Hey all! Jake here. This is one of my first posts, just from me and it’s going to be all about my trip to the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon is amazing! I was fortunate enough to take a three-day rafting trip this past summer down the Colorado River. This trip was a bucket list item for my wife’s uncle, who spearheaded the whole trip. Every couple of years, the men in the family get together and take a trip. When I went on my first guys trip, I felt like a bit of an outsider because it was only the guys in Shannon’s family. I quickly learned how accepting they were and quickly felt like I belonged. That sense of belonging made this trip truly special and one of the best trips, not just guys trip but one of the best I have ever been on. The other comparable trip would be our Alaska trip (maybe we will post about that later).
The plan was to meet up in Arizona with Shannon’s uncle, but I first met up with her brother and cousin in Denver, so we could all drive down and have a pre-adventure before the epic adventure. After our little side adventure, we all met up in Arizona, pumped up for the trip. The adventure company took us down to where we would load the rafts and we were all surprised and excited by just how amazingly beautiful it is there. We had butterflies because they let us know the night before at orientation that people can die. They probably won’t, but they could. So that thought was always in the back of my mind. I have to say that the butterflies were more out of excitement and not so much of my demise.
The next three days were spent battling the rapids with the most intense, being a class 10 rapid (have some video of waves slapping us silly). The nights were nothing but amazing as well. We camped out under the stars and moon cowboy style. Shannon’s cousin was sleeping next to me and jumped up in the middle of the night claiming he had a scorpion crawling on him. We were told that if we want to get a good nights sleep, do not go out with lights at night because we just might see how many critters there actually were.
All the nights in the canyon were spent talking about Scott Jones (Shannon’s dad), who was always up for any adventure. Although it wasn’t quite the same without him there, I know we all felt like he was still apart of our adventure. The next morning, our plan was to break camp early (2:30a) to see if we could beat the heat (about 140 degrees in the canyon). We woke up in plenty of time, but had to wait a bit to get our bag of snacks. Shannon’s brother and cousin wanted to see how fast they could get out of the canyon. Her uncle and I trekked a little slower. Within the first two miles, Shannon’s uncle severely sprained his ankle and we both thought he was in trouble. He iced it in the river for a bit and pushed forward. As we were walking in the dark with our headlamps on, bats were doing us a solid by clearing the bugs out from in front of our faces.
As the sun began to rise, we both were in awe of the pure beauty of the canyon. It’s one of those deals where you can talk about it and show pictures but it just does not do it justice. We ended up getting off the 11.5 mile hike in about 7-8 hours or so (can’t remember exactly). We met up with Shannon’s brother and cousin at the top to conclude one of the best trips I have ever taken.
Next time we go, and there will be a next time, we will take our families and do the second half of the river. I can’t thank those three dudes and all of our wives for making this trip possible! One lesson I learned on this trip was to stop worrying about whether you should or shouldn’t do something as epic as this…just go and do it, make those memories with the ones closest to you!
*All photos were taken with an iPhone and waterproof case. Be sure to check out the video at the end.