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The V Wave
A newsletter for river runners
September 2007 - Vol 1, Issue 2
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Reflection on water by Lynn Myers

Welcome again to the Arizona Raft Adventures and Grand Canyon Discovery e-newsletter. The V Wave, named after a legendary wave in Lava Falls rapid, is packed with fun information such as trip specials, Grand Canyon and company news, guide updates, river stories, recommended readings, specialty trips, photos, river recipes and more. This issue features a new Grand Canyon book, information about the 2008 Hiker's Special trips, a guide update, the art of cooking in a dutch oven along with a trip recipe and the welcoming of new management here at AzRA. (photo by Lynn Myers)

The Hard Way
The Very Hard Way, by AzRA Discovery guide Brad Dimock, is a book about a Grand Canyon river runner, Bert Loper. Loper was born in 1869, the very day that Major John Wesley Powell discovered the confluence of the San Juan and Colorado Rivers. Loper spent much of his life devoted to those two streams. But it was never easy. Orphaned and abused, he worked most of his life at the very bottom, the nameless grunt in hard rock mines, the sore-backed shoveler on a placer bar, the rancher on a lonely gravel delta in Glen Canyon. Whatever Loper got, he got the very hard way.

But on the muddy whitewater streams of the Southwest, Loper found a joy, a thrill, and a peace. By the time he died at his oars in a Grand Canyon rapid at eighty, he had covered more river, run more boats, and known more rivermen than anyone. Two weeks before he vanished in the Colorado, the very first motorboat had run Grand Canyon--bookending Loper's incredible career. Bert Loper's is the tale of river running in the West, and his life encapsulates the spirit of the Colorado. This book is a must have for any one who loves the history of river running in the Grand Canyon. Click here if you are interested in ordering a copy of The Very Hard Way. If you are interested in checking out other books by Brad Dimock, visit


The side hiking opportunities in the Grand Canyon can be some of the most rewarding and memorable aspects to one's trip -- hiking up dry slot canyons, exploring creeks, caves, and historical ruins just to name a few. Although all of our trips offer side hiking opportunities, we have designated the "Hiker's Discovery" trip for the hiking enthusiast in you.

The Hiker's Discovery trip has been stratigically placed in the cooler months of early April and late September to take full advantage of the moderate daytime temperatures. There are some side hikes that are not even attempted during the hot summer months that are perfect during the shoulder seasons. The Hiker's Discovery is also our longest trip available which allows more time designated to hiking.

This might be the perfect trip for you if you desire to hike as much as possible; are in good physical condition and have hiking experience; not afraid of heights, exposure or pushing yourself to the max; are willing to get up early or get to camp late in order to maximize hiking time.

  • 16-day full Canyon, 4/5-4/20, $3,626.00/person
  • 7-day upper Canyon, 4/5-4/11, $2,057.00/person
  • 10-day lower Canyon, 4/11-4/20, $2,710.00/person
  • 16-day full Canyon, 9/27-10/12, $3,626.00/person
  • 7-day upper Canyon, 9/27-10/3, $2,057.00/person
  • 10-day lower Canyon, 10/3-10/12, $2,710.00/person
If you are interested in participating in one of our Hiker's Special Discovery trips, call the office for current availability at 800-786-7238. Don't forget... if you went on a trip in 2005, 2006 or 2007 you are elegible for a 10% repeat discount. (photo by Lynn Myers)

Lynn Myers by Mike Ullner
    "Lynn was the trip leader on the first trip I brought my wife along. As a first time river experience my wife, Anita, was quite anxious about what was going to happen, but Lynn was very reassuring and in his quiet way gave her the confidence to enjoy the trip so much that she came back for a second time a year later." 7x repeat passenger, Roger Bollier
Lynn Myers, Grand Canyon River Guide for 23 years and AzRA guide for 14 years, is from a small New York town where he grew up running through the creeks and over green grassy hills. Lynn moved to California in 1975 when he was stationed in the Air Force. It was then he spent his free time learning to paddle a kayak. After graduating college with a degree in Psychology, he spent several years running rivers and guiding in California, Chile and Peru.

Lynn spends his off season in Sacramento, California with his wife, Liz. He enjoys traveling and recently went on an excursion to Italy with Liz. His favorite hobby is photography and he has been using many of his Grand Canyon photos to create postcards, greeting cards and bookmarks. We encourage you to take a look at his online photo gallery of some of his beautiful Canyon shots. (photo submitted by Mike Ullner, 7x repeat passenger)

Green Chili Casserole
On a river trip we use our dutch ovens for everything from frying pans to woks. What they are made for is baking food around a camp fire using camp fire coals. Using a shovel you reach in to the center of the fire and pull out the hot coals. Then make a pile of coals and put the dutch oven on top of them. Finally, after the lid is on, put more on the top (that explains the big lip on the lid).

This takes a lot of practice because you have to learn how to regulate the heat. We do not use camp fires on the river most of the time and almost never for cooking. Today we use charcoal briquettes or propane stoves for all of our cooking. Baking in a Dutch oven with briquettes makes it easier to learn how to regulate the heat and timing. For a 14" Dutch oven, use 30 briquettes (10 on the bottom and 20 on the top). Most of the coals need to be placed in a ring on the outer most circumference of the Dutch oven (top and bottom) leaving a few for the center. If you want to give dutch oven cooking a shot, here is the recipe for one of our most popular dutch oven recipes on the river. Here is what you will need for Green Chile Casserole:
  • 1.5lb Jack cheese
  • 1lb Cheddar cheese
  • 2 doz Corn tortillas
  • 1 large Yellow onion
  • 2X27oz Whole green chilies
  • 2 doz Eggs
  • Other spices such as cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, etc.

  • First, start the coals because they will take about 15 minutes before they will be ready (a powdery white). While your coals are getting ready, you can begin preparing the food by grating your cheese. You can combine both types in one bowl. Dice and sauté your onion in a little olive oil with the spices. Whip the eggs in a bowl. Next, grease your Dutch oven heavily with a little olive oil left pooling in the bottom. With this amount of ingredients you should be able to do three layers of everything. Place a layer of tortillas on the bottom to soak up the olive oil and help prevent any burning. Start layering green chilies, onion, cheese and egg. Stay in this order for all three layers. Place your coals for the bottom and set your Dutch oven on them. Make sure your lid is on firmly and put your coals on the lid. In about 45 minutes you will begin to smell the food cooking. In about one hour lift the lid and you should see a nice golden brown crust forming on the top. Take the lid off (without dumping coals in the Dutch oven) and remove from bottom coals. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Sour cream goes well as a garnish. (photo by Loren Romley, AzRA guide)
    By Rob Elliott
    The 2007 season brings new management to AzRA.
    Rob Elliott, owner and President of Arizona Raft Adventures and Grand Canyon Discovery is preparing to carry on family tradition. Rob purchased AzRA from his father in 1974 and is now prepping his daughter, Alex Thevenin, to run the family business sometime in the next few years. Alex, an 8 year Grand Canyon river guide, loves the Canyon and is excited for the future that lies ahead. Her husband Fred Thevenin, a 21 year GC Canyon river guide, complements her as they step into management positions. They are joined by a third manager, Dennis Smoldt, who completes the team. Dennis is from Moab, Utah where he gained management experience working for another river company. (photo of Alex and Fred Thevenin, by Rob Elliott)
    By Lynn Myers
    If you have a priceless photo from your trip and would like to share it in the next issue of The V Wave, please email your photo to This issue's photo was submitted by AzRA Discovery guide, Lynn Myers.

    We would like to thank those who opened and read our first annual e-newsletter sent last January. We had over 1500 customers open the newsletter! We hope you will choose to continue receiving this publication so that we may keep in touch throughout the years. In fact, we would greatly appreciate your input and if you have suggestions for future newsletters or have stories or photos to share, please drop us an email. All suggestions are welcome.

    (Arizona Raft Adventures and Grand Canyon Discovery are concessioners under contract with the U.S. Government and administered by the National Park Service.)

    See you downstream!

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    Arizona Raft Adventures and Grand Canyon Discovery

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