I have to begin by saying that I cannot begin to say how perfect our trip was. It was one of those events where all the stars (SO many stars!) aligned, and every little detail dropped into place in perfect harmony. First of all, eternal KUDOS to GCEX for handling so many of the details that so often get overlooked on a journey of such extraordinary magnitude (down to the bandaids I should have brought with me!). COTS! The cots! Despite the initial issues with their seemingly idiotic design, the COTS are a transformational item in the inventory of Just What Makes GCEX the Foremost River Journey Outfitter in the canyon: forget the sleeping pads, forget the sleeping bag, GOOD GOD FORGET the tent! . . . to lie back at night, suspended ABOVE the scorching hot river sand (OMG, the SAND!) and watch the stars appear above you, one by one, until the full glory of the Heavens is revealed . . . without having to be distracted by how hot and sweaty you are... I have not seen skies like that since my days in the U.S. Navy, back in the eighties, in the Indian Ocean, a thousand miles from Nowhere...
Our River Guides: Captain Trevin and Captain Marty - I can't imagine how you guys are ever going to come close to equalling the knowledge, experience and authenticity the two of you (and I can't picture an expedition where ANYBODY could possibly surpass the level of experience and enthusiasm you two have for The River) brought to what was, for us, the perfect trip of a lifetime... except that it isn't, 'cause we'll be coming back again!
The Food! O.M.G.! The FOOOOD! Breakfast every day, following the cry of "HOT COFFEE!" from Trevin - that in itself is worth the entire experience. I have NEVER slept so soundly (outdoors!) as I have on this trip... no, it's not a "trip," it's an "expedition," and the meals provided are worth the entire investment.
Trevin: Thanks for all of your limitless knowledge of the geology - THE ENDLESS AMAZING GEOLOGY that I find so endlessly amazing.
Sara, Allison, Chase and Adam - THANK YOU SO MUCH for letting us accompany you on your Family vacation!
Shaun - For doing what you do purely for the love of it! (You had better damned well be a full-on boatman the next time we meet!)
And Marty - DUDE! I met you less than a month ago; I feel like you are one of my oldest friends! I cannot thank you enough for letting me ride with you in the "Command and Control Center" for the better part of a day!. To be able to see the way the boat experiences a rapid from back there was the highlight of the entire trip for me. THANK YOU, SO MUCH! And, also, PEANUT BUTTER! Everywhere, on everything!
Tooele / Utah