Arizona Raft Adventures
The V Wave
Stay connected to the river...
March 2010 - Vol 4, Issue 1
In This Issue
Sign Up
Quick Links
AzRA rafts by Derik Spice

Hello and welcome again to the Arizona Raft Adventures and Grand Canyon Discovery bi-annual e-newsletter. Now in the fourth 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 a guide profile on Drifter Smith, a new line of environmentally friendly clothing in our retail department, a specialty trip added to the schedule featuring a dory boat, a way to earn a free gift from AzRA, and an update on campfire regulations affecting Grand Canyon commercial raft trips. We hope everyone is enjoying the winter because spring is on the way! We are less than one month from the first trip of the 2010 river season. Photo submitted by guide Derik Spice.

Drifter Smith
Drifter Smith is no stranger to the Grand Canyon; in fact, he has been in love with the Grand Canyon since he first saw it as a teenager more than 50 years ago. He began guiding in 1973 and started working for Arizona Raft Adventures in 1979. He estimates he has spent at least 10% of his life "below the rim." In addition to 183 Grand Canyon river trips to date, he has also hiked most of the established trails and some interesting back country routes in the Grand Canyon as well. Besides his life-long passion for geology, he also has a deep interest in and extensive knowledge of all other aspects of natural and human history, especially as it relates to the Grand Canyon.

In addition to Drifter's Grand Canyon guiding career, he has been a public health inspector, excavation archaeologist, survey archaeologist, and an art dealer. He has also served as President of the Grand Canyon River Guides in 2004-2005. Grand Canyon River guides is a non-profit group supporting the social, environmental, educational, and conservation organization of guides and others interested in the Grand Canyon. In more recent years he has worked for Northern Arizona University's Elderhostel Program (now called Exploritas) on trips in and around the Grand Canyon and Colorado Plateau.

Drifter is the guest interpreter on this spring's 10-day Natural History specialty trip departing on April 26. The Natural History trip is a motorized rafting adventure with a special emphasis on geology, ecology, botany, archeology, climate, and environmental impacts. Strategically placed during the month of April, you may even catch the end of brittle bush season where the walls of Grand Canyon are blanketed in yellow wildflowers. In addition to the mile-by-mile Grand Canyon Colorado River guide, you receive three additional Grand Canyon books on geology, archeology, and a field guide. There are still three spaces available if you would like an opportunity to run the river with Drifter in addition to Harlan, Laura, Jeff, and David. To book, call the office at 800-786-7238 and mention this article to receive a $100 gift certificate to Red River Sports (sorry, available to new bookings only). Remember to ask for the repeat guest discount. Photo submitted by Drifter Smith.
Arizona Raft Adventures Bamboo Line
Each year, Arizona Raft Adventures continues to make greener choices company-wide. Our retail division, Red River Sports, is no exception and recently added a new line of products made out of an increasingly popular renewable resource: bamboo.

Bamboo grows naturally, does not require irrigation, pesticides, or fertilizers, and can grow nearly 3 feet a day which makes it extremely renewable. Not only is bamboo an environmentally sound choice when it comes to purchasing clothing; it is also soft, comfortable, durable, and breathable. Bamboo clothing dries quickly, wicks moisture, and naturally regulates to keep you cooler when it's hot and warmer when it's cold. This sounds great for a Grand Canyon river trip. Another bonus of bamboo clothing is that it is naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic. Therefore, there should be fewer odors from perspiration, mildew or mold. Now this is starting to sound like a perfect t-shirt for a Grand Canyon river trip (! Photo submitted by Diane Ross.
Dory Close-up
Our new specialty adventure, the Dory and Stories, is a classic AzRA hybrid trip (oar boats and a paddle raft), plus the addition of a dory boat, and staffed with a well-versed story telling crew.

We believe the addition of a dory boat to the Stories trip enriches the trip in two ways. First, we now offer a trip with the opportunity to experience a dory boat. The dory is often considered the "classic" way to run the river. It is a rigid boat made of wood, fiberglass or aluminum, and gives an exciting and responsive ride. Secondly, adding a dory to the Stories trip is a perfect fit when talking about the history of Grand Canyon river running. First introduced to Grand Canyon by conservationist Martin Litton in the 1960s, dory boats continue to win devotees. Between the oar raft, paddle raft, and the dory, you will have the opportunity to experience it all.

In addition to an all-star crew, there is a trip historian: Mr. Brad Dimock. Brad Dimock has spent thirty years as a guide and leader in Grand Canyon and rivers around the world. His college and graduate work centered on natural history and outdoor leadership, which results into superlative interpretation skills on the river. Nowadays he splits his time between the life of a writer (, Grand Canyon river guide, teacher/trainer, and building wooden boats ( Of course, stories are told on every AzRA river trip but the Dory & Stories offers a distinct focus on the "stories" of the Grand Canyon featuring historical river runners and tales of lore. There are still a few spaces on the Dory and Stories trip in April of 2010. Mention The V Wave and receive 15% off the entire reservation plus a $100 gift certificate to Red River Sports (sorry, available to new bookings only). Sale prices and dates are as follows:
  • 14-day Full Canyon, April 14-27, $3,048.50 pp
  • 6-day Upper Canyon, April 14-19, $1,723.00 pp
  • 9-day Lower Canyon, April 19-27, $2,363 pp
This trip is also available in April of 2011 with one space remaining (wait list available). If you are interested in the Dory and Stories trip for April of 2012, please email to get your name on an exclusive pre-booking reservation list available only for this specialty trip. Photo submitted by Brad Dimock.
Trip Yelp
With many different types of vacation options, and competitive pricing in a fluctuating economy, planners have many choices and are turning to vacation review sites to find out what vacation ideas exist as well as legitimate companies to hire.

One of the more famous review sites is called TripAdvisor was founded in 2000 and is "a free travel guide and research website that assists customers in gathering travel information, posting opinions of travel related issues, and engaging in interactive travel forums" (TripAdvisor). Another increasingly popular review website is Yelp is slightly different from TripAdvisor as it incorporates reviews of all types of services, including travel, and has quickly rose in popularity putting it in the top 100 U.S. Internet web sites (Yelp, Inc).

We believe the travel reviews on these sites are particularly important to Grand Canyon raft trips. AzRA has four reviews on Trip Advisor and two on Yelp. If you have time to submit a review to either one of these sites about your experience with AzRA and your Grand Canyon rafting adventure, we will send you a logo t-shirt as a token of our appreciation for your time and effort. This offer is available to the first twenty people who email before submitting a review as there is a limited supply of gifts. Thank you for helping to increase exposure of Arizona Raft Adventures as we strive to remain a popular outfitter known for providing a truly unique and memorable Grand Canyon Colorado River experience.
A change to the driftwood collection season has been initiated by the Grand Canyon National Park Service. Beginning in 2010, the collection of driftwood will only be allowed November through February. The main reason for the change in policy is to preserve the diminishing supply of driftwood in the Canyon. Driftwood is an integral part of the river ecosystem and the Colorado River Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement from 2005 identified improvement measures to address this issue, including further restrictions on driftwood collection. Photo cited below.

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

Before we close this issue of The V Wave, we would like to remind you AzRA has a Facebook page and a YouTube Channel. We recently added several new video clips showcasing different aspects of the rafting adventure experience. If you get a chance, please become a Fan of AzRA and check out the new videos.

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 such as article topics, river stories, photos, poetry, or artwork to share, please email us.

See you downstream!

Works Cited
TripAdvisor. (2010, February 24). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:53, March 4, 2010, from
Yelp, Inc.. (2010, March 1). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:48, March 4, 2010, from,_Inc.&oldid=347119048
"were sitting around the campfire" Photo. 4 Mar. 2010 .

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

AzRA Disc Logo
Arizona Raft Adventures and Grand Canyon Discovery

phone: toll free at 800-786-7238
Email Marketing by