•  Grand Canyon
River Rafting Photography Workshop
— May 18th to to 26th, 2006 —

An exclusive eight day river rafting workshop in the Grand Canyon,,
with Alain and Natalie Briot
This workshop is opened to all photographers regardless of camera format or level of experience

The Confluence of the Colorado and the Little Colorado rivers
Photograph by George Lamont Mancuso

An Eight-Day River Rafting Expedition through the entire Grand Canyon
From Lees Ferry, AZ to South Cove, AZ

For photographers, there can be few subjects more beautiful or challenging than the Grand Canyon. The wildlife, bizarre rock formations, profuse wildflowers, and constantly changing light conditions offer photographers unique opportunities to sharpen their skills. Our guest instructor shares the excitement of capturing that prized shot—a hedgehog cactus in bloom, a blue heron in flight, the evening glow of a sunset on the Canyon walls. Whether you are a novice or an accomplished photographer, you will have the time you need to compose the shot of your desire in the most beautiful studio on earth.

For each individual the Grand Canyon becomes unforgettable. Only when you've looked up at its rim towering a mile above you, ridden the Colorado's exciting rapids, explored the many side canyons, and camped on the river's beaches can you begin to appreciate the Grand Canyon. Time never seems sufficient for all there is to see and do on a Grand Canyon voyage.
As an out-of-this-world adventure, running the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon could be ranked with a safari to the Serengeti Plain or a trek through the Himalayas. The experience is unique--one of a kind. In eight memorable days, you will cover some 280 river miles, negotiating nearly 200 exciting rapids, but with safety, and in first-class comfort. It was different for Major John Wesley Powell who, with a small band of fellow explorers, took a month in 1869 to blaze the watery trail we now cover in a fraction of the time. Like most river runners who have since followed him, Powell was awed by the river and the Canyon:

"Away to the west are lines of cliff and ledges of rock — not such ledges as you may have seen where the quarryman splits his blocks, but ledges from which the gods might quarry mountains...and not such cliffs...where the swallow builds his nest, but cliffs where the soaring eagle is lost to view ere he reaches the summit"

Grand Canyon offers the most spectacular geological extravaganza on earth. This grandest Canyon  of them all, stretching 280 miles in length, measures from four to 18 miles in width, and averages a mile in depth. Erosion relentlessly attacks its primeval floor and its age-old walls, carving bizarre land forms. A veritable rainbow of hues is displayed from its two-billion-year-old base of black Vishnu Schist to the dazzling white Kaibab Limestone at its rim, and in between, every color found in nature's easel.

Though this is a desert setting, plants and wildlife nonetheless abound. Cactus and wildflowers dot the river's shores. Cool glens where waterfalls tumble to the river can be seen, lush with ferns. Bighorn sheep, mule deer, coyotes, and ringtail cats may be seen along the banks and in tributary canyons, while overhead, many species of birds may be observed, including hawks, golden eagles, falcons, great blue herons, and egrets.

A Grand Canyon expedition is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation; it deserves to be an unhurried experience. Our eight day expedition traverses the entire 280 miles of the Canyon, beginning at Lees Ferry, Arizona (in Grand Canyon National Park), and ending at Pearce Ferry on Lake Mead, Arizona.

To many, the most thrilling event on a Grand Canyon voyage is riding the rapids. The exhilaration you feel as your raft plunges through the waves cannot be merely described, it must be felt. Only after passing through such rapids as Soap Creek, Hance, Sockdolager, Hermit, Crystal, and Lava Falls can one appreciate the achievements of Major Powell and other early river explorers.

Life on the river is pleasant. Eight days of exciting rapids, exploration, and sleeping under the stars will seem to pass much too quickly! Most people sign up for our standard eight-day expeditions. However, we do offer special trips for those with particular interests in history, geology, photography, ecology, or archeology. On these expeditions, which follow the same course as our regular eight-day trips, passengers are accompanied by experts who share their special knowledge of the Canyon and their fields of expertise.

Plan to arrive the afternoon or evening prior to your river trip. Las Vegas is served by many major airlines, making travel arrangements easy. Our representative will meet you at the hotel the evening prior to your trip at a pre-arranged time to answer last minute questions, and to give you waterproof river bags in which to pack your clothing. If you are driving to Las Vegas, you may leave your vehicle at the hotel for the eight or fourteen days while you are on the Colorado river.

One of the most appealing aspects of a Grand Canyon Colorado river trip is that you need to bring very little with you to be comfortable. The climate in the canyon is mild, and just a few changes of clothes are needed. Travel light, travel happy! We supply all camping equipment, waterproof river bags, and waterproof camera boxes, and these are included in the cost of your trip. (A detailed list of recommended clothing and personal items to bring on the trip will be sent when reservations are confirmed.)

Eliminating a long boat ride across Lake Mead, our river trips end on the eighth or fourteenth day at Pearce Ferry, where a bus will be waiting to pick you up. You will be back in Las Vegas in the evening giving you an option of staying in Las Vegas or scheduling a late evening flight.

Some Facts about the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon:
•Is a chasm 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide
•Is 2,400 feet above sea level below Yavapai Point, about 4,500 feet below the South Rim and 5,400 feet below the North Rim, for an average depth of about one mile.
•Took 3 to 6 million years to form; erosion continues to alter its contours.
•Includes approximately 70 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 25 types of reptiles and five species of amphibians.
•Comprises six of the seven climatic belts recognized throughout the world, varying from Mexican desert at the bottom to Arctic-Alpine in the San Francisco peaks.
•Was formed by seismic upheaval.
•Continues to be shaped by the Colorado River, which flows west through the canyon, averages 300 feet in width (at the gauging station near Kaibab Bridge), 45 feet in depth, and flows at an average speed of 4 miles per hour.

Grand Canyon National Park:
• Was made a national monument in 1908 and a National Park in 1919.
• Encompasses 1,900 square miles.
•Is 190 miles long.
•Contains some 277 miles of the Colorado River.
•Is populated by five Indian tribes: the Hopi, Navajo, Havasupai, Paiute and Hualpai.

Frequently asked questions

Which month is the best month to go?
May is one of the very best months to explore the Grand Canyon. During the summer, daytime temperatures range from 80 to 100 degrees, with a 10-to-20 degree drop at night. The lack of humidity together with frequent swimming or wading keeps you comfortable. Temperatures are a bit milder in the spring and fall, and these are very pleasant times to be in the Canyon. Many wildflowers are in bloom in April and May, and in the fall fishing is generally very good.  This is why we selected May for this trip.

How strenuous is a river trip?
You will probably be more active than you are at home, but our river trips are not physically taxing. For your own assurance, you may wish to have a medical checkup before your trip. All hiking, swimming, and other activity on the trip is optional.

I can't swim, is it a problem?
No. Neither can many of the people who come with us. We supply U.S. Coast Guard-approved life preservers, and each person is required to wear one at all times aboard the boats.

How about camping? I've never slept outdoors.
A: That's not unusual. But if you've thought of camping as damp and "buggy," you're in for a pleasant surprise. The Canyon is a friendly place to sleep—you can roll out your bed almost anywhere. Infrequent rain showers seldom last long, and with the right gear you can enjoy them. Chances are, once you try river camping you'll look forward to nightly sessions around the camp and sleeping under the stars in the clear Canyon air.

I'm on a special diet. Will it be possible to stay on it while on the river?
If we know before your river trip, we will try to have our boatmen bring the special foods you prefer, or you may bring them and we they will be stored on the boat.

What kind of toilet facilities will we use on the river?
Portable sanitary toilets are carried on the boat. They will be set up near camp every evening, in locations insuring privacy and stunning canyon vistas, which will be available for use through the following morning. We stop frequently during the day, and our guides will explain the procedure for these rest stops.

I get sea-sick easily. Is this a problem on a river trip?
You are extremely unlikely to experience any kind of motion sickness while aboard our rafts. This has not been a problem with any of our guests. The up-and-down action of the boat while going through rapids is fun and lasts for just a few minutes at a time. On calmer water the motion you'll feel is relaxing.

Can the trip be delayed?
River trips are seldom canceled or postponed . However, due to weather conditions, water fluctuations or other factors beyond our control neither us nor our guides can be responsible for the delay, cancellation, or rescheduling of any trip. In the event we cancel or reschedule your trip, your money will be refunded or applied to another trip, as you prefer.

What about trip insurance and emergencies?
We encourage the purchase of vacation trip insurance, which covers personal property and personal injury. Many insurance companies offer such policies at modest daily rates. Although we spare no effort to assure a safe trip, a river expedition is not without some risks. Our guides are equipped to handle emergency first aid. In case of illness or accident, our guides will attempt to provide aid and arrange evacuation if they determines evacuation is necessary. We cannot assume responsibility for injury to passengers or personal belongings, or for time or expenses incurred from negligence of others. Cost of specialized means of evacuation, such as helicopters, and medical care beyond first aid are the financial responsibility of the ill or injured person.

What about meals while on the river?
The design of our boat enables our guides to carry several hundred pounds of ice, which will last the entire trip. Every meal is prepared with fresh meats and produce. Although eating is not the reason people come to Grand Canyon, many of our guests comment that the meals were the highlight of their trip.

All food is prepared by our boatmen, who have mastered the art of Dutch-oven cooking. We begin each day with coffee, tea, juice, fruit, and a variety of breakfast foods, aiming to satisfy a wide range of tastes and appetites. Lunches are your own creation from a menu of delicatessen meats and cheeses, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, chips, and cookies. We provide generous quantities of cold soft drinks, fruit juice, and filtered water, which are available to you throughout the day. Dinners include a meat course served with a fresh vegetable, salad or soup, and a dessert. Our food is great—and plentiful!

What is included in the cost of the trip?
The following are included:
•        Round-trip transportation from Las Vegas, Nevada
•        Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, ground cloth, and tent
•        Waterproof river bags for your sleeping bag and clothing
•        Waterproof box for camera or personal items
•        All meals on the river, prepared with fresh meats and produce
•        Utensils, cups, and plates
•        A generous supply of soft drinks, and fruit juice

When should I make my reservations for the trip?
An early reservation is your best assurance of getting on this trip, so we encourage you to make reservations as soon as possible. We recommend that you call us before sending your reservation form to confirm that the date you want is available.

I still have questions about this expedition
If this detailed information does not answer your questions, please contact us and we'll gladly help you.

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