Climbing into the driver’s seat perched high upon the lifted frame of our rental Jeep, I used my thumb to clear the dust from the gauges. Once strapped in, I stomped the clutch and fired her up. It had been several years since I had driven a stick, so as we began to roll along the washboard that serves as street in the old mining town, I might as well have been 15 again whiplashing us through the gears on the way back to the cabin.

We were in the 4 Corners area for the first time and planned to stay the entire month of August. One early lesson was that I will never again visit that part of the country without a 4 wheel drive vehicle. We had taken the #CariVan so we’d have a place to sleep on camping excursions, but there were just too many places we wanted to go that were high clearance 4×4 only, and the spot we had in mind for this outing was just such a place.
A little online research awarded us the opportunity to rent the last and least expensive 4×4 to be had. There was no extra charge to pick it up the evening prior, so we made the short walk along a street of packed earth mixed with a small ration of crushed stone. After a quick walk around to assess and inventory the multitude of scratches scrapes and bruises that marred the outside of the 15-year old Wrangler, papers were signed and she was all mine! Well, at least for the next 24 hours.

A few years ago, Robbin Voight said yes to a 14-day rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Well, she actually said yes 2 years before then, but we’ll get to that. A while back, I wrote my own account of seeing it from the South Rim for the first time. You can check that out HERE. Contrary to what you might think, not all outdoor adventure is reserved for 20-somethings living the van life. It’s for folks like you and me, too. Some of my favorite outdoor adventure stories are those of ordinary folks who’ve had extraordinary experiences. And this one would certainly qualify. 

In the course of our interview, we’ll also get to all of the reasons she considers that trip to be life-changing. She’s even been kind enough to share a few of her in-the-moment journal entries with us. I’ve posted them along with the episode over at fisherofzen.com. We talk a little about impetus, a little about an average day on the river, and a lot about Zen of being disconnected from what one river guide referred to as “the fake world,” and immersed in the beauty that abounds in the real one.