Yaz Loukhal - Thinking of the River

October 29, 2019  |  Grand Canyon National Park

A rafting trip on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon is a transformative experience for many people. One of the participants on my most recent trip said it's probably the last real, great adventure in North America. Another said it was a "bucket list" item that he had to do, and was the first thing he did after retiring. In this series of blog posts, I'll be sharing the thoughts, memories, and images of those that have gone down the river through Grand Canyon with us.

Yaz Loukhal at Hilltop Ruin with the Colorado River and Grand Canyon in the background.

Yaz Loukhal at Hilltop Ruin with the Colorado River and Grand Canyon in the background.

The first contribution in this series is from Yaz Loukhal, a talented and very energetic man from Switzerland. Yaz had done a private workshop with me about a year earlier and expressed interest then in coming back to the canyon to do the river. Here's what he had to say about his time below the rim...

"I wanted to thank Adam Schallau for putting together the most memorable trip into the Grand Canyon. We saw the beauty of Grand Canyon and the Colorado River for 226 miles. Adam brought the incredible boatmen from Tour West, who were instrumental in making this trip beyond exceptional. To top it off, Adam Schallau saved the trip when he also became a full-time boatman after one of them sustained an injury when the raft they were riding in flipped in Crystal Rapid.

The trip was a photography trip primarily, but it turned out to be a trip of a lifetime, a journey of real adventures, and also a trip admiration of what nature can create. To sit on a boat every day and admire the immensity and the beauty of the canyon and the incredible colours is hard to describe.

We crossed 100s of rapids. We screamed and laughed and got very wet. We hiked amazing canyons at the many stops along the way, as we took thousands of pictures. I will also never forget sleeping in my tent under stars and the clear path of the Milky Way.

Thank you to Joe Bennion, Kevin Honeycutt, Mark Bennion, John Buggenhagen, Patrick Clark and Art Vawter, for making this trip safe, for your stories, advice, deep knowledge of the canyon and most of all, your love of the majestic Grand Canyon.

Adam, I cannot thank you enough for your guidance and photography advice and love of your art."

Yaz, it was truly a pleasure to have you on this trip. The energy you brought and exhibited daily was infectious. And, thank you for the photos you captured of me doing my best to row the big rapids in the canyon. Sally and I look forward to seeing you again on a future trip through Grand Canyon.

You can learn more about Yaz and his photography on his website at yazloukhal.com