Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Rafting the Colorado River through Grand Canyon 4/22 and 4/23

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I am again writing a blog after (actually almost 2 weeks after)I finished the trip.

We arrived in Las Vegas in the late afternoon on May 22nd.  Ann and I took a Lyft directly to the pub to meet Audrey, Ken, Sue, and Liz for a bite to eat and Ann’s treat drink.

At 8:00 pm we went to our orientation meeting.  The presenter generated excitement but left a bit to be desired in her organization of the presentation.  So, of course, I asked questions.  We were given our dry bags (I got 2 because of my CPAP) and an ammo box so we could pack up all of our stuff.  We scheduled wake-up calls for the morning (mine was at 3:45 am) to get up, have breakfast and take off on our adventure.

On the way we stopped at both Walmart (where I purchased an extra dry bag for my backpack) and at a store where I purchased an extra fleece jacket.  Yes, extra fleece jacket because there was snow.

During the 6 hour drive, our geologist (Sue Tanges) began explaining about the geology of the canyon.  The talk was very quickly over my head.  Okay – back to 5th grade: sedimentary; igneous, metamorphic – but she was going way beyond that.  Thanks to Ken Kan and his posts on Facebook, I may be able to identify some of the photos.  I may use many of Ken’s photos (and credit him) because he did such a great job.

We finally arrived at Lee’s Ferry in Marble Canyon and loaded the two 14 passenger rafts. Looks like Ken is handing Aud her raincoat because we are going to be wet.

Everything is loaded and Emily is giving us final instructions.  These rafts are the largest vessels that raft through the Grand Canyon.

Emily Dale and Duffy Dale (cousins) were the leaders for each raft  We also had a a  “swamper” on each raft. Mija with Emily and Kirsten Dale (his wife) with Duffy.  It is amazing that the swampers are not paid any money for this trip.  They just rely on tips from the passengers.

I was on Emily’s raft so my photos are mostly of Duffy’s.  This is one of our first little rapids.


Okay. Keeping these photos in order is going to be very hard because I was using two cameras.

Was this bird poop or did Sue tell us something else.

The rock formations were amazing – so amazing that I could not stop taking photos.

Because of Ken’s notes I know that the bottom of these rocks are called “Desert Varnish, iron and magnesium deposits which turn the surface of the rocks black.”


I believe that this dory is “one of” the smallest vessels on the river.  The rapids would sure be more exciting in that.

This slide must have been something else.

These are my first couple of photo of a Utah Agave plant in bloom. The common name is Century Plant and they actually only bloom about once every 30 – 35 years and then they die.  I probably took 50 photos of these so they may show up again in this blog. I was just really excited about the first one.

More scenery:  We are so lucky to be here.


Our first camping spot was at Mile 17.  It is called “Hot Na Na.” We formed a human bag line (which Ken called the Drugery Line) to off load all of our gear. I think I have photos of this later in the trip. But on the first night we needed to gather around for demonstrations.


Emily demonstrated hot to put up the tents and put the cots together.

Sue, opur geologist, helped demonstrate how to wash our hands in the slightly chlorinated water and let them drip dry.  We were going to have to repeat this exercise more times than I want to remember.

Ken, Audrey, or and Cher were listening well.  Not sure they were thrilled.

Our leaders were preparing dinner as we struggled with our first attempt at setting up tents and cots. The tents were easy.  I struggled a bit with the cot, but Ann helped me so – success – yea.

What an incredibly beautiful place to camp.  I think I am going to repeat that phrase over and over again.

Meet Ann’s and my neighbor.  This cute little creature never bothered us.

In spite of the weather and the work, watching the reflection on the rocks brought a beautiful end to our day.

Life is pretty good and we are so privileged (another phrase I will probably repeat over and over again).

Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

One thought on “Rafting the Colorado River through Grand Canyon 4/22 and 4/23

  1. Hi Nancy…HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!


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