I’m back from the Grand Canyon and eager to share my experiences. Here is the first bit of my account from that amazing week. If you’re interested, you can click on the link at the end to continue reading at my Going Ape site.
How I spent my summer …
There are no man-made signs deep in the Grand Canyon. If you want to know where to find Elves Chasm or how severe the next set of Colorado River rapids are, you better have a good guidebook with you or be under the care of expert navigators.
There are no picnic tables. You have to make do with sitting on rocks, sand or your raft, flicking your lunch’s crumbs into the river’s current for fish to finish off.
There are no restrooms. Peeing into the flowing milk chocolate river or squatting over a metal can are the only options. And you’re usually conducting your business mere feet from fellow travelers.
That river also serves as your bathtub, should you feel the need to scrub away the day’s dirt and sweat. You might not feel squeaky clean as you step out, but the perpetually icy water will leave you feeling rudely awake, alive and oddly insignificant. After all, you’re standing naked and shivering, or partially naked if you bring civilization’s modesty with you, before towering rock walls that have seen it all over their millions of years of patient existence.
And there are no handrails, fluorescent yellow warning tape or off-limits rope to keep you safe. One recent, tragic death attests to that. (Florida woman dies after fall from Grand Canyon trail.)
I spent a week on a raft slowly cruising through this natural wonder as a guest of the National Center for Science Education. The California based organization has been hosting these expeditions for several years, offering bucket-list travelers a unique perspective of the ancient landmark. NCSE scientists take advantage of several stops along the river to demonstrate how creationists believe the Canyon proves that Noah’s flood is historical fact and contrast that with the scientific consensus that the Canyon walls are oblivious to such a fantastic tale. The presentations are as entertaining as they are educational.
(Continue reading this at Going Ape.)