Why River Guide?

Posted January 14, 2006 by Robyn Suddeth
 

Last summer I had the amazing opportunity of going on the upper half of a Grand Canyon river trip. After hiking out from Phantom Ranch, we were hanging out in Flagstaff and found a book titled There’s This River – Grand Canyon Boatmen Stories. It’s a really well-done book, mixing humorous stories with stories of adventure and descriptions of the canyon’s beauty.

One narrative is about a commercial trip stopped at a side canyon that starts flash-flooding during their hike. Long story short- one of the guides jumps into the water after a woman being swept away, risking his own life to save her. He luckily managed to grab on to another commercial boat not too far downstream. The author tells us that when asked about this incident, the guide is pretty humble.

He then closes with these thoughts for us, which I love so much I wanted to share them:

“Why is it we do this job anyway …if it isn’t what happened to Whitney or at least something similar…one of the thousand little intangibles that are forever cropping up, which have nothing to do with fame or fortune but rather just living your life well in a beautiful place that’ll keep you honest all the same, that will make you have your act together from time to time?…Good job amigo, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”
-Lew Steiger

 
 

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