Grand Canyon - Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek - June 27, 2011 - Page 1

a) 2011 Grand Canyon Trip Report:

b) Obtaining and Organizing the Trip - I had planned to put in for the lottery for 2012 Grand Canyon river trips at the beginning of 2011, but put it off until the last minute and then got distracted and forgot to enter. Subsequently I decided to put in for follow up lotteries for 2011 trips. I put in for two follow up lotteries on April 21 and May 18, 2011. The only trips that would work for us were summer trips when the kids were out of school, so that is what I put in for. On May 19, 2011, I received an e-mail notification from the National Park Service that I won a 16-person permit launching on 6/27/11, which was my first choice in that lottery. I immediately called my wife Michelle, brother Mike, and paddling buddy David Smoake and they all agreed to go and were very enthusiastic about the trip. I figured I needed at least one of David or Mike to make the trip happen, so both of them wanting to go meant that we certainly had enough to make the trip a reality. I considered using our own 14 and 14.5 foot rafts, but David favored renting 18’ rafts to reduce the risk of a flip in the big water, so we pursued that option. Michelle checked on the availability of rental gear. Once I knew we could rent rafts, I paid the $400 initial fee. I invited a lot of other people, but there weren’t that many who could take almost three weeks off with only a month notice. Many already had vacation plans for the year, could not change their schedules with such little notice, or already had other Grand Canyon trips scheduled for this year.

c) Despite the short notice, we were able to put together a group of 12 boaters. This group included, besides me, my wife Michelle, my kids Wesley (22), Maya (17), and Ted (13), by brother Mike, his kids Ashley (18), and Bryce (17), David Smoake, David’s wife Tracy Dewitt, their friend and co-worker Thomas Walsh, and a friend of David’s that he met at river guide school, Glenn Marion. I had paddled with Tom a couple of times on the Upper Salt on day trips when David had invited him, but didn’t really have a relationship with him other than through David. I had not met Glenn prior to David inviting him on this trip, but David highly recommended Glenn and Glenn had both been through guide school and worked last summer for six weeks as a river guide. It was good to have another oarsman who could run the big rapids in case one of the other main oarsman was unable to fulfill their duties for some reason. My general rule is to not invite someone on a multi-day river trip unless I have paddled with them on a single-day trip before they knew about my permit and had a good experience with them. I made an exception for Glenn based on the very-strong recommendation from David. I also made other similar exceptions for other people that I invited on this trip, but the others were not able to join us.
PaddleOn River Images