Sunday, September 19, 2010

Trip of a lifetime...

Here it is three weeks after one of the most amazing trips I've ever taken...and I'm just now posting a blog?
You know the I was busy. Shame on me.
This is just but a mere glimpse of the beauty that I saw in Colorado. Above is a picture taken at the Colorado National Monument in Fruita Colorado (just outside of Grand Junction).

The drive there with Joy and Robin was just as incredible as the trip that would follow. I think I've fallen in love with yet another place. There are so many vistas that take your breath away...and I feel lucky in life to have added Colorado's landscape to that list.
I am sad to say that my camera misbehaved half-way through our four day trip and I only got a few images before it conveniently decided to expire. Bummer of all bummers. But luckily, several of the good friends I made will be sharing their pictures which will make their way into my collection. I will share what I do have with you...

We arrived at our camp site...fourteen single cancer survivors, two guides and a massage therapist-- ready for adventure.

I was so excited to be meeting a whole new batch of friends...and of course, hanging with some friends from way back. Juliana Carvatt(a pal from '08 at the LiveStrong summit) and Sean Swarner were there. Sean hooked us up with some sweet Marmot tents to use!

We paddled out on Friday morning from Fruita. The weather couldn't have been more perfect than if we had ordered it that way. The sky was a magnificent turquoise blue. We paddled into our next campsite late in the afternoon and right on schedule!

We camped on a bank near Black Rock...opposite these beautiful ancient metamorphic formations. Pretty cool.

        In between paddling we had a good deal of "down-time". We ate meals prepared in the "tipped canoe kitchen", had some luau night fun and just chatted around the fire at night, watching the moon rise up over the canyon.

      There is something about getting to know people out in the great outdoors, no showers, no running water...that bonds you. Call me crazy, but it does. There's also something about being freed from technological distractions that makes it a sweeter experience. With one exception...Sean's constellation finder iphone app was fun to look at the stars with (until the battery died).

          On the playground of a riverbank along the most famous river in somehow accept missing the comforts of home. Okay, I'll be honest the groover (makeshift bathroom) was something I took some time to get used to

         Our creativity and fun-loving spirit as a group kept things interesting. One of the nights we sprinkled some aloha spirit on our canyon river fun...And you can't imagine what mischief happened when the train came roaring around on the other side of the river bank. Think high school antics....and you might guess what that was about.
Looking back at these snapshots makes me laugh.

Tracy, our fearless leader with the boys!
       Aside from the fun on this trip, I think I challenged myself more than I expected. Traveling a thirty plus mile stretch of river, (and paddling it with little other experience than what I've done on the tranquil and predictable Salmon River)...really tested me.

       Climbing up a canyon, the same giant layered formation that I had been gazing at from our camp circle---was scary--and was amazing. Looking out from that great height when I made it to the top (with the help and encouragement of some amazing friends),gazing at the river winding around columns and ribbons of red sandstone as far as the eye could see---that was something I never will forget.
               This trip, Canoeing and Connection-- was a labor of love and the brainchild of my very good friend Tracy Maxwell. She had a vision and a passion to make this trip happen. When she asked me to sign on to the committee, to help get it off the ground, there was no hesitation. I knew any idea she had cooking was bound to be a winner. And it was...

Thank you Tracy, thanks to everyone on this trip who gave me memories to fill a lifetime.

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