I am currently reading a book called “THE STORY THAT STANDS LIKE A DAM” by Russell Martin. It’s the story of the Glen Canyon Dam, which is the dam that holds Lake Powell (reservoir). In this book there's conflict between those who chose to reclaim the mighty Colorado River to promote western development and those who wanted to preserve the flow in it’s natural state. The preservationists desired to see and enjoy the Colorado River and it’s canyons in it’s purest form. An early Colorado River voyager and Midwestern industrialist, Julius Stone wrote “Here where the world is shut out, the spirit of the wilderness still abides and welcomes one into the full freedom and magic of the night and morning; uplifting and swaying the beholder with a sense of being that is delightful beyond compare.” He insisted that the river should not be used for mere profit, but that it had value in its ability to instill awe.
The dam was built and today provides water, power, and recreation for millions of people. Though there is still controversy, outfitters and passengers proclaim that the Grand Canyon has the same effect that Stone wrote about years ago. It’s hard for me to describe the change that I’ve seen in families and friends as they fulfill their long-standing bucket list trip. They come on a 3-13 day rafting vacation, sometimes nervous about camping or white water and most certainly unprepared for the transformation into freer, brighter, tanner (sometimes less kempt) river folk. They reluctantly leave and return to the “rim world” to find that they have a fresh demeanor; because they lived, hiked, rested, socialized (ate amazing food) and conquered the famous Grand Canyon.