Saturday, October 5, 2013

John Wesley Powell and the Grand Canyon Expedition

As rafting experts, we learn to appreciate the originals - the “Founding Fathers” of rafting, if you will. One of these great forerunners was Major John Wesley Powell, after whom Lake Powell is named. His river expeditions may not have been done on a raft, per say, but we honor him, nonetheless, as one of the greatest white water adventurers to ever set sail.
In 1869, John Wesley Powell, a one-armed soldier, scientist and explorer, set out with nine men and four wooden boats to conquer the uncharted land that would one day be known as the Grand Canyon and surrounding areas. The ten men found their way down the Green River to the confluence with the Grand (Colorado) River over the course of about three months. At one point, about a month in, one member of the band approached Major Powell and stated “I’ve had more excitement than a man deserves in a lifetime. I’m leaving.” Three others also left the group at various times throughout the journey. The remaining six men finished the journey, having accomplished one of the greatest exploratory feats of the infamous “Wild West”.

Fortunately for us, our Grand Canyon rafting trips are done through Western River Expeditions. They are hands down, the best in the west. Powell’s men had to live on what few supplies made it through the rapids, WRE’s skilled guides not only handle the rapids with expert precision, but they also provide meals that rival those of 5 star restaurants - all at the bottom of the incredible Grand Canyon. Western River Expeditions offers four different options varying from 3, 4, 6 and 7 day trips. The 6 and 7 day trips cover the same stretch of river, including more than 60 rapids, and half a dozen hikes to nearby natural attractions, but the 7 day trip includes an extra day for hikes and sightseeing. Likewise, the 3 and 4 day trips cover the remaining stretch of the Grand Canyon, with the 4 day trip including a night at the Bar 10 Ranch on the North Rim of the canyon. All four options are spectacular and will never be forgotten. This trip is one that everyone should do at least once in their life!

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