Alexander Eagle, protector and mascot of Beaver Dam Elementary School, continued his summer adventure down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Western River Expeditions and the National Park services work together to ensure that there is limited access to the beauty that is found in the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River. Alexander and his fellow travelers did not see any other travelers on their sojourn, although they did see many eagles and hawks. Thanks to responsible ownership by the National Park Service, the journey down the Colorado River remains pristine and much like that taken years ago by John Welsey Powell who left the first written record of exploration of this magnificent part of our country.
Powell was a veteran of the Civil War, where he lost his right arm in battle. This did not deter him from setting out to explore the West. In 1869 he led an expedition down the Colorado River which was the first of its kind. Their trip was full of danger and adventure. The rapids they encountered were too strong for their boats due to turbulent waves and unknown depths.
Alexander and his companions followed part of the same course and were thrilled by the white water and waves their rafts were equipped to traverse. Alexander learned quickly that water is a most powerful element in the desert, although it seems that it’s presence is absent. The white water rafting experience provided by experienced guides from Western River Expeditions clearly showed Alexander that thrills of rafting must be tempered by experience. Had Alexander not had wings for a few of those rapids, he would have been one wet eagle!
As Alexander sailed down the 100-mile river adventure, he waved a warm hello to his many relatives who inhabit the area. Flying far above were golden eagles and a variety of hawks. The foliage was magnificent but dangerous. Even feathers won’t serve as much protection against the sharp barbs of plants eager to protect themselves in the hostile environment. Bighorn sheep came down to the water to drink. A special favorite of Alexander was the little white lamb who makes the Colorado River his home. The guides showed Alexander and his friends many hidden waterfalls and caves for exploration.
The Colorado River sweeps through the Grand Canyon holding both history and mystery in its waters. Stories of lost explorers and whispers of hidden gold permeate the solid structures that align with the solid rocks which form the boundaries between the north and south rims of the canyon. The Native Americans who had the fortitude to live in this environment stand out as examples of people who could survive in spite of a challenging environment.
The camping each night was certainly different from the accommodations Alexander is used to at home with housemates Nino and Fluff. As those two kitties drifted off to dreamland on their cushioned beds, Alexander enjoyed a delicious grilled dinner and slept under millions of visible stars. He marveled at the beautiful world created beyond the boundaries of time and looked forward to his next adventure to the Northwest and its many natural wonders.