Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Great Escape

A few months ago, I had a particularly bad work e-mail weekend.

My work e-mail comes to my phone. Usually, I answer whatever seems pressing, and leave the rest for Monday. But there was one weekend where someone went so over the top that I turned my work e-mail off on my phone and started fantasizing about where in the world no Internet could reach me.

There aren't many places. The salt flats of Bolivia. Certain spots in the ocean between French Polynesian islands. Even Cuba has connections in the post office and in upscale hotel lobbies. Even Burma has it, as does Bhutan, Tibet...but you know where you can get out of range without an expensive plane ticket?

The bottom of the Grand Canyon.

I knew this from the rafting trip I took there in 2008, when I went from Lees Ferry to Bar 10 Ranch over six days with Arizona River Runners. I've booked at the last minute via an agent in Flagstaff, because I reasoned they had access to multiple inventories, and that had worked out great.

What if, I thought, I went back to the bottom of the Grand Canyon? Could I get any farther from the office without using vacation time? But how could I justify a trip there given how expensive it is and how I'd already spent six days at the bottom of the Canyon, (not to mention the mule trip in 2002, a North Rim trip in 2012, and various other South Rim trips, including one just a few months ago?

Easy. One thing I'm good at is justifying travel.

I'd finish rafting, flying IN at Bar 10 this time, and continuing to the end in Lake Mead.

Arizona River Runners had a sale trip listed, which I snapped up. I didn't have a lot of my gear with me, though I'd grabbed a bunch to bring back last time I'd been home. I had to buy used Tevas on eBay because mine had split on the 2008 trip, and I didn't know what had happened to the lilac-colored rainsuit (I probably threw it away due to hideousness). I paid for the trip, bought a same-morning-as-the-trip one-way ticket from Burbank-Vegas, and a return for Vegas-LAX for the evening of the trip's end, and sorted out my gear.

And headed off the grid.

1 comment:

Janet said...

The first two paragraphs of this article are amazing in themselves - hard to believe these days it's almost impossible to get off the grid, and brings other things to mind: not being able to be off the grid which could be a book in itself!

Sounds like a fabulous journey - I do hope you post about it. I had the pleasure to drive through Arizona once and in Flagstaff was only about 2 hours from the Grand Canyon but it started SNOWING! I didn't know it snowed in Arizona - in fact it was a night and we were driving and it was almost a white out. One of the scariest driving experiences I've ever had. The angels were with us because slow and steady up the hill came an 18 Wheeler Thanks be to GOD!! It really was a terrifying experience on a snow covered road up in mountains surrounded by trees and unable to see the lines in the road. The snow was blowing all over and at night it was dizzying to drive. Truly was an experience. We tailed that 18 wheeler until our exit (About 10 miles in that weather!) and he also led us right off our exit. I'll never forget it - So, one day I will definitely need to travel back to the Grand Canyon to get the full experience! :) Thanks for the great story!