Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Re-Entry: No Flameout, But Not As Much Fun!!

I've never been off of work for three weeks; much less three weeks that included 18 days of teamwork, sand, 225 miles of Grand Canyon, no telephones, no electricity, no running water, nothing that we didn't bring with us (though we brought plenty with us!

Things are good at work as I got a lot done before I left and happened to have some big jobs ship, so I'm having a great month in spite of not hitting a lick! The long vacation goes down much easier with my boss when it is accompanied by strong sales performance. Therein lies the rub. I had to get my ass back to work.

Multiday river trips require a lot of daily physical labor beyond getting boats down the river. Every day starts with loading your bedding, tent (if used), and other personal gear in dry bags and getting it to the water to reload the boats. If you're on kitchen duty,as you gather your own stuff, you get to help your team of four cook breakfast for sixteen people. Then dishes have to be washed and the day's lunch packed.The kitchen has to be broken down along with the groover (toilet) and loaded on the rafts. Everything in the boats is in some kind of waterproof box or bag and secured to stay put in the event of a flip. We probably moved at least a couple thousand pounds of stuff onto and off of the boats every day in addition to hauling water for the kitchen, drinking and our solar showers. It's the satisfying kind of work that gets you to bed early and makes your meals taste better. Real world work just doesn't have the same feel, but for us it makes the occasional side trip to wild-world possible!

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