Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Yala's Social Networker Takes a Trip
Rafting Down the Grand Canyon

Two years ago when I was hired to work at Yala I took the job on one condition, "In 2011 I need to take a month off to go rafting down the Grand Canyon with my family," I said. Without hesitation, owners Nancy and Larry Morgan said that of course I could go. It was a good thing because my family had been on the waiting list for over 15 years!
Photo by Aaron Michelson

Before I knew it, September of 2011 was here and I was headed to the Grand Canyon with 21 days worth of food, booze and clothes with five family members, one boyfriend, one high school friend, one college friend, two friends of the family and four unknown friends.

 Group Photo, by Burket Kniveton

For living outside for 21 days, we had things pretty good. We were lucky enough to have the chef from Buckhorn Springs retreat center, who also happens to be my mother, plan the menu. Every day we were overwhelmed with organic vegetables, local meat, fresh eggs from Buckhorn chickens and talented chefs to put it all together. We utilized solar showers, slept on plush paco pads and enjoyed luxuries no backpacker could consider such as Ashland's own Caldera beer. 

Lauren and her boyfriend, Justin. Photo by Burket Kniveton

However, rafting a river that has it's own rating system is no piece of cake. Every day we packed up, lashed down and geared up for BIG water. Thanks to four skilled and experienced rower friends, our four 18-foot rafts miraculously appeared from the deadly holes of Crystal rapid and cheese grater of Lava, unharmed. Aside from my mom's knee to my face in Hermit, several uncomfortable swims and swallowed water there were no major injuries.
Photo by Burket Kniveton
Photo by Burket Kniveton

Every day was filled with beautiful hikes, breathtaking views and amazing waterfalls. We saw numerous big horn sheep, heard the call of the canyon wren every morning, watched crows fly away with our snacks and even saw mice and ring tailed cats attempting to board our boats at night and steal food!
Photo by Burket Kniveton

Photo by Burket Kniveton

With the wonderful luck of beautiful sunny weather and warm nights my most useful Yala gear was by far the silk DreamSack. It was also the most popular! Upon doing a count, there were 10 people who slept with their Yala DreamSack every night! It was way too warm to even consider zipping up your sleeping bag and the DreamSack provided the perfect light layer to take the chill off, but still keep you at a comfortable temperature. I had the Original Opening DreamSack® which I found to be the perfect width to fit in my sleeping bag.
Photo by Lauren Sargent
Justin in an Organic Cotton Yala Tee, photo by Lauren Sargent

With great health, good runs and perfect weather the trip went flawlessly and will remain the trip of a lifetime. Special thanks to Nancy Morgan for giving the whole group Organic Cotton Yala promo shirts, which (almost) everyone saved until the end as our only clean clothes left!

Until Next Time,
Lauren of Team Yala


  1. so great! Thanks for sharing! :) <3 JW

  2. What a wonderful account, Lauren! I can almost smell the dry air and feel the sometimes sandy wind. Thank you so much for sharing this.