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"My Most Memorable Family Travel Moment” by Tauck Director
Elizabeth Goetsch

Posted by Guest Blogger on 4/28/2016
Posted in: Tauck’s Travelogue
Tags: Family Travel, Grand Canyon, Ken Burns, National Parks, Nature, Tauck, Travel, USA, Wyoming, Yellowstone

YC_intro

yc_2As a Tauck Director, I am incredibly familiar with the itineraries I run. I am often asked if I get bored running the same escorted tour over and over. I don't get bored, as each week feels different than the week before. With all the familiarity of the tour I sometimes forget that I, too, can be moved by the same experiences as my guests.

One portion of the Tauck Bridges Red Rocks & Painted Canyons is a riverboat float down the Colorado River, from the Glen Canyon Dam to Lee’s Ferry. The 15-mile stretch of flowing water between high-reaching rock walls always reminds me of my human size. I am small. I have done this trip many times, each with a different river guide. The river never ceases to amaze me. Each guide does a good job sharing things that specifically strike her or him during the float trip. Each guide shares about the importance of the Colorado River. One day last summer, our guide did that and more.

yc_1First, I was impressed with the guide’s use of silence. He would make a suggestion or statement, then let it sit. He let the scenes around us speak in the silence! Younger generations don’t have much opportunity for silence. Brains that are not accustomed to quiet made all sorts of connections in those moments, and everyone had time to just take in what was around them. I love seeing families bond over these shared quiet times.

At one point along the ride, our guide turned off the motor and we floated quietly for a bit. He told a story about the explorer John Wesley Powell, then read a line from one of Powell’s entries. The particular entry demonstrated Powell’s own uncertainty of his travels ahead. We floated for a bit and had an opportunity to think about Powell’s trek along the Colorado and how he had no idea what was just around the riverbend. What was in store for us?

At a final stop, around yet another stunning and peaceful setting, our guide turned off the motor. He mentioned singing earlier in the tour and said, “I’d like to sing for you.” And he did.

yc_quote

His voice resonated within the canyon. The lyrics resonated with us. We are travellers, maybe feeling the urge to roam. For those that roam, home can mean many things but it still means something. A mention of homeplace whilst floating along this wild and untamed river was an amazing contrast.

I imagine my guests will remember the singing because it stood out as something different and unexpected. I get chills when I think back to that day. I also believe my fellow rafters will think back and not just remember the song, but what the song stirred inside each of us. It was a shared experience, and fiercely personal all at the same time. Moments like that time floating down the Colorado River have the ability to continue to stir long after the trip is over. That is why I enjoy sharing these experiences with our guests time and time again.
YC_last

*Lyrics of "Homeward Bound" were written by Marta Keen

EGoetschElizabeth Goetsch
Tauck Director

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