August 10, 2005

River trip

Four years ago, I went to Arizona for an academic conference, a trip that included a day-long raft trip on the Colorado River just below Glen Canyon Dam. I felt overwhelmed by the landscape, the stark beauty of the cliffs. The raft trip ended at Lee's Ferry, and it was hard to get out of the raft, board the bus, and go back to my hotel. I wanted to keep going, raft all the way down through the Grand Canyon.

All kinds of complex things were going on in my emotional life at that time, and that raft trip was a catalyst for growth and change. The next four years brought challenges and rewards: My sister-in-law died of breast cancer. My brother started talking to me after eight years of silence. My first collection of poetry was published. I worked through some major issues in my marriage. I learned reiki. I began to be more assertive about making time for the important friendships in my life, including a friendship with ArtistFriend, whom I met on that trip to Arizona. I became vegan. I took up skiing to help ward off the February blues. I bought a CD for myself for the first time ever. My daughter graduated from high school and went to college. I began being more assertive in my marriage. I got tenure. I sorted through some childhood issues. I learned to take time for myself, away from my husband and kids. I began belly dancing.

Tomorrow I am returning to that landscape, to Lee's Ferry, the place where our trip ended four years ago. I'm going to continue the journey. For the next two weeks, I will be on a raft moving down the Colorado River, running the 280 miles from Lee's Ferry to Lake Mead, rafting through the Grand Canyon.

For sixteen days, I will be out of contact with my spouse, my kids, my extra kids, my extended family, my friends. I will have my journal, and the river, and the walls of the canyon rising around me.

34 comments:

ccw said...

Have a good trip! It all sounds so beautiful and peaceful. Makes me want to get outside.

Friday Mom said...

I'm still drooling. I hope it's a great trip. I look forward to reading about the changes it brings for you this time.

Running2Ks said...

Sounds like you have another powerful and peaceful journey ahead! I hope you treasure every moment. And share when you return.

Dr.K said...

You have no idea what's in store, and it's all going to be great, even if it's not so great it'll be great anyway. Have a great time! I'll talk to you when you get back--I'm dying to hear what happened already, and you're not even gone yet! I wish I was going, but I guess I already had one life-changing adventure this year. But I want more! I could definitely see dropping through rapids in a raft sitting next to a friend in the midst of breathtaking scenery, but come to think of it, I have done that already. It really makes me wish I was going too. Best, and I can't wait to hear your stories.

jo(e) said...

K: I wish you were coming. But I am looking forward to talking about our experiences when I see you in the fall.

What Now? said...

What a wonderful chronological "landmark" by which to assess what's happened in the last four years. It's clearly been an eventful epoch, and I'm glad that you're marking the time with what sounds like a great trip.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Have a wonderful journey, jo(e). We will miss you.

YelloCello said...

Seconding what Phantom Scribbler said: Enjoy the trip. We'll eagerly await your return.

Pink Cupcake said...

What an inspiring post, Jo(e). It's wonderful that the raft trip provided such a catalyst for you. Enjoy this new journey...

Lucy said...

have fun! I'm looking forward to hearing about it.

Jane said...

Have fun! This sounds like an awesome trip.

reverendmother said...

How absolutely succulent your last two posts have been. Have a wonderful time.

halloweenlover said...

Great post, Jo(e), I can practically see the rafting in my mind. 2 weeks, though, how are we going to last that long! I so envy you making time for yourself. I need to do that more.

Jen said...

Have a fantastic time, jo(e)! Look forward to hearing about it when you get back.

Be well,
Jen

Nels said...

How freaking cool.

PPB said...

traveling mercies

BrightStar said...

Arizona! yay!!!

Be safe. Be well. Enjoy. I look forward to hearing about your trip.

RussianViolets said...

Yes, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!! I hope that you have an amazing time.

Yankee T said...

will miss you-again.

Emily said...

You're making me homesick for Arizona. Have a safe journey!

Moreena said...

Sounds amazing. Have a safe trip, and see you back here with new lovely words to share with us.

purple_kangaroo said...

Wow! Have a wonderful time.

Teri said...

It sounds like an amazing trip!

(and thanks for adding me to your blogroll)

Autumn said...

Sounds heavenly.

I know I've need a trip like that lately. After the wedding I intend to take it.

You enjoy.

Marie said...

Can't wait to read what you post when you return.

peripateticpolarbear said...

sigh. just driving by your house again, seeing if you got back from your vacation and want to play.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the year I got designer checks and a vanity license plate! ( and oh yes, some therapy). I wonder what changes this trip will bring forth. Hold on to your hat!

(it's not letting me give my name...this is colleen from looseleafnotes.com)

peripateticpolarbear said...

Mom said that I should stop riding my bike past your house, that when you got home and wanted to play you'd call me, and that next time, we should write your vacation days on the kitchen calendar, but I thought I'd just ride by again just in case, you know, you came home early and wanted to build a fort or something.

damaris694ariana said...

damn good blog, check out mine http://juicyfruiter.blogspot.com, comments always welcome!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Hi Jo(e), I am eagerly awaiting your return and your stories from your trip. Mary

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Okay, she said she'd be gone sixteen days, and today is sixteen days after when she said that...

jo(e), are you back yet?

are you back yet?

are you back yet?

:)

Lauren said...

Please come back soon!!

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

PPB, I'm getting tired of riding my bike around in circles too.

Do you think she'd come back sooner if we set up some big welcome flags or something in the yard? Maybe some fireworks?

timna said...

I've been by, too. miss you.