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?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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,