"Ideal for solo travelers," says the press release from Western River Expeditions about its rafting trips on the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon, Utah. I vouch for that statement.
I had one of the best trips of my life floating on peaceful sections of the river and holding on for dear life through Class III and IV rapids (read: "big"). And camping by the side of the river with new friends who I was happy to spend every minute with.
These are professionally guided rafting trips with all meals and equipment provided. I call them "one-phone call" vacations because you sign up and then let the company do all the work of getting licenses, providing boats and setting out food.
Canyonlands National Park, through which the river runs, is spectacular. My first rafting trip was in Cataract Canyon and I was astounded by the looming, multi-colored rock face "painted" by different types of minerals. (I went with Holiday River, not Western.)
I loved being cooked for and the food, which all had to be carried with us from the start, was almost restaurant quality. It's amazing what a Dutch oven over a fire can produce. And it's especially tasty after a long day in the sun. And when someone else has done the cooking.
The amenities, particularly bathroom facilities, are a far cry from what you'd get at home but it's the tradeoff for being far, far, yes gloriously far, from civilization. No electricity, no street lights, no traffic noise.
(As to whether your phone or tablet would work, I can't tell you. I went in the days before that love it/hate it connectivity.)
If it sounds appealing, now's a good time to book, although for Grand Canyon trips, you usually have to book at least a year in advance.
*Updated from 2010
Photos: Ellen Perlman
Camping with butte, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Returning to camp along the Colorado from a hike up to the "Doll House."