A few months ago, my wife, Diane, and I took an unforgettable trip to the Grand Canyon. A six-day journey by boat from Lee’s Ferry down the winding Colorado River, through rapids in not-so-warm water, on sandy riverbanks to camp, and up a steep, narrow canyon trail on a six-hour hike to the South Rim.
And did I mention the awe-inspiring views of the canyon cliffs? As our boat drifted, Diane and I sat in silence taking in the splendor of the Grand Canyon and feeling fortunate to connect with nature. We spotted a rare California condor soaring in the sky and watched a beaver on the river’s edge.
We traveled with 14 other adventurers: most from the United States, one from Panama, and a couple from Canada. At the end of each day, we set up camp. No cabins, no beds, and no running water for showers, only good conversation with like-minded travelers. At night we slept on top of our sleeping bags surrounded by the desert brush. (Lucky for us, no encounters with canyon critters unless you count the ravens that stole our toothpaste.)
We swam in the vibrant blue Little Colorado River and enjoyed the warmer waters. Our guides also shared the vast history of the canyon as we wandered the prehistoric ruins of the Anasazi Indians.
As we reached the South Rim, we took this knowledge with us: A vacation in the great outdoors can be an adventure with physical and mental challenges. You learn respect for the environment. But the best part of the adventure . . . you learn to live in the moment.
“Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, and for all who come after you…” – Theodore Roosevelt
All photos courtesy of Dr. Richard Wiseman and Family.