Shortly before her interview with Ted Hatch, Sowards went on a Grand Canyon raft trip with Hatch. She seems to have had a great time, and spends a portion of the interview showing Ted some drawings she made during the trip, including one of the sites for the portable toilet. She tells Ted she thought, "Boy, I’ve never been to the bathroom in such a grand place!"

In this section of the interview, Sowards shares her lead guide’s introductory speech.

Grand Canyon raft trip

Photo Credit: Roy Webb

E. Sowards: Yes. Glade read this. Are you in a hurry? This is just for a joke. He read it that night at the program. It says:

Welcome Folks, my name is Lace Mowrey. On behalf of Hatch River Expeditions, I’d like to welcome you to Lee’s Ferry. We’re going to have a great trip!

First, I will give you the good news! On this trip you will see… Majestic Cliffs, Bright blue skies, the emerald waters of the Colorado, and you will sleep on beautiful beaches.

Now, for some bad news: You’ll be getting sore feet from hot, treacherous, mountain hikes, and you’ll have to get used to wet clothing either from the rapids, or because sometimes you can’t find our elegant Porti-potti—just look for it in the most unlikely spot. (You know they have to hide it.)

(Ted: laughs)

Then there’s the sand…the sand in your hair, the sand in your eyes, the sand in your shoes and sand in your mouth. But, on the Good side! You’ll have peaceful moments of quiet reflection, warm sun, and warm wind to dry out those wet clothes, and you will have neat nature walks where you can see fossils from the past, and lizards from the present, and many lovely waterfalls. You will see "Nature’s Own Rock Garden."

Now, on the bad side: You’ll have to sleep with mice, lizards, and doodlebugs, and you’ll be sleeping in sandy sleeping bags, but you’ll have to get used to it. In fact, people often write and tell us that they have to throw a handful of sand in their beds for about a month after they get home before they can get to sleep.

(Ted: laughs)

You’ll have to drink water from the Colorado, but don’t worry… I make it taste like excellent fruit punch, and by the way, … we may find a rattlesnake or two. But don’t you worry folks, we haven’t lost anyone from a rattlesnake bit for 69 days.

(Ted: laughs)

Finally…some more good news! You are going to have super, terrific meals, prepared by Grobert Rusy, Schyron Brimp, and myself. You’re going to swim in the world’s most fabulous places. On this trip, you’re going to be with the neatest people in the world, and we want you to know that you’re going down this canyon with the world’s greatest team of river runners. We’ll give our life for you…What more can you ask?

Ted: That was great! That’s really cute!

E. Sowards: Well, anyway… that’s what we did on the program. Glade read it.

Next week, Elizabeth Sowards and Ted discuss the dedication of the guides. Don’t miss it!

Flashback Friday: What to expect on a Grand Canyon raft trip – circa 1984 was last modified: August 13th, 2015 by Jessica Clark

Back to Blog Home