First, allow me to apologize for the curse word in the title. I know it's not professional or refined. But it is accurate.
Twenty years ago I made a bucket list and on that list was "rafting through the Grand Canyon." As it turns out, you don't just roll up to the Grand Canyon with an inflatable raft, put in, and hope for the best. It's FAR more complicated than that and as I investigated it over the years, I sort of gave up. There was just too much I didn't know. I couldn't navigate the waters, if you will. Coincidentally and unbeknownst to me, my sister added a similar adventure to her bucket list at about the same time.
Fast forward about 15 years and I was lamenting to someone that this is something on my list that would likely go unconquered. As luck would have it, over a year ago this same friend's family put a trip together and had 2 cancellations. I got the call, and in true epic nature, had the weekend to decide if I wanted the 2 empty seats. I called my sister. We did.
Fast forward to today and I'm finalizing my pack- committed to washing clothes, my hair, and body in the river. I'm prepared to stink. I'm prepared to take this adventure in, and soak it up. I think a lot about how often 20-year-old me would roll her eyes at the princess 44-year-old me has become. So here goes.
I'm quickly coming to terms with several things:
- I will be off the grid for 9 days. No talking to my husband or my son. I'm hoping for the best here.
- I won't be able to shower. I am the girl who showers twice a day. I've eaten off tables dirtier than my skin.
- I will have zero control. I'm really just along for the ride. Literally.
- Anything that I want over a 9-day-stretch will be carried into the Canyon on my body. I'm strong(ish), but not strong enough to figure out how to get a Tempurpedic mattress topper to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Yet.
- I will be sleeping on the ground. I haven't done that in years. At least, not on purpose.
- I will be spending 9 days with a group of total strangers. I'm actually strangely excited about this. New friends!
But, it's not all scary business. I do have a few things going for me:
- I'm generally comfortable in water and a decent swimmer. If I get pitched out of the boat, I know how to stay calm. I also know the Lord's Prayer by heart. I am not ashamed to scream it at the top of my lungs.
- I made a pact with myself years ago to do one thing each year outside of my comfort zone. I can't even see my comfort zone from where I'm standing. I'm pretty sure this buys me a pass for at least 3 years.
- I've paid a ridiculous amount for Bud Light to arrive on the shore for me each evening.(Author's Note: I love Bud Light and while there were other options, I can imagine nothing more satisfying after a day on the river than an ice-cold Bud Light. Remember, I'm from Kent.)
- I'm going with my sister. And she gets me. And that is ridiculously soothing.
So, here goes. I'll be signing off in just over a week. I hope you'll all hear from me around July 17. If not, well, then send the search party to the South Fork of the Grand Canyon. I'm the one with the enormous green pack and, if all goes well, the Tempurpedic mattress topper.