When I decided to do this trip 4 months ago I was stoked for so many reasons. I was excited to raft big water, I knew I’d get to hike some beautiful canyons and I was eager to spend 23 days under the stars. But honestly, I hadn’t thought much about the people who would be by my side. They were strangers to me and I figured they would just add a little something to the overall experience; I didn’t realize they would MAKE the experience.
We went through something transformative together, something so magical that it can’t adequately be articulated in words. It’s best described in our laughter and adrenaline induced hollering, in the banjo music and the sound of a beer tab cracking at 10:00am. It’s shown in the way that we pushed each others’ beached rafts off the shore each morning and the way that our chair circle got tighter and tighter each night. These people will forever be a part of a memory that brings me so much joy and so much life. And I can’t possibly tell the tale of the canyon without telling the tale of these beautiful individuals first.
Drumroll please!! Introducing the crew, in no particular order, with before and after head shots!
Jess (permit holder) For only 23 years old this young lady is a force to reckoned with! She’s full of spunk and her adventurous spirit is contagious. And I mean look at that bad-ass haircut!
Sam Jordan He is one of those dudes that you just instantly feel comfortable around. That smile you see below was plastered across his face for the whole 23 days!
Zippy This crazy fella seriously styled Lava Falls…with only one oar! And even with a bum ankle he was climbing through the canyons like a mountain goat!
Tess It was such a pleasure getting to know this gal. From floating in the Little Colorado with her to watching her row a massive 18ft raft, she brought me a bucket load of joy!
Colin Oh man, this guy here has got to be the best storyteller. I can’t tell you how many times he made me laugh with his constant dialogue and random singing.
Matt The one person I knew prior to the trip and let me just say that I pick darn good friends! There’s no one I’d rather follow behind through big scary rapids!
Nina This girl took me under her party wing and taught me how to hang with the big kids. From sorority girl to raft guide, she boasts both beauty and skill!
TZ (Ben) Ah the valiant gator rider! Also a member of the river band, TZ provided us with endless entertainment both on land and in the water.
Mike One of the most humble people I have met. We called him “the sleeper” because he would come out of left-field with knowledge, but also with one-liners!
Kim She makes the best mixed drink around and her sweet disposition makes her an instant friend. Kim also displayed some seriously talented raft riding… I’m talking a perfect landing after being bucked 5 feet in the air!
T.Ray (Travis) I only wish he could have joined us sooner! He is one of those folks who you can turn to for anything. Humor, knowledge, friendship… He’s got it all!
Laura A little ball of sunshine. Her happiness was palpable and you couldn’t help but feel warm and fuzzy when in her presence! She was also my companion through Lava Falls!
Lauren Our very own hair stylist! From day one I connected with this beauty and she was there with me for all our grand adventures. I can’t even tell you how many times my stomach hurt from laughing when I was around her!
Joey Jack of all trades right here. I’ve got serious respect for this man: his ability to row an extremely heavy 18ft cat raft was beyond impressive. He also taught me how to roll a kayak, what?!
Curtis My boat buddy! We survived some pretty serious whitewater together and I couldn’t have picked a more supportive partner. From the endless laughing as we “rode the bull” through wave trains to his huge collection of glow sticks, this guy made for a great friend!
Charming, smart, beautiful…. Just kidding. Mostly this gal is just real grateful for the friends she made. She loves them all 🙂 Thanks for an AMZING trip ya’ll!