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This January Emily and myself were invited on a last minute winter Grand Canyon trip with the Holcomb family. It was a tough decision, but we chose to make it happen. We quickly dropped everything and tried our hardest to make this dream turn into fruition.

Once grandma was on board to take the kids for over 2 weeks we realized that we could make this dream into a reality. We dove in head first, collecting camping gear, choosing our food, gathering cold weather gear, and bought our flight to Vegas.

Once we landed in Vegas we were picked up by the Holcombe’s and their RV and kayak trailer in tow. We spent the evening (and well into the night) packing up our gear, deciding what was necessary, double checking our food and other necessities and loaded up our Jackson Kayak Traverse’s. The next morning we got up early to made the 6 hour trek to the put in.

After our National Park Ranger briefing and one last burger, we made camp and were ready to go. The next morning marked our launch day and we were all eager to hit the water and get our first strokes in. We got on the water and started to head down stream knowing we had 14 days and 280 miles to go.

The first couple days are some of my favorite with touring red walls, huge caverns, and cool side creeks. We started to realize that the weather polarizing between the mid day sun, and evening sunsets. It would be such a drastic change were you could be wearing shorts in the sun, or you could be in the evening with a down jacket, full body fleece, winter hat, and long socks and still cold.

We had a couple days were we were able to meet up with some other friends of the Holcombe family who were all on a rafting trip, we shared camp and enjoyed the social aspect, their evening acoustic guitar music, and some delicious cook meals. The morning after sharing camp with the rafts was the coldest. Everything froze, our water, our gear, our tent, everything.

As we kept going I felt like I was going deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole, as I started to forget which day we were on and started to forget about the outside world and simply got engulfed into the magic and beauty of the Canyon.

When we got to Bass Camp we decided to have a layover day and explore and hike around and enjoy the sunshine after a couple of cold days. We kept going and made it down to Deer Creek, and did some more gorgeous side hikes. One of my favorite experiences was paddling in the aqua blue waters of Havasu Creek. It is mind blowing the contrast on the travertine blue waters vs the clear greenish waters of the Colorado River. It was incredible to get lost in the natural beauty with both the flora and fauna. The canyon walls were like reading a history book, I couldn’t stop trying to imagine what these canyon walls have seen. I am always blown away with the quality of the whitewater in the Canyon, tons of huge wave trains, and cool twisting rapids, with a handful of perfect green surf waves sprinkled throughout.

By the end of the trip both Emily and I were excited to head back to see our kids, though it was hard to want to leave knowing that we never really know when we might be back. Luckily for me, I took a fair amount of video and photos and I can dive back into the canyon for just a moment as I glimpse back at the smiles, happy moments, and memories made from our amazing trip.