Into the Water

“I know my name will be Jack for doing this. For a long time. Three years maybe.”

“Try longer than that,” she said.

Okay, I’ll take it. I deserve it. I’m not sure how I lucked out in marrying a woman that gives me what she does and keeps me in check at the same time.

Where I’m Bound and Where I’ve Been

I’m in the air and headed to Arizona for a 20 day float down the Colorado River. After I came off the CDT, I was in rough shape emotionally and physically. It had sucked me dry. I know it was the right decision, and I only have slight twinges of regret at times. I walked 1600 miles from Chief Mountain, MT to Winter Park, CO. I traversed Montana, Wyoming, and a good chunk of Colorado. I didn’t get everything I wanted, but I got what I needed.

Within a week of making it home, I received calls from two superintendents checking on my availability to fill vacancies. So I was right back to work and it felt like the right groove. I had 95 kindergarteners happy to see me each morning! I parlayed that position into a shot at the district’s superintendent job. He was resigning effective 2/1/18. Obviously, if I’m flying on 2/1, I didn’t get the job; however, I did make it through two rounds of interviews and learned plenty more about school district politics.

Not getting the job kinda put me in a dry spot for employment, so I renewed my CDL and picked up some school bus routes until this shot to run the Grand Canyon came up.

I know. I’ve already admitted I’m a jack for taking off again so soon after returning home.

Gear List


Dry bibs, dry jacket, neoprene booties, neoprene gloves, Neo overboots, and a wide brim sunhat.


Mid-weight wool underwear (top and bottom- 2 pairs), wool socks (3 pairs) wool gloves (2 pairs), wool hat, and wool pants.

Mid-weight fleece (2), insulated jacket, spare hat, rain gear (top and bottom), old nylon anorak with plenty of campfire holes in it, camp gloves, and hiking shoes.


Sierra Designs High Route tarp, MLD bivy sack, and LL Bean Zero degree bag. I went heavy on the bag because I’m not carrying it on my back this time. I’ve also been in the Canyon in the winter before and the weather can turn and there are long black hours in the winter.

Plus my faithful low slung REI camp chair. A couple books. Some postcards and stamps for Phantom Ranch. Coolpix A130, Lenix headlamp, Anker 10000 battery, Garmin InReach GPS, spare batteries, and few other odds and ends I’m not recalling.

We are starting our descent into Phoenix. I’m picking up a rental truck and waiting for four other members of the crew to land at 2pm. Then we’ll head for Flagstaff to meet up with more for dinner. Tomorrow the gear rental company will take us to Lee’s Ferry where we’ll rig boats. On 2/3 we’ll launch.

Been resting my bones, but I’m back truckin’ on.

Kindness matters.

(Floating and hopefully not swimming) Tree