For nearly four decades, I have had the privilege of guiding and leading river expeditions in different corners of the world. However, my true love is running the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. It never gets old; riding the emerald waters of the river, feeling the boat sway underneath my feet, the smell of water in the red desert, the wind in my hair, the sun against my skin, the laughter of others echoing off the canyon walls.

I love sharing the experience of rafting the Grand Canyon with others – it’s like sharing a secret with a trusted friend. My crew and I want to immerse everyone we take on the river into what the Canyon has to offer. We want to hike every hike possible, whether it is going into the narrows of Saddle Canyon or to the top of the Redwall limestone at Eminence Break. We want to explore ancient ruins like those found at Nankoweap and swim the aqua blue rapids of the Little Colorado. As we float down the river, we may share a story or two of the native people and past explorers; or we may simply let the wind, water, and birds tell their tales.

Being in the Canyon can be about spending quality time with others, but it is also a time for self-reflection. Being present and fully absorbing each moment is the best part of the experience. Being in a place away from our regular routine and distractions gives us the space to reflect on who and where we are in life.

The opportunity to guide trips in the Canyon is a blessing for me. Being able to see how the Canyon affects others is what makes my adventures so special. Not only do I get to constantly be immersed in the magic of the red walls, I get to see others find their own hidden messages on the river. Each trip I guide is entirely different and the Canyon never fails to take my breath away. It’s what I call true love.