And just like that, the trip is over.
The day started super early for Nick and I. We woke up to a cloudy predawn sky and a sprinkling of rain. We quickly packed up our gear, then helped with breakfast and getting camp cleaned up.
It was a very warm morning and the Diamond Creek takeout was approximately two miles down river so I opted to wear my wetsuit pants and green rain jacket.
We got on the water the quickest we did the entire trip. Maybe because no one was “rigging to flip”, but camp was torn down and boats were rigged in no time. We arrived at Diamond Creek takeout a little early, but Canyon REO also arrived early so we were able to get a jumpstart on de-rigging.
The de-rigging process is organized chaos. First, you get all personal gear out of the way then it’s time to start tearing down the boats. Cam straps, ammo cans, paco pads, camp chairs, helmets, PFDs, tables, coolers, kitchen box, comm box, fire pan, oar towers, frames, deflated boats, IK, etc. Those boats hold a lot of gear.
Finally, when that was all done, and we thought we would have time to breathe again, we needed to rush to pack our personal gear into the cars and get out of Diamond Creek fast. Because, well– the trip ended the way it started. With rain.
Diamond Creek is prone to flash flooding and no one wanted to be stuck at takeout. We drove the 20-ish miles on a rutted dirt road to reach civilization. It was a long ride.
The team enjoyed one final lunch together, prepared by Canyon REO. We said our goodbyes, then everyone hopped in their cars and headed their separate ways.It was a bittersweet moment.
After GC2015 I never thought I’d be back in the Grand Canyon. I adamantly said “no”. Once was enough for me.
Oh how wrong I was.
One time in the Grand Canyon will never be enough. A person cannot possible do, see, explore, experience #allthethings in 23 short days.
An experience like this changes you. Whether you want to be changed or not. There is really no way to return to real life exactly the same. Everything we do, say, think, and feel is based on our life experiences.
Was GC2017 hard? You bet!
I didn’t want to be rained on for several days back-to-back or to be as cold as I was. I would have loved to have control over my blood sugar, and to find a way to keep my hands and feet warm. I wish I could have been braver when I was terrified of rapids, and maybe rowed named rapids earlier in the trip. I regret the way I handled a friendship, and I wish I would have tried to open the lines of communication.
But our attitude is everything. We are shaped by the way we handle our challenges. I am still a work in progress, but I’d like to think that GC2017 has molded me for the better.
I am thankful for the team of people I was privileged to spend 23 days with in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I am thankful for their friendship, their willingness to share their personal experiences to help others grow, and all the memories we made together.
Simplicity, adventure, growth– that is what the Grand Canyon symbolizes for me.
River Miles: 2.20 miles
Camp: Diamond Creek Takeout [mile 225.9]
Two Hundred Twenty-Four Mile [class 3]
Water Flow: 10,000 – 15,000 cfs
Temperature: 51 – 59 deg F
Precipitation: 0.00 in
Wind: 4 – 6 mph, no gusts
Weather Event: Light Rain