I won the permit for a river trip down the Colorado in the Grand Canyon and I’m ecstatic! And that’s an understatement. Regardless of what happens in the next few months, I’ll be back to the mainland US in early Jan next year for this once of a lifetime trip. (Of course unless I’m unfortunate enough to get seriously injured, die, or be denied a tourist visa. I’ll be crossing my fingers.)

The National Park Service (which is the best thing in the US in my humble opinion) runs a lottery system to award permits for kayaking/rafting down the river. Lottery opens at the beginning of the year (in Feb I believe) for dates the next year, i.e. Feb 2015 for all dates in 2016, and follow-up lotteries with limited dates when people cancel their spots. I entered 4 follow-ups for 2015 dates but didn’t get anything. This was my first follow-up for 2016 dates. And it’s the only lottery of any kind that I’ve ever won so far in life. And I couldn’t have asked for a better deal 🙂

The trip will be in Jan and I know i’ll suffer from the cold, but the upside is that it’ll be much quieter, less crowded, and we are allowed to take longer on the river. And nothing will matter once I’m in such grandeur.

I just read this from wikipedia and now I’m even more psyched now!

In Arizona, the river passes Lee’s Ferry, an important crossing for early explorers and settlers … Downstream, the river enters Marble Canyon, the beginning of the Grand Canyon, passing under the Navajo Bridges on a now southward course. Below the confluence with the Little Colorado River, the river swings west into Granite Gorge, the most dramatic portion of the Grand Canyon, where the river cuts up to one mile into the Colorado Plateau, exposing some of the oldest visible rocks on Earth, dating as long ago as 2 billion years. The 277 miles (446 km) of the river that flow through the Grand Canyon are largely encompassed by Grand Canyon National Park and are known for their difficult whitewater, separated by pools that reach up to 110 feet (34 m) in depth.