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The V Wave
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September 2009 - Vol 3, Issue 2
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Little Colorado River by Rob Elliott

Hello and welcome again to the Arizona Raft Adventures and Grand Canyon Discovery bi-annual e-newsletter. Now in the third year of publication, The V Wave, (named after a legendary wave in Lava Falls rapid) keeps you connected with AzRA Discovery, the river community, and the Canyon. This issue features an interest piece on the company bike-to-work incentive program, AzRA Guide Beverly Caifa, a river recipe, an introduction to a collaborative kayak specialty trip with Otter Bar Kayak School, and the non-profit organization Grand Canyon River Guides. (Photo: People-train in the Little Colorado River by Rob Elliott)

Grand Canyon River Guides
Back in 1988, a group of river guides created an organization designed to give the river community a unified voice for the protection of the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. They became Grand Canyon River Guides, Inc. (GCRG), a non profit organization formed to educate, inform, and provide cohesion for the river community. Today the membership consists of 756 guide members and 878 general members. Members act collectively under the guidance of GCRG in protecting Grand Canyon, setting the highest standards for the river profession, celebrating the unique spirit of the river community, and providing the best possible river experience for all river runners.

In the past few years GCRG has worked on projects such as the Adaptive Management Plan and the Adopt-a-Beach Program. More recently, GCRG has been involved with overflight and uranium mining issues. GCRG also publishes the Boatman's Quarterly Review featuring news, commentary, art, creative writing, history, science, and humor pertaining to the Colorado River, Grand Canyon and the river running community. AzRA is proud to have several guides on the Board of Directors. A special thanks to Nikki Cooley, Laura Fallon, Jed Koller, and Fred Thevenin for volunteering. To learn more about GCRG and how you can contribute or get involved, please visit
Beverly Caifa has been a Grand Canyon guide for 21 years and has been working for AzRA since 2004. Her incredible smile and kind heart are recognized and appreciated by both guests and co-workers. She has a terrific personality and is known for bringing along costumes, decorations, and party favors. However, her famous trademark is her talent for painting toenails. She brings along a nail painting kit including multiple colors and specialized paint brushes for creating art no bigger than the size of a postage stamp. Toenails become a canvas for miniature sceneries, flowers, petroglyphs, and holiday themes. Guests enjoy the creative custom artwork on their toes for weeks after their river trip!

In the winter Beverly is a dive instructor at Off The Wall Dive Center and Resort located on an unbelievable private island off the coast of Belize. Off The Wall Dive Center and Resort is an eco-resort offering all-inclusive vacation packages including a variety of sports such as diving, snorkeling, fishing, or just good old relaxation. Even though Beverly works in Arizona and Belize half of the year, her heart is in St. George, Utah, where she loves spending time with her husband Mike. Repeat passengers might remember Mike as he is also a Grand Canyon river guide. Mike has not guided a trip for AzRA lately because he is fulfilling a career as an ER air flight nurse in St. George. (Photo submitted by Rob Elliott)
Chicken Salad With Grapes
We receive many requests from guests for copies of the recipes made on river trips. There is a basic list of ingredients but many of the guides spice up the recipes with their own twist. Therefore, flavors may vary!

A few years ago we printed the recipe for the green chili casserole and dutch oven cooking tips (see The Wave Archives September 2007). In this issue of The V Wave, we share one of the most requested lunch recipes: the chicken salad. There are two chicken salad recipes on the AzRA menu depending on what trip you were on. This is the recipe for the regular chicken salad lunch. The ingredients are as follows:
  • Chicken (canned or pre-cooked)
  • Chipotle hot sauce to taste
  • Red Pepper, chopped
  • Red Onion, chopped
  • Seedless red or green grapes, chopped
  • Cream Cheese, softened
  • Celery
  • Mayonnaise, salt, pepper, to taste
  • Sun-dried tomato tortilla, pita, lettuce leaf, or flour tortilla

  • Find shade. Mix chipotle hot sauce and cream cheese. Add remaining ingredients. Fold into wrap item of your choice. Enjoy by the water's edge. (Photo submitted by Laura Fallon)
Photo submitted by Otterbar
In 2004, AzRA began running hard shell kayak support trips with the Otter Bar Lodge Kayak School from California. Started in 1981, Otter Bar is a family-owned kayak school located in northern California on the Salmon River. Otter Bar Kayak School offers all skill levels of whitewater kayak instruction. Whether you are a first-timer or an experienced paddler, you can choose from Otter Bar's many trip options and instructional courses.

Every September, the Otter Bar Kayak School charters a 15-day full canyon motor supported trip with AzRA. The trip is designed for experienced kayakers with class 3/3+ skills and a strong river roll. Kayaking is the emphasis of this trip although raft-only passengers are also welcome as the trip is balanced out with AzRA's river adventure itinerary. To learn more or inquire about reservations, contact Otter Bar or call 530-462-4772. (Photo submitted by Otter Bar)
Cool bike rack

AzRA started a 'bike to work' incentive program in 2007. The main goal of the program is to reduce consumption of non-renewable fossil fuels and production of greenhouse gases by encouraging employees to ride bicycles between home and work. Flagstaff is a bicycle friendly community and the intertwined urban trail system makes commuting convenient for many people. Although it is difficult for guides to commute, some of the office and warehouse staff participates in the program. An employee who rides a bike at least four days a week receives a $15 bonus for each week completed.

Warehouse employee Erik Kellerup said, "I like biking to work because it is faster than driving and I enjoy the exercise and fresh air." Owner and General Manager Alexandra Thevenin says, "I think it is important to support our employees who already ride bikes and encourage others to ride if they can. The benefits to the environment and employee personal health are ideals AzRA believes in. It's an easy program for a small business to initiate and the costs are low." (Photo: custom bike rack built by local Sinagua High School welding class.)
Mule Ride Grand Canyon Vintage

Dear AzRA,

I think you might enjoy this picture taken 70 years ago of my mother (fifth from the top) when she participated in a horseback trip down into the Grand Canyon back in 1939. I'm assuming the photo was taken to be sold to tourists after their ride.

My mom passed away last week but she was an adventurer almost right up until her passing. Now she's off on the greatest adventure of them all...

Jim D.,
Repeat passenger,
September 2008.

Jim and Patti - Thank you for sharing this amazing photo with everyone at AzRA and The V-Wave. We hope your mother's adventurous spirit will live on through you and your family!

We are available for free Skype to Skype international phone calls!

Once again 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 we may stay connected. In fact, we appreciate 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!

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Arizona Raft Adventures and Grand Canyon Discovery

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