Churning, flowing, imposing
Creator of Grand Canyon.
I was mesmerized by the power and beauty of The Colorado River when I first saw it. The undulating, dancing water, deep in the Canyon it had carved, was hypnotizing. We spent nine days on it and there was no one section that looked the same. The river was always there, the one constant of the trip.
It was our means of locomotion; We floated on it for 142 miles, bouncing down rapids, drifting through tranquil sections; the walls of the canyon always towering over us.
The Colorado was omnipresent; You could always hear it at camp; it was the first things you saw in the morning coming out of the tent; It was cool to the touch. It was always only a short walk from wherever you were in the canyon.
It was our coolant; By 9am it when it was already well over 100 degrees, The Colorado was 50 degrees and we would dump buckets of it over our heads. Before hiking we would fully immerse ourselves in it.
We drank it, we cooked with it; Filtered and purified, we consumed a lot of the Colorado in the crazy desert heat.
We peed in it; It was required we all peed in the river to avoid stinking up the small and limited camping areas. We peed in paintcups overnight in the tent and then emptied them in the river in the morning. We peed off the raft during long days on the river. This was no trip for the shy. By day two, we were peeing within full view of everyone, without a second thought. It was easy for the men to pee off the raft in motion. I won’t go into detail on how the women hung off the raft to pee. Whalen asked during one such complicated maneuver, “Did you imagine you’d have to be peeing off the boat on this trip?” Katie promptly replied “Yes, but I didn’t think I’d be talking to people while doing it!”
The river would look different with every bend; Changed color as the sun traversed the sky. On the last day we woke up at first light to discover the overnight storm had flushed out the tributaries and turned the river a deep, dark brown, like flowing coffee.
For nine days the Colorado was our life blood.
“The river flows not past, but through us, thrilling us, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies.” – John Muir