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Ditch The Strip And Grab A Raft

November 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM | by | ()

When we found ourselves complaining about the heat, we figured we'd put our money where our mouth was and pony up to get out on the water and try something fun. A rafting trip down the Colorado River sounded like exactly what was needed to cool down.

Little did we know we were in for one of the longest days of our lives. It started out with a pickup around 5:30 a.m. from The Strip and a shuttle out to the launching docks at Diamond Creek in Arizona, just under a three-hour drive from Vegas. The boats there looked like they might have seen a rock or two in their day, but that didn't seem to faze anyone.

Once everything got moving it was easier to enjoy the surroundings. The entry point didn't look like much except a wide calm river/bay, but that quickly changed as we were exposed to the true awesomeness that was the Colorado River.

This Chatterer decided to take one of the tougher tours out there (Many different companies offer tours from extremely light to ‘you have to be a little crazy’) and, boy, did our boat go a’rocking. We would recommend parents with children under 16 stick to the calmer, motorized tours that are offered closer to Hoover Dam. However, if you are an adventure junkie and this isn't your first time, the longer white water rapid tours might just offer the extra jolt needed.

Once we arrived at the base of the Grand Canyon, we had a quick lunch. It was decent, but one might want to consider bringing some added snacks. All that rafting left us demanding a little more than a turkey wrap and a cookie!!!

After lunch, a helicopter lift to the rim of the canyon was breathtaking (as would be expected). And, you certainly feel a little pride when wandering around the rim, knowing that you worked your way there instead of sitting on a comfy bus. That being said, when we did jump on the bus to make our way home it was total bliss. This writer may have even had a little nap.

Anyway, enough recounting, it’s time to give you the goods. This experience didn’t come cheap. We were a little over $400 a piece, but it sure included a lot. Other tours seem to vary from $250 to upwards of $700 or even $1,000. There are several different levels of tours so make sure to find your comfort level before you go. There were a few people on the tour that looked “in over their heads,” but once we were halfway through they got the hang of it.

All in all, the rafting experience was a once in a lifetime, and we will leave it that way. The long day (back on The Strip at 7 p.m. made for a 14-hour day) coupled with the high price and the sore body the next morning led us to believe there are many other fun/interesting ways to enjoy an off Strip vacation without breaking… well, everything! [Photos: Rafting.com]

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