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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, United States

Aug 7, 2015 - #9 Happy Anniversary?

Fortunately the wind and rain had died sometime during Thursday night. Even more fortunately, yours truly somehow slept all the way until morning without having to crawl out of that tent to make my usual mid-night trip to the river. What joy. We woke to a cloudy day and carefully dragged all of our stuff out to start the morning. Despite the shelter, the bottoms of our sheets and a pillow had gotten semi-soaked and would need to be dried out that evening - hopefully. All of us were a little slow on the uptake this morning, but after some...

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A Trip Of A Lifetime

Aug 6, 2015 - #8 "GAME ON"

On Thursday August 6, after what was now getting to be a bit of a routine (with no quicksand this morning), we were properly packed up and breakfasted and on the river by about 8:30. We had seen several female Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep along the river’s edge on Wednesday and within 2 miles today we came upon several good sized bighorn rams - quite stunning to see them so up close. We had about 11 miles and a couple of rapids (including the aptly named Upset Rapid - rated 7) to run before our major stop of the day, Havasu Creek and Falls....

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A Trip Of A Lifetime

Aug 5, 2015 - #7 Well If I Woulda Known

Wednesday, August 5 was one of the few mornings on the river where I woke up well before the “COFFEE!” alarm clock. Given that it was barely getting light and I had 30 minutes to kill, I took flashlight in hand and wandered down by the big beach along our campsite to take a leak, brush my teeth and wash up to the extent possible in the sandy water. Then, while my bride got her last 15 minutes of beauty rest I rolled up my sleeping bag and shoved a bunch of stuff in my waterproof bag. By the time of the COFFEE yell, waking up Jill, I was...

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A Trip Of A Lifetime

Aug 4, 2015 - #6 A Whitewater (well actually sort of chocolate) Extravaganza

By Tuesday August 4 we would be in the very heart of Grand Canyon National Park. This was to be a day of spectacular rapids running (21 rated rapids at the end of this 43 mile day) combined with a small dose of civilization (well sort of). As usual we were up with the sun by shortly after 6:00 and this morning the staff surprised us with blueberry pancakes, sausage, yogurt and fresh fruit. Mighty fine. Mikenna warned us all to be ready to get soaked early and often as we had some major whitewater today. We were all packed up and heading...

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A Trip Of A Lifetime

Aug 3, 2015 - #5 The Little Colorado

On Monday, August 3 we were all again awakened at daybreak. Breaking camp and doing our bags was still a royal pain, but at least we were getting quicker and modestly more organized. Breakfast this morning was eggs to order, bacon, sausage, toast (cooked on the propane grill), coffee and juice - very tasty. Since all of us collectively were speeding up the wake up / departure process, we were on our way down river 15 minutes earlier than Sunday on a beautiful sunny morning. Once on the way it was easy to spot the difference 50 miles and...

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A Trip Of A Lifetime

Aug 2, 2015 - #4 "COFFEE"

Our first full day on the river began about 6:00 with the loud call from Alex of “COFFEE” serving as our wake up call. Unfortunately, a few folks who had chosen campsites on a small peninsula at river’s edge had been awakened a bit earlier in the night to the sound of nearby lapping water. Seems that with the very hot weather in Vegas and points south, the demand for electricity called for greater flow through Glen Canyon Dam. Luckily we were only talking a 6” river rise and nothing got too wet, though the campers found themselves on an...

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A Trip Of A Lifetime

Aug 1, 2015 - #3 Who Can You Trust?

As usual when we’re going somewhere, Jill was up easily 10 minutes before the alarm on Saturday morning. All went pretty well with our clean up and final packing decisions, and we had the suitcases stored and all of our river “luggage” downstairs and ready to go by 5:45. Surprisingly, the Wisconsin Rapids family had not arrived during the evening so Amanda was busily trying to track them down to see if they had backed out or whatever. All 16 of us had ourselves and our luggage on the bus at 6:10 when Amanda came on board and told us the bus...

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A Trip Of A Lifetime

Jul 31, 2015 - # 2 Vegas Baby!!

Since we had an 8:00A flight from MSP to Vegas, we were up pretty darn early at the Gee Hilton. Our plan was to take the 5:15A bus downtown, then catch the light rail line out to the airport, giving us plenty of time for the always overpriced coffee and pastry at MSP. Grace dutifully rechecked the public transit website and we made the 5 minute walk to the bus stop with 10 minutes to spare for the 5:15 - and then we waited, and waited and waited. Just like the UWSP website, the public transit site was wrong, wrong, wrong. As we killed time,...

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A Trip Of A Lifetime

Jul 30, 2015 - #1 A Trip Of A Lifetime

Like most folks, the Grand Canyon has always had a special allure for Jill and me. While we had only visited this wonderful national park once previously, it is one of those wild places that has held a spot in our hearts. I have always wanted to experience the canyon a bit more personally, but without scaring myself to death on the hiking trails or wearing out my butt on some mule. I don’t know if it was karma or what, but last winter I discovered that UW-Stevens Point Adventure Tours was offering a “Raft The Grand Canyon” trip August 1-8,...

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A Trip Of A Lifetime

Jun 25, 2015 - Descent to Phantom Ranch - The Bottom of the Grand Canyon

I always enjoy sharing things with our friends around the world, and family at home. This entry in particular brings me a lot of joy to send out. It’s special, because it involves a place very few people get to see. Even those fortunate enough to visit the Grand Canyon rarely venture beyond the rim itself. (Less than 1% to be precise) Only half of those ever make it to the bottom of the canyon. This is where we’re taking you in this entry. Beyond the great sunsets, sweeping vistas and the hazy view of the canyon from the rim, (And all those...

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Jun 10, 2015 - Grand Canyon - North Rim

From Winslow we drove through northeastern Arizona through the Hopi Reservation. The Hopi are a tribe of Native American people. They are one of the tribes that have repeatedly voted against gambling casinos as an economic opportunity. They have their own tribal government and an elected Tribal Council. The name Hopi is a shortened form of their full name, Hopituh Shi-nu-mu meaning "The Peaceful People". They were very friendly and spent some time explaining how they make their unique pottery. From selecting the clay from the surrounding...

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Jun 9, 2015 - The Hermit Trail-Dripping Springs

Greetings all. Here we are again, a thousand miles apart, but taking a few minutes together to break away from the “man-made” world in order to enjoy a little of the REAL one all around us. Breathe in the fresh air… get a little dirty… enjoy the view… smell the flowers… and sit on a rock in the shade for some lunch. Today’s trip is a little “stroll” down the Hermit Trail, with a detour to the Dripping Springs. I won’t give too much away… but I can tell you there was a lot of color on this trip, and yes… a spring… that also drips. Unlike...

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