Friday, July 17, 2015

Grand Canyon National Park - 2/3

A Day on the Colorado River


After ‘coffee call’ and a hot, delicious breakfast, we gathered our gear and boarded our rafts for a day of “river running.”  There were three options for seating -  GOOD: on cushions in the back half, gazing out to the side for majestic views of the rugged cliffs, BETTER (WRE calls it “adventure seating"): on top of the gear boxes, in the middle, perched a little above, with great views all around but with less bouncing and water splash, or BEST (WRE calls it whitewater “gusto” seating): front and center the place to get drenched by the river, experience the highs and lows of each wave, holding on for dear life!  True to self, I started in the middle, but then quickly moved to the front for the full experience.   



Again, I saw such a parallel to my life.  It’s easy and more comfortable to take the back or middle seat, but so much more memorable to ride the waves!  Life is like that…. Most of the time life is calm and comfortable, but occasionally, we hit some white water and get tossed around, splashed and sometimes scared.  The first whitewater was a little scary, not sure what to expect I closed my eyes and put my head down and held on… but as I began to trust “the system” I eagerly anticipated the dips and thrust.  I even looked forward to being smashed with gallons of cold river water on my face, followed by warm sunshine.  I knew the whitewater was temporary and that the calm was just ahead and to just enjoy the ride.  Be in the moment…and it was a thrill!!

For scale, see the tiny speck in the middle of the river
for our companion raft running just ahead of us.

We’d take a break now and then and beach our rafts to take a short hike, have a snack with some time for a history or geology lesson.   I had two favorites excursions: 

The first was our hike in Travertine Canyon at mile 229. We climbed over rocks that required slow and sure footing, up three rope ladders, around the bend into a travertine grotto carved over thousands of years to reveal a beautiful cascading waterfall.  It was such a surprise to find such beauty tucked away.


The other was a jump off the cliff at Pumpkin Springs into the 60-degree water.  It didn’t look that high from the bottom, but standing on the top edge I had second thoughts.  My safe little comfort zone was calling me back until Sarah reminded me “Mom, c’mon, you’re not going to die!” So we jumped!!

One, two, three.... GO!
“My Third Act” is my commitment to live life to the fullest… that means getting out of my comfort zone, opening my eyes to see and experience the beauty and the majesty that surrounds me and to be grateful for the opportunity and give back to others whenever I can.  

And I’m having so much fun!!!



For more photo’s (and photo credit for these) of “Travertine Grotto Grand Canyon” 
Google images

For more information about the geology of the pumpkin springs visit:  www.kuriositas.com/2012/04/pumpkin-spring-grand-canyons-arsenic.html



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