by Ashley ’17
Today we were all awoken by a 6:20 wake up call in the Best Western hotel in Page, Arizona in order to prepare ourselves for the long day ahead of us. It was our last day in Page before we had to drive back to Kayenta for another week of working in the elementary school, and so far we had already visited the Grand Canyon on Friday and the Antelope Canyon on Saturday. At 7:30 in the morning, we loaded onto a bus that would lead us to the Glen Canyon Dam, which we then boarded motor rafts that would guide us down the Colorado River. Although we were all very tired from the previous activities throughout the weekend, as well as the early wake up call, we were still very excited to explore the Colorado River and the rare sightings we would see that are not common to find back home in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The drive from the top of the canyon to the bottom was roughly two miles long, where we traveled through a dark tunnel in order to reach the river (I was freaking out the whole time since I’m afraid of pitch black spaces). When we boarded the boats, we embarked on our journey of exploring the river, with our friendly tour guide pointing out different facts along the way about the enormous red-orange rocks that surrounded us, as well as the river/area in general. About halfway into the trip, we saw long-horned sheep, which according to our guide, were very rare to see while on a float trip (she mentioned how this specific trip was her third time seeing the sheep during this season of giving tours). At one point, we stopped on a tiny beach where we were allowed to swim and play around in the water. I had originally intended to only put my feet into the water, since our guide had stated multiple times that the temperature of the water was a blistering 47 degrees. However, Bonnie and Brian kept pushing me to run in with them, to which I reluctantly agreed. When my body came in contact with the cold water, I instantly ran back onto the shore shivering and covered with goosebumps. But even though I hated the temperature of the water, I still enjoyed the rush I felt afterwards, as well as the fact that I could say that I set foot in the Colorado River, which is something I never thought I would say.
After our swim, we boarded the boats and continued our journey. We eventually rode around the horseshoe bend, one of the major points of the tour due to its beauty in many well known pictures. At this point, we had been on the water for roughly two hours, so it was time to turn around and head back to the dam and onto the bus. Even though I regret not bringing my phone on this trip to take pictures of the beautiful scenes around me, I had a fun time enjoying the nature around me, as well as connecting more with the people in our group. We now have roughly one week left in Arizona and I can’t wait to work more with the students in my class at the elementary school, as well as where we’ll visit next.