Dream Days

On July 2, 2017, our group of 8, began the 16-day journey down the Colorado River. Since returning to civilization, I’ve been asked to highlight the best part of the trip. The best part? How could I choose just one?

The best part of the 16 days was paddling emerald-colored water that was so clear, I could see 20 feet beneath the surface. What about the extreme panic I felt, as I bobbed between the Colorado’s enormous waves, listening to my voice quiver as I panted with exhaustion?  The best part was the adrenaline pumping through my veins as I paddled the largest whitewater I had ever seen.

Mile 33 at Redwall Cavern

Perhaps the most invigorating part of this trip was proving to myself, that I am so much more capable of anything I had ever dreamed of accomplishing.

No, the best part of my trip to the Grand Canyon, was laying on a raft at night, staring into space; Imagining what else, who else, is out there, and if we will ever cross paths. Wishing upon shooting stars for happiness and peace. Feeling so small in a world full of wonder.

 

Laughter that forms tears with acquaintances over silly jokes. Tears from admiration of the beauty that is nature. The tropical blue water of the Little Colorado River, that I’m still convinced tastes like blue Kool-Aid. The exfoliation of your skin from the grains of sand that were constantly glued to your face. The thirst and suffering experienced while hiking towards the Canyon’s skyscraper rim. Not being bothered with work or social media. The Oasis that is Havasu Creek.

Kool Aide blue water, Oh Ya!

 

 

The feeling of standing where Native Americans once grew and stored their crops. Seeing their pictographs painted upon fallen boulders. Being surrounded by canyon walls that looked as though the faces of native ancestors had been carved into the rocks. Being humbled by the river, as its powerful waves roll you over again and again. The side canyons that are so surreal, you feel as though you’ve suddenly hopped into a National Geographic picture. The best part is looking in any direction and feeling as though you’ve stepped into a dream, because how can something this beautiful exist?

The best part is experiencing this physical, as well as spiritual journey, surrounded by those that you love.The best part of kayaking the Colorado River was developing a greater understanding of myself and my surroundings. What if everyone could experience this beauty? Would anyone start to care more about preserving natural lands? Would we care more about those around us? If everyone could experience this place, would the magic still exist?

 

The best part of kayaking through the Grand Canyon, was worrying that I have not experienced all that this literal wonderland has to offer. I will go back multiple times in my life, and be more amazed. Every. Single. Time. That will be the best part of kayaking The Colorado River through The Grand Canyon.

*Photo and Video Credits: All photos and videos in this post belong to the author. If you would like a copy of the photos or video, please email MST Adventures. 

If you have a great story that you would like to tell, please reach out to MST Adventures.

 

Dream Days Author, Alison Gilam is a Whitewater Kayaker from the midwest, who has cut her teeth on the east coast classics, like the Lower Yough, Gauley, and Cheat River, and can be found running the Ohio Brown Water from time to time.