There is something so peaceful, but so high energy when you are living at the bottom of the largest canyon in the United States. For 16 days and boating over 220 miles, I found myself waking up to the sounds of rushing water echoing off the deep red canyon walls.
The Grand Canyon is the only place in the world that classes white water from 1-10, and to be honest it’s slightly intimidating. Even for a bunch of well-experienced white water rafting guides. Boating down the Grand Canyon is a whole new perception. And I can hardly explain the adrenaline I was experiencing from scouting a class 8 rapid.
Looking up at those massive canyon walls, from below they seem nearly endless. Each mile that we put behind us, those walls would change, some drastically and some only slightly. The whole journey was completely breathtaking with one memorizing zone after the other. We were blessed to have experienced this, even with a bunch of strangers, that we easily call family now. This place brings people together in the best way.
When we trusted our knot tying abilities, or if there were one too many scorpions at the campsite, we would stumble back to the rafts. Sleeping on the boats just felt right. We essentially lived on them for over two weeks.
I was surrounded by some of the strongest, most bad-ass women I have ever met. They inspired me in a way that truly pushed me in a positive way to do better. Being in this canyon for 16 days, you learn a lot about not only them but yourself. Like, a lot of yourself.
From patching a hole in a boat to pumping each other up before some of the largest whitewater any of us had ever seen, we always felt like a team. As if we could conquer anything that came our way. Places like this create feelings that you experience and remember for a lifetime. You can feel them in your bones, your senses and in your soul. These are the moments that will stay with you forever.
Featured Image: Hunter Holtrop, Canon AE-1
Rafter: Dani Dougherty
Rafter: Dani Dougherty
Dani grew up in Pennsylvania with the urge to be in the wilderness. She is a whitewater rafting guide in the summers while shredding some different white waves in the winter. Dani sought out the Rockies after graduating from University. She now resides in Leadville, Colorado and is a snowboard coach for Team Summit.