Grand Canyon Trip - Day 1

In May, my sister Julie and I embarked on a six day river rafting trip through the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

We started at Lees Ferry on the Colorado River and floated 89 miles down river, past Phantom Ranch. We then hiked 7.6 miles up the Bright Angel Trail to Grand Canyon Village to complete our trip. The following notes are exerpts from my journal while we were on the river.

We arrived at Flagstaff yesterday. It was rather cool which is bit surprising since it is in Arizona. Last night we had orientation for the trip with our group of 18. Today we met for breakfast at the hotel and then took a two and a half hour drive to Lees Ferry which is the starting point for most boat trips.

our boats (yellow and orange) at Lees Ferry

Julie and I started on the paddle boat. There are five boats. Four are larger oar boats manned by the guides and one paddle boat with six rafters and a guide.

As we headed down the river, the canyon rose from a few hundred feet to a thousand feet. Apparently the river is not dropping that much in elevation, but is carving into a rising land mass.

We hit two rapids on the first day, but had no problem staying in our boat.

first day rapids behind us

There are a few other tour groups going down the river with us, but most of the time we are alone.

As the canyon rises we see additional layers of rock in the canyon walls marking different time periods.

beloved sister

The weather was mostly sunny, but when we broke for camp the wind picked up and sand was blowing into everything. The wind continued through the night.

camp 1 (our tent is at the bottom)

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May 2, 1999