Thursday, June 24, 2010

Food Guy Guest Spot Wrap up

Hi, everyone. Well, I'm back from my adventure. Brian and I rolled into Charlotte about 3:30 yesterday afternoon. We left the Chateau Marley in ABQ about 11 on Tuesday am, and then drove straight through to good ol' NC. I'm happy to be home, but I must admit it's going to be a bit of a challenge re-integrating into society. 6 weeks of living in the truck, boating, climbing, hiking, running, and just generally having the time of my life went WAY too fast. It's funny how words can escape us when we need them the most. I've been trying to think of the words to describe a 16 day trip down the Grand Canyon, and quite frankly there just are no words that can do this trip justice. The Canyon is a special place- and not to go all touchy-feely on you- it is a spiritual place. The experience of waking up each day to the most beautiful thing you have ever seen defies description. In an effort to do the trip some justice, I'll just share a few pics with you.

View from a hike a long the Little Colorado where it dumps into the Grand.

One of the many critters who shared some space with us.

Looking out into the canyon from one of the side hikes we did.

Zeke and Pat floating through a narrow spot.

As we floated the last two miles to the take out, a big horn sheep strolled down from the canyon wall to check us out. As I paddled back upstream to get a picture of him, he stepped out onto an outcropping and looked closely at me. It was a powerful moment. I felt as if he was silhouetting himself for my camera as one final parting gift from the Canyon. He waited patiently for me to fumble through my drybag and find my camera.

The splendor of this giant critter against the backdrop of the canyon made it even harder for me to turn my boat downstream and head back into the world. I do know this though: I will be back each time I have the chance.

I learned many things from this trip, and the amazing group of people who went with me helped me create memories that I will think of often in the future. But, the most striking thing I learned from this trip is that I finally have begun to understand what Thoreau meant when he wrote about going to the woods to live deliberately. The moments we have are fleeting and time is short, but if we drink deeply from every moment we can savor our experiences for a lifetime.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Food Guy Guest Spot 2

Hi everybody. I know y'all are wondering how the Yellow One is doing, and I've gotten good reports from my sources at the Lake that he is doing well. Janette says he's being lazy, and my Dad says he follows him all around the house, but he seems to be adjusting to missing out on an adventure. I'm sure he'll give me plenty of grief when I get home. He would have loved this trip. Next time I'll have to sort out how to bring him with me. I'll bet Lisa can help me plan a killer vacation that will be YD friendly for next summer.

Anyway, we had blast in Colorado. The surfing in Gunnison was excellent, and the rapids were lots and lots of big fun. Check out Dowd Chutes on the Eagle River in Minturn, Colorado.

We spent last weekend in Buena Vista, Colorado. The Arkansas river had lots of water, but one of the highlights of the weekend was this run on the Colorado Trail in Clear Creek Canyon. The elevation was a killer.

Our next stop was 2 days in Del Norte, Colorado to hang out with my buddy Bill and his son Dylan. They showed us some sweet climbing in Penitente Canyon. The routes there were fantastic.

We rolled into New Mexico yesterday and did the Pilar run on the Rio Grande. It was a fun little run with one large-type hole that was a bit of a surprise. Scott, Pat, Brian, and I all made it through no problem though.

Today, we woke up, and I made PB&J bagels and coffee (as usual) before we went to the put in.

Then we spent the day paddling 22 miles on the Rio Grande through the Box Canyon. It was a fantastic run with six really fun rapids. Brian and I have been having a blast since we left. It was great to add Pat and Scott to the mix. This trip just keeps getting better. We'll hit Flagstaff on Friday and then we'll be on the Grand Canyon for 16 days. Should be pretty sweet. I'll be psyched to get home to see everyone when the trip is over though. It's been a long time to be away from Lisa, YD, and my family.

Take it easy y'all.