AzRA Discovery Banner
The V Wave
A newsletter for river runners
October 2008 - Vol 2, Issue 2
In This Issue
Sign Up
Spring in the Canyon by Rob Elliott

Hello and welcome again to the Arizona Raft Adventures and Grand Canyon Discovery bi-annual e-newsletter. The V Wave, named after a legendary wave in Lava Falls rapid, always has great information to keep you up-to-date with AzRA and the Grand Canyon river community. This issue features the new electric water filters on hybrid and paddle trips, a co-op trip between Grand Canyon Youth, Global Explorers, AzRA and CanX, a guide update and recommended reading and more. (Photo: spring wildflowers blanket the Canyon landscape by Rob Elliott)

Electric Water Filter
Do you remember pumping your own drinking water on your last trip? Some passengers loved the active participatory nature of this camp activity while others truly saw pumping water as a grueling chore. This past summer, guides and passengers were extremely pleased with the debut of the new electric water filtration system on our non-motorized trips.

The idea of an electric water filtration system is not a new concept. We have been using electric filtration systems on motorized trips for years. However, it has been a challenge to develop a system that was compact, efficient and reliable enough to send on our non-motorized trips. A special acknowledgement is in order to AzRA guide Kevin Greif for spending many hours last winter perfecting the electric water system for our non-motorized trips.

The guides are raving about the ease and efficiency of the new filter system. The system is housed in two standard size waterproof boxes. The battery box holds a 12 volt deep-cycle rechargeable battery. The filter box holds two canisters; one houses a pre-filter (filtering down to 0.035 micron) and the other houses the "Rio 2000 Ceramic Water Filter Candles." The new system is a high flow, high efficiency filter with 99.99% effectiveness including filtering out bacteria, cyst and particles. We hope you will enjoy this new convenience added to hybrid and paddle trips. Don't worry, we still carry the reliable Katadyn Expedition hand pump just in case you feel the need to pump some water!

Leading the Way
One of the best aspects of a river trip is how people from a variety of backgrounds can spend time together on the river and by the end of the trip bond into a cohesive team. On a trip in July, 2008, a group of young people from across the U.S. came together to experience the power of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Half of the group was visually impaired and the other half was sighted. Also joining the trip was a film crew from CBS and Eric Weihenmayer, the first and only blind person to summit Mount Everest.

The goal of the "Leading the Way" program was to give visually impaired students and their sighted partners an opportunity to experience the Grand Canyon utilizing all of their senses. As part of the trip, the participants collected baseline data related to sound monitoring within Grand Canyon National Park as a service-learning project. Education presentations were also given by the students on a variety of topics and non-organized educational opportunities abounded. Whether it was the thrill of the rapids, the visually impaired students leading the sighted students on a hike, or the Canyon folklore, guides, chaperones and students were filled with river mirth and gratefulness.

This trip was truly a team effort long before the oars even touched the water. This program was a joint effort between two outfitters: Arizona Raft Adventures and Canyon Explorations, and two non-profit organizations: Grand Canyon Youth and Global Explorers. The collaboration of these groups was a key element to this trip's success. A special thank you to AzRA Guides, Fred Thevenin, Jerry Johnson, Jon Harned, Kristin Huisinga and Harlan Taney for putting their heart and soul into this amazing trip. If you are interested in seeing an inspirational video about the trip, check out this Video Clip which was aired by CBS on September 14. Thank you to Emma Wharton, executive director of Grand Canyon Youth, for submitting this story. (Photo: participants and guides submitted by Global Explorers)

Huisinga and Plant Book
Kristin Huisinga has been guiding for AzRA for 10 years. On the river, she is most known for her love of music, art and botany and for sharing these passions with her passengers. Kristin has also recently assumed the position of Trip Leader. Between trips she likes spending time with her fiance, Jon Harned (another AzRA guide), painting, working in her garden and playing the violin. During the winter, Kristin works for the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office as a consultant. She facilitates the tribes progress as they monitor resources in the Grand Canyon that are important to the Hopi culture.

Many years ago, a fellow Grand Canyon river guide mentioned to Kristin that there was a need for a decent plant guide specific to Grand Canyon. Kristin joined forces with fellow botanists Lori Makarick and Kate Watters to begin what would be a 6 year project: writing a complete and comprehensive plant guide specific to the Grand Canyon. They began by writing a grant for funding through the Grand Canyon Conservation Fund (GCCF). Then the team spent several years collecting data, taking photos and compiling information. Finally in 2006, their book River and Desert Plants of the Grand Canyon was published. The book describes more than 300 plant species, includes 310 color photographs, 92 line drawings, an illustrated glossary and thumbnail identification key. All profit from the sale of this book is directly donated to the Grand Canyon River Guides (a 501(c)3 non-profit organization). This book is so popular, almost every Grand Canyon river guide owns a copy! If you would like your own copy, you can purchase this book from our Red River Sports retail division. (Photo: Kristin Huisinga by Rob Elliott)
Experience the adventure of the Grand Canyon at home! In this recently released board game called Grand Canyon Adventure, the object of the game is to be the first player to collect photos from eight Grand Canyon destinations including familiar locations like Phantom Ranch, Thunder River, Lee's Ferry and Havasu Falls. You strategically plan efficient routes by river, trail or helicopter in this game of strategy, luck, and adventure. If you have been on a river trip, you are sure to recognize aspects about the Grand Canyon and will learn even more as you play. Grand Canyon Adventure it is currently for sale on the Grand Canyon Association website for $24.99!
End of Year Sale

We would like to thank you for river seasons full of wonderful memories and for taking time to read our newsletter. We hope you will choose to continue receiving this publication so that we may keep in touch throughout the years. In fact, we appreciate your input and if you have suggestions for future newsletters or have stories or photos to share, please drop us an email.

(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!

AzRA Disc Logo
Arizona Raft Adventures and Grand Canyon Discovery

phone: 800-786-7238
Email Marketing by