The Aqua Blaze – A True Whitewater Journey

Well, the opportunity came up this spring to kayak down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon for two weeks towards summers end and I took it! As most of you know kayaking has been a love of mine for a very long time now and that’s pretty much how I inherited my trail name, Whitewater.


Photo from Oars Blog They Call Me Groover Boy

It’s pretty hard to believe that I started paddling 38 years ago, when a friend of mine from high school, Henry, and I decided to plan a canoe trip down the Cahaba River in Alabama for a spring break trip back in 1975. The canoe trip basically went pretty well, except for tornadoes and flooding rains that we got caught in one night several days into our liquid adventure. Luckily, we had made camp on the edge of an old farm that had a dirt road leading from the river to a nearby main road going into Marion, Alabama. It was sometime in the middle of the night that we finally figured out that staying in our tents was no longer an option. Somehow, I think the foot of water which had taken over our campsite was the final straw. We vacated camp and started hiking towards town, leaving everything behind. There were four of us in all and we hiked in the pouring down rain and lighting for about a mile before finding the main road to town.

Shortly after making it to the road, a pickup truck pulled up along the side of us and rolled down the window and I think he asked us if we were looking for someone? We proceeded to tell him what were doing when suddenly he leaned forward and the passenger beside him spoke up. It was my dad out with some local folks he had rounded up in the area who volunteered to help look for us along the river.

We went back and got my Dad’s company car, a green Chevrolet Impala nicknamed the Tank, and proceeded down the old farm road, fording creeks, back towards the river bank to take down camp and pick up our gear. We finally got the canoes and the two tons of wet camping gear loaded up in the Tank and headed home in the pouring down rain. Yes…of course the four crew members (mere teenagers at the time) slept all the home.

Grand Canyon photo By Small World AdventuresSo that’s how it all started and now after years of wanting to do the Colorado River…I’m finally doing it and I Can’t Wait!

Let’s Load Up, Hit the Road and Head West for some REAL WHITEWATER FUN!!

Photo from Small World Adventures news letter

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11 Responses to The Aqua Blaze – A True Whitewater Journey

  1. Mike says:

    That is a great story about your first whitewater trip. The fact that your father was able to locate you says something about the kind of man he was.

    When I grow-up…..I want to live like you do! Have fun!

    • dnlangford says:

      Thanks Mike!!
      It was pretty amazing that my dad found us…and cell phones didn’t exist. Take care and let’s meet up somewhere this fall. My schedule is going to be a lot more flexible these days since letting go from OBA.

  2. Hal says:

    Have a good trip,

  3. Barbara says:

    Good read. Felt like I was there but glad I wasn’t! Thank goodness for dads.

  4. michael morgan says:

    David– are you there now (8/20)? How long is the trip? Hope all goes well. Be safe my friend!! Mike Morgan

  5. So happy for you both! I know you will have a blast! See you this Fall to look at all of the pics.

  6. michael morgan says:

    David– what does “letting go from OBA mean”? Morgan

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