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Endeavor Together

Day -2 | Williams, AZ

February 12, 2022

To endeavor, you eventually have to walk out your door.

Adventure couple contemplates gear organization in a messy room for Grand Canyon Adventure.
Back at home in the Gear Fortress… Forrest and I played River Gear Tetris for a few days. We do this to simulate the packing process and to learn how long it takes to get out of camp. We taped the floor to mock up the raft stowage bay sizes. There were many configurations, but we finally settled on adding a third drop bag with a hatch lid to keep 80% of our gear below deck. This allowed us to quickly and easily rig the boat and to have less loss and easier righting potential should we flip in a rapid… Not that we are going to flip in a rapid…

Easy long haul to Williams for Grand Canyon Adventure Day -2

Day -2 on our Grand Canyon Adventure was a full day roadtrip. After traveling 13 hours from our home we landed in an affordable and clean, small hotel (thanks for the donation, Mom <3). Before we left, we said goodbye to our cats and our good friends Kendra and Jeremiah who are house sitting for us (thank you dear friends <3). Our Grand Canyon Adventure was officially on the road!

The drive from the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the high desert of Williams, AZ can be a long and dangerous one in the winter. Since our local passes over highways 4, 108, and 120 close in the winter, we had to take a trip down south to find a break in the mountains. It’s always strange to see oranges on trees on the way to Grand Canyon in the winter; I thought of the icy waves we would be breaking in a few days and involuntarily shivered.

Fortunately, the gap in the mountains we crossed was under clear and sunny conditions with minimal traffic. We have been in blustery snow amongst hundreds of semi-trucks on Tehachapi Pass before, but not this time. On the east side of the pass, the Mojave desert was freshly cleaned with cool morning rain storms and actually slightly humid (for a desert). Williams was the first town we hit with icy streets. Not bad for mid February at 6,770 feet.

We rolled into this sleepy frozen town after hours, so we took a brisk walk to a convenience store to grab some celebratory beverages. Now back at the warm hotel room, we are drinking pretty-dang-good cocktails from cans and giving The List for tomorrow one last loving glance. 

Plan your work / Work your plan

Flag Day is tomorrow and it will be our last opportunity to buy food, gear, and any other forgotten last minute items for the trip. Did we get E V E R Y T H I N G we need? Where are we shopping for what things? It’s incredibly important to have your Flag Day list in order before waking at dawn to tackle All The Things. There is no going back once we are downstream of Lee’s Ferry. Naturally, this endeavor, in its very aqueous and gravitational aspects, is a highly committal trip.

Exactly one year ago, we started the process of planning this trip. A folio of documents from past endeavors supported the planning of this one. For our sous vide meals, we recycled old favorite recipes and tried some new ones. We also got a little creative with lifestyle planning and logistics. It has been many many hours of talking, negotiating, and deciding together. I am super proud of the grace we have achieved in the science/art of planning an endeavor like this one. We feel 99% prepared for a two person one boat 30 day Grand Canyon rafting and photography trip. 

Woman in wedding dress looking at herself in full length mirror while preparing for Grand Canyon Adventure.
I uh…I bought a wedding dress. Not getting married, just being my own model in the most epic place we know.

Grand Canyon DIY Adventure & Photography

Everything about our Grand Canyon Adventure was DIY. The plan, the food, the side ventures, the photography plans, what to pack…thousands of micro-decisions made culminated to this moment. As we rest in the hotel, we are feeling like we are nailing it, but also a little worried. Not about flipping in a rapid or burning my hands on the fire pan or drowning. Nope. Worried about pulling off a photo project.

One of my major goals was to shoot content for our website. I glance over at the lace wedding dress hanging up in the doorway. It was a last minute purchase to pull off a creative idea. We couldn’t find another couple to join up with us on this trip and to model for us.

Because I’m stubborn when it comes to pulling off a creative vision, I figured we would give it a go ourselves. Five days before we were scheduled to depart, I found a dress for $250 on Facebook Marketplace. The previous owner was a sweetheart from Ohio who dropped everything to ship it fast. In town, I bought a flower crown at JoAnn’s. Online, some gold Enso rings and a bluetooth remote trigger for my camera. Everything arrived 2 days before we left. And the dress actually fit me.

And if you’re wondering: no, we did not get hitched on the way, but it definitely feels like that kind of trip.

Grand Canyon Adventure Day -2 comes to a close. Hundreds of hours have been spent pouring our hearts and minds into the perfect trip. Finally, we are finally here at the crossroads to the South Rim. 

Till tomorrow… Day -1, Flag Day…



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