Read the first post about our Grand Canyon adventure HERE.
I’m just going to have to be honest here and tell you that the vision conjured up by the title of this post – white water! dangerous rapids! I totally almost drowned when I was thrown from the raft! – should be tempered with the facts that:
1. The raft was, in reality, a pretty substantial item.
2. There were no actual what you would call white water rapids.
3. The river was smooth and quiet and placid.
But it was pretty amusing when I told my husband we were going to be rafting down the Colorado River and he turned to me with all seriousness and asked if it was really safe.
Here’s the raft.
After being constantly amazed, astonished and every other descriptive word your mind can conjure up by the Grand Canyon, the amazement began all over again when we landed.
Because even though we thought we appreciated the magnificence and scope of the canyon, we didn’t really appreciate it until we saw it from the ground. Now, let me tell you that it is not easy to get to land a helicopter in the Grand Canyon. I was astonished to learn that the Hualapai Native Americans actually own this section of the Grand Canyon and they are not about to let a bunch of helicopters land in their canyon, all willy-nilly and sully the beauty, which some lousy tourists have a tendency to do. Not you, of course.
So, before we could even get approved for the trip, I had to sign all kinds of paperwork. First, a Permit for Photography/Filming and then a Site Visit Request Form. They are not messing around. Seriously, though, it was no effort at all. Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters sent me the paperwork and I signed it and sent it back. No problem.
After we alighted in the canyon, we clambered down a rocky bank to the river and, after the requisite pre-experience photo, climbed into the raft for our journey up the river.
It was quiet and peaceful and very, very beautiful. And hot. I peeled off my sweater almost immediately but was glad I had it when we flew back up to the top of the canyon and the temperature plummeted. The sky was a beautiful shade of blue and the canyon walls surrounding us were amazing with their shapes and colors.
We saw rock formations that resembled the castles we had seen in Europe.
And rock walls formed by nature that resembled man-made rock walls we see all around our home in Lexington, Kentucky.
Fields of cacti sprawled by the river’s edge and beautiful desert flowers bloomed in the desert heat.
It’s hard to imagine the size and scope of the Grand Canyon until you are rafting along in the middle of it. Here’s some perspective for you – a helicopter coming in for a landing helps you see how huge the canyon really is.
Now we had seen the Grand Canyon from two perspectives – from the air and from the ground. Both were fascinating and both provided a completely different view of this magnificent natural wonder. But we had one last perspective – from the top of the canyon. Time to strap back in the chopper and head to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
And that is yet another post.
Full disclosure: Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters provided us with a hosted tour, but as always, I will share my honest opinion about any travel experiences I have.