Once upon a time, in October of 2002, to be exact, I stood with my son at the bottom of the Tanner Trail, where we were planning to spend a couple of nights, having hiked down with some friends. Now, I am not an emotive person, at least when it comes to crying. So, there we stood, looking at the river. A yellow raft floated by, and got into a small rapids there. On the raft were three or four people. They waved. We waved back. Immediately, the tears started flowing down my face. My son looked at me and said "Mom?" I said, "I really really want to go!"
I didn't have the funds, and also never seemed to have that block of time that is necessary, but the following spring, on my 50th birthday, I went on my first rafting day trip, on the upper Salt. Since then have done several more of those, plus the "Intro to Multiday River Guiding" class at NAU, in the lower Grand Canyon, a Glen Canyon kayaking trip, a whitewater kayaking class at NAU followed by a Class I & II Verde river day trip in a creek boat. Also many hours spent in the tandem boat down in Yuma, and a kayaking class there as well. But I am still a newbie. There is a lot to learn, and I often don't have time for these extended trips.
As for the Tanner Trail, with my old awkward and top-heavy external frame pack, that trail was a real bear. I swore back then that the next time I went to Tanner Beach it would be in a raft. Looks like I will keep that promise to myself! (Although with newer, lighter, better gear, the Tanner would no longer be much of a problem for me.)
I'll have internet for a day or two more, and then off we go, DOWN THE RIVER!!!
Incidentally for those of you wanting a cheaper trip, try looking for the various private boater associations such as GCPBA, and maybe you can get in on a private trip as I have done. Better yet, get your own permit, as I have for 2012, and post on those websites. You will suddenly have a lot of new friends who are boatmen. You don't need to know ANYTHING. All you need is the permit, the time to do the trip, and about $1000. Fall trips are best, at 21 days to Diamond Creek, plus you can then add several more days from DD to Pearce Ferry. The private permits are via a lottery put on by Grand Canyon National Park river office. Easy to find on their web page. Good luck!!!
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.