This spring, our team member, Brian Sanner, had the opportunity of a lifetime – the chance to raft down the Grand Canyon for three weeks. In addition to the Instagram worthy photos, he gave us a little recap of what it was like to disconnect from work and spend time in the Grand:
As an avid rafter, having the opportunity to row 280 miles down the Grand Canyon is not only a bucket list experience, but one of those pinnacle experiences that would put many of my skill sets I have developed over the years to the test. Every year thousands of people submit for a permit in the lottery system for a chance to raft the Grand. Most months out of the year the chance to win a Grand Canyon permit is less than 1%, so if you get the opportunity, many people quit their jobs to go. Luckily for me, I work for a company that is very supportive of time off and was in full support of me taking several weeks off from work to head to the Grand Canyon. We launched March 4th, 2019 with 6 boats and 12 individuals in our party on our epic 21-day journey.
Experiencing the Grand Canyon from the water is very different than the hundreds of thousands of tourists who flock to the north or south rim to get a glimpse into this massive ditch in the earth. Every bend of the river feels like it could be its own separate national park with massive walls, beautiful side canyons and streams, and even ancient artifacts. And a bonus, there is no cell phone reception or connection to the outside world while down there, which I believe more people need to experience – the feeling of disconnecting from their phones and connecting with mother nature.
Sipping on a hot cup of coffee was one of the few rituals and comforts from home I was able to bring with me on my adventure (I brought a few bags of our Blue Nile Blend and Colombia Agustino Forest). When you spend several weeks waking up outside to frigid air, that thermos of coffee warmed my core as we set off each morning, rowing down the bitter cold water of the Colorado River in my full body dry suit.
As we made our way down the river, the weather slowly warmed as we transitioned later into March. We went from beanies and winter coats to board shorts and flip flops. At the same time the rapids only grew larger and larger as we got deeper into the Grand Canyon. The balance of amazing scenery, side hikes, huge rapids, and rich history will always resonate with me and maybe one day I will have the opportunity to check of the grid and immerse myself into this epic life experience once more.