Tennessee but it's only class 3&4 I'm sure the grand canyon would be killer! I'm glad you had fun, it's so beautiful there!

  12. September 9, 2012 at 17:42
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    I moved to the Grand Canyon in 1995 and have since lived all over the canyon. I've done stints at South Rim, North Rim and the bottom of the canyon at Phantom Ranch. I have spent the past 5 years guiding all over this amazing place - day hiking, multi-day backpacking, doing driven interpretive rim tours, and of course river trips. I have walked over 1000 miles inside the canyon (maybe more - who's counting?) and have been on 25 river trips. I absolutely love the canyon and I love showing people my home and watching it change them.

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