The Vermont Paddlers Club

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Grand Canyon 2022

Thursday-Sunday Mar 24-Apr 10, 2022
Participants:
Kayak: Pete, Paul, Sarah, Jamie, Bridget, Jim
Raft: Dave/Sue, Jon/Nick, Brock/Tina, Tony/Andy, JT/Karen
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium low
Gauge (cfs): 9000
USGS Gauge Name/Link: Lee's Ferry, AZ
Author: Tony Shaw

Scoring a shoulder-season (spring or fall) permit to run the Grand Canyon in the annual January Park Service lottery is a Diamond in the Rough. As well as a Crystal, Emerald, Sapphire, Ruby, Turquoise, etc., etc. A bunch of us tried for years with no luck and then, finally, in February of 2019 a "Congratulations..." email came my way.

No 225+ mile, 2-3 week wilderness float trip ever goes entirely "according to plan". Inviting a group that can be flexible and resilient is the first of many challenges. We were a solid group of boaters/adventurers, considering some of us are pushing 70, and the weather we had could not have been nicer. Jon was a really great late addition to the roster, grinning ear-to-ear with every splash of water! I could say something equally nice about every other person on my trip.

It was sad for sure when Pete and Bridget hiked out from Phantom Ranch on day 8 after breaking a wrist (the 2 youngest paddlers on the roster). Getting off the river on day 18 at Diamond Creek was the original plan in 2019/2020, before our launch date then was scratched due to COVID-19, so I personally wasn't heartbroken when we arranged our day 18 pickup.

Arduous and sublime are my go-to adjectives to describe our trip, and I hope one day you get to experience it yourself.

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