The V Wave
Stay connected to the river...
May 2014, - Vol 8  Issue 1
In This Issue
The Emerald Mile Book Review
A Trip With Focus on Bats
Sharing the Experience With You
Guide Portfolio - Billy Mobley
New Dates and New Guides
A Free Gift!
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Razorback Suckers Released

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Par raft and clouds
Hello and welcome to the Arizona Raft Adventures' bi-annual e-newsletter. Now in the eighth year of publication, The V Wave, (named after the legendary wave in Lava Falls rapid) keeps you connected with AzRA Discovery, the river community, and the Canyon. If you have trouble viewing this email, please follow the link at the top of this message to view a web version. 

This issue features a unique review on a popular new book titled The Emerald Mile, a trip report written by Rob Elliott about a truly unique trip experience he had in the summer of 2013 with Bat Conservation International, a free gift from us to you, an article by AzRA's owner Alexandra Thevenin, and a portfolio on guide Bill Mobley.

Lastly, don't forget the links to the left. These Grand Canyon related sites were chosen just for you.
Book Review of "Emerald Mile"
Emerald Mile
Emerald Mile is available on

Over the past year, we have had several guests mention to us how much they loved the book

The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko. The book features the epic story of the fastest ride in history through the heart of the Grand Canyon. The story is propelled by the high water flows of 1983 where the waters of Lake Powell were surging the top of a plywood board extension built on top of the dam to keep water from flowing over. The flood gates were open at full force in an effort to keep the lake from flowing over the dam. In the middle of the night, three boatmen secretly launched a hand made wooden dory, named the Emerald Mile,
just below the dam to embark on a journey which border lined suicidal. Their plan was to use the flood as a "hydraulic slingshot" that would "catapult the
Emerald Mile into legend as the fastest boat ever propelled-by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God-through the heart of the Grand Canyon." Guests say this book leaves them on the edge of their seat, anxious to turn to the next page. Long time AzRA employee Nancy Green, read the book this winter and wrote a review of the story for The V Wave. Read More.....
Biologists and AzRA Team Up for a truly unique guest experience
Measuring wing span of a Pallid Bat

Arizona Raft Adventures teamed up with Bat Conservation International (BCI) for an 8-day motor trip in August of 2013 to provide a truly unique Grand Canyon raft experience featuring a trip centered around the bats of the Grand Canyon.


Twelve guests, Guides Rob Elliott, Amanda Vigneau and Anthea Schick plus bat biologists Jason Corbett and Katie Gillis all came together to share in their love of bats. Before the trip, Jason procured all necessary permits through the National Park Service including the ability to net bats and also to investigate inside caves and abandoned mines that are usually closed to the general public.


Rob spent hours before the trip planning with Jason and Katie to create the perfect itinerary including four cave stops between miles 25 and 30, plus the abandoned mine a little ways up Havasu. They tried to camp at the mouths of side canyons which might be favorable for netting bats.


Rob reflected on the experience including more about data gathering and netting bats in Blacktail Canyon. Read his complete article and see additional photos from the trip. Who knows, maybe you can be part of the next bat adventure too!     

The Way We Serve - by Alexandra Thevenin
Photo by Ralph Hopkins
My name is Alexandra and my husband Fred and I are third generation family owners of Arizona Raft Adventures. A few years ago all the staff at AzRA went through an exercise to examine and create a company wide Way We Serve statement. Each word was chosen with care...we share, rather than show or create or lead; the experience because there's only one; experience because it starts with the office and ends with the bus driver, and let's face it, it's not
much of an adventure to go to your pre-trip orientation or get your bags packed by the warehouse, though it is an important part of the experience; lifetime, because even for our repeat guests, this trip impacts lives in a real and meaningful way. This statement all put together gives all AzRA employees a touchstone to come back to when serving you: sharing the experience of a lifetime. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for your business and reiterate what a true privilege it was to be your Grand Canyon outfitter. From the first phone call to the very last thank you, it is important to us that we maximize the connection we have with you by building relationships and by being interested in you as a person in addition to caring about your experience. Please let us know if we can ever assist you again!  

Guide Portfolio - Bill Mobley
Bill mobley
Billy with guest Shanley on her 22nd birthday. Summer 2013. Photo by M. Porter
Bill Mobley, or you might know him as Billy, has over 50 Grand Canyon trips under his belt and has been guiding for AzRA since 1994. He worked as a guide on the San Juan River in Southern Utah in 1994. He loved working on the San Juan River because of the archeological sites, the amazing hikes, and the family fun to be had on this lesser known class two river. He started guiding trips down the Grand in 2003 but loved the San Juan River so dearly that he remained a full-time San Juan Guide until 2004 when AzRA sold their San Juan permit.

Billy brings his Southern Texas charm to each rafting adventure, along with his extensive knowledge of Southwest Archeology and his country folk musical talent on the guitar and voice. He makes a mean pork chop with a homemade chipotle sauce which is so juicy and tender and deliciously seasoned that guests frequently comment about it on their post trip evaluation weeks after they return home. Billy spends his winters in Terlingua, TX working on home improvement projects, taking care of his property, playing music and reading.

We asked Billy what he loves most about the Grand Canyon. He shared, "I love the fact that the Canyon is ever changing, providing different experiences each trip." His favorite rapids are Hance, Hermit and Lava Falls and his favorite hikes are Thunder River, Saddle Canyon and the Unkar Delta.
Welcome Moki Mac River Expeditions
If you haven't heard the news already, the AzRA family is getting a little bigger! AzRA is assuming operations of Moki Mac River Expeditions which will soon be referred to as Grand Canyon Raft Adventures. This is really exciting news as this means we will have some amazing new guides joining our staff as well as new trip dates to add to our season.  We also have a new twist on our logo!

We are accepting reservations for 2015 and have new dates available along with specialty trips such as our Folk and Bluegrass Classic Adventure and fall 10-day Yoga Motor Adventure.
A Free Gift Just For You
Rob scenic river canyon
By Rob Elliott
They say when it seems too good to be true, that it usually is. But this time, it really is free and it's our gift to you with no strings attached. The Grand Canyon River Runners Association
(GCRRA) is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to protecting your right to raft the Grand Canyon with an outfitter. GCRRA strives to keep commercial guests connected with major issues facing the Grand Canyon. In addition, GCRRA is involved in several projects including a wildlife census program (featured in last Spring's V Wave) and being a sponsor of a Grand Canyon rafting trip in August of 2015 for the United States Marine Corp Wounded Warrior program. One of the greatest accomplishments of the GCRRA is the half-yearly newsletter called the Grand Canyon River Runner. You will receive this beautiful color print publication in your mailbox. 

We encourage all of our guests to continue advocating for the Grand Canyon and we would like to offer you a complimentary 1-year GCRRA membership. It's easy, it's fast, it's free and you can be a vital resource for making sure future generations have the opportunity to raft the Grand Canyon in the same pristine fashion as you experienced.

Activate your free one-year membership today
and begin enjoying the benefits of being a member of GCRRA.
We are available for free Skype to Skype international phone calls during our regular business hours. Our contact name is arizona.raft.adventures.


Before we close this issue of The V Wave, we would like to remind you that AzRA has several social media sites in operation featuring up-to-date news information, video clips, trip planning tools, photos and topics that are just plain fun!

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFind us on PinterestView our videos on YouTubeView our profile on LinkedIn 
or you might even be interested in articles on our Blog Visit our blog 
Once again we would like to thank you for taking time to read our newsletter and for giving us river seasons full of wonderful memories. We hope you will choose to continue receiving this publication so we may stay connected. In fact, we appreciate input; 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!  

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