Posted by Stacy Gold on 23rd December 2021
Recently, I achieved one of my biggest, hairiest, most audacious goals—kayaking the entire 226 miles of the Grand Canyon (from Lee’s Ferry to Diamond Creek). On top of that I did it in 12.5 days. Carrying all my gear in my own boat. At age 51, after having two rotator cuffs reattached to the bone and assorted other injuries and surgeries. It’s a goal it’s taken me thirty years to achieve.
My first invitation to paddle the Grand Canyon came way back in 1990. I was a raft guide at the time and was offered a spot rowing a raft. But it was a fall trip, and I was due back in college. A few other invites to kayak along with raft trips came my way over the years but the timing was never right. And seven years ago I was supposed to do almost this exact same trip but, I blew out my shoulder mountain biking.
I’d started to think maybe it was never going to happen. Or at least not under my own steam and I’d have to ride in a raft as a passenger. So, this was a huge deal for me.
When I got the invite for this trip, I jumped on it despite dealing with a host injuries. I mean, my body isn’t likely to be any stronger or healthier next year or the year after. It might be, but there are no guarantees. While I wasn’t 100 percent sure I could physically do it, I did everything possible to get in as a good a shape as I could. Then hoped it would be enough.
And it was. Just barely. But it was.
You can trust that pieces of the experiences on my Grand Canyon trip, and all I learned along the way, will make their way into my outdoor adventure romance novels. I’m already working on both a rafting romance and a kayaking romance. With a whole lot of forced proximity and tons of things that can go wrong—and really, really right—on a multi-day river trip in the middle of nowhere , it’s a no-brainer.