I’ve gone on record that I’m not a huge “food guy”. I eat to continue living. Truth be told, this has shifted a little over the last few years, but not much. During my past hiking and rafting trips, I usually eat 1 or 2 meals a day and have basically gotten by on things like Cliff bars, peanut butter and jelly, tortillas, beef jerky, and summer sausage with cheese. Super easy things that will give me enough energy to survive the next day. Is it glamorous? No. But I survived.
CRATE does not share my ‘survival is enough’ mindset for food, and on a 200-mile rafting trip, I couldn’t have been more thankful.
Each day we were woken up with the “COOOOOFFFFFFEEEEEEE” call and provided with a buffet-style breakfast, including sausage, eggs, pancakes, french toast, fruit, etc.
Lunch was usually set up quick on the side of the river and what I would describe as ‘Sandwiches and Snacks’. But here’s the thing—there was no limit to the options provided. Turkey, ham, salami, lettuce, 5 types of cheese, tomatoes, onions, more avocado than a Chipotle… I was in sandwich heaven. Throw in the fact that there were always cookies as well and I feel no shame in the fact that I got the name ‘The Cookie Monster’ from a fellow rafter.
Dinner was always the best meal of the day. Over the 10 days of the Grand Canyon rafting trip, we had things like fajitas, burgers, brawts, stir fry, and steak.
It’s really impressive that we float down the Colorado River with enough supplies for these types of meals. I can’t state this fact enthusiastically enough: with CRATE, I ate better on my rafting trip in the middle of the Grand Canyon than I do at home.
Only “Paddle Only” trip
Everyone wants to see the Grand Canyon differently. Some want to stand at the top of the North Rim for 12 minutes and take their photo for Instagram. Others want to casually float down the Colorado while being propelled by a motorized raft. But I wanted to paddle. As much of the Grand Canyon as they’d let me, anyway, but apparently I’m in the minority because it’s not a common request. If you search online, you’ll find only 1 company that offers a ‘paddle only’ trip of the Grand Canyon—CRATE. You’ll also find they only offer the trip once a year. So for me, this was one of the original and biggest selling points.
Related: 9 Tips for your next Trip
But CRATE does it differently than you would expect. Instead of literally paddling 200 miles through the Grand Canyon regardless of the water (flat or rapid), their trip combines paddling and at times being towed by a motorized raft when the water is flat and barely flowing. We still spent 80% of the time paddling the Colorado, but towing for a few miles here and there helped to give us more time to do things like make camp, hike, and hang out. It was a perfect balance for creating amazing memories while still feeling accomplished (and physically exhausted) at the end of each day.