Flying in from all over the country… we’re finally here in the Big Apple!! Imagine meeting someone for the first time… in New York… for your first time in the city! If the distraction of the traffic isn’t enough, what about the buildings and architecture, the buzz of Times Square, the roar of the night clubs, or even the scents from the food trucks lining the street? For most of us, it was our first time here… as we walked to our dinner location this evening, I loved hearing the “OMG’s” and “Look at that!” from the group behind me, as I led them down 5th Avenue, then over to 7th, through Times Square… the light was enough to want us to put our shades on, but standing in the middle of the glowing lights, I saw the awe in their faces… as people surrounded us, walking about, not caring that it was our first time here… we took pictures, we looked at our maps… we were tourists tonight, and we were ok with that! As we walked, we thought about our feet and possibly questioned the shoes we wore today, but when we finally hit the famous Carnegie Deli, got seated at our own table and got right to ordering, we knew the walk was worth it! As we look at the menu, we see other plates going out to other tables… “Woah” and “Is that the size??” is what came out of their mouths… but as we got our own plates set in front of us, we couldn’t help but take some photos! And don’t forget the New York Cheesecake for dessert… I have never tasted anything like it… as we talked about what we wanted to see and to plan our next day of adventures, I couldn’t help but think about how great an opportunity this was to meet some fellow E&A friends from our clubs around the country, let alone, check off a New York City visit on our bucket lists! And on only day 1, all I have to say is… “Oh New York… we have only just begun!”
Have you ever been river rafting? WOW! What a thrill. We started off on a calm leg of the Umbra River in Peru. Most the water is from glacial runoff. Good thing because that sun is toasty at 10,000 feet. We learned to paddle together (which is very difficult when there’s a splash fight with the other boats!) and headed down to the class 3 rapids. Coolest thing ever. Our awesome guides knew just when we needed to give extra effort to stay off those sneaky rocks. A couple times my heart felt like it was going to stop when we hit the rushing rapids. We looked at each other and realized we all had the terror-thrill grins and started laughing as we slapped out paddles together over our heads for our congratulatory cheer. We did it! When can we do it again?
Jacque Event Manager Dallas
I took this picture at our basecamp at Soraypampa, Peru roughly 3,800 meters up in the Andes Mountains. After completing the first days 7 hour hike in the lead group I see a bright light of confidence and accomplishment in my eyes. Day 2 would destroy that light like a waterfall crushing the faint light of a candle. After “sleeping” through rough winds, cold temperatures and a choir of wild dogs; the banging on our tent at 5am wasn’t the best wake up call I have ever had. This was the start of the most challenging day of my life. Fighting altitude, rough terrain and fatigue I would eventually reach the height of our trek 15,220 ft…before lunch; A grueling 4 hour hike up over 3,000 feet in a matter of hours. As I passed another adventurer up the trail he said something to me I would never forget. He was much older than me and he looked at me through tired yet excitedly hopeful eyes and said “Have you ever had so much fun being miserable?” It was a quote that I will always remember because I never want to forget that the things in life worth striving for often require the most challenging journeys. Learning to love the journey is what Events & Adventures is all about every single day.
Events Manager – Texas Region
Season of Firsts
This summer 39 adventurers throughout the U.S. & Canada landed in Las Vegas, Nevada for a grand adventure! What was billed as a bucket list excursion to raft 90 miles of the one and only Grand Canyon ended up being a story of friendship and firsts.
For many this trip was a first to the Las Vegas strip, Hoover Dam, white water rafting, horseback riding, ATV riding, skeet shooting, helicopter ride, first time seeing the Milky Way & shooting stars and the first time sleeping outside under the stars in the desert! Even a self-proclaimed adventurer like me experienced the first thrill of sitting shotgun in a helicopter diving through the canyons and speeding 30 miles per hour through a sun setting desert in a roaring ATV!
Strong bonds of friendship formed early in the trip and strengthened through shared mealtimes and river duties. A circle of camp chairs at night became the stage for two adventurers, who had never met, to give out nightly awards and share stories of the day’s great accomplishments and comical blunders.
When we had tried every adventure and our trip was coming to a close, one member from our Vancouver club quietly asked the guides if she could experience being rescued out of the water. She quietly, and without warning, jumped into main channel of frigid 55 degree rushing water. Luckily I happened to have my camera out! We quickly undocked our boats and found her enjoying the peace and quiet of being alone in the middle of the Colorado River. She didn’t appear to want to be rescued from the bliss and peacefulness of the Grand Canyon…but we never leave anyone behind because it is just a short time before our next life changing adventure…
By: Reid Johnson
Reid has been with Events & Adventures for four years and led adventure trips to Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, The Grand Canyon and multiple destinations in Texas throughout his time with Events & Adventures. Check back soon for a recap of Reid’s upcoming adventure stories from Peru where he will lead 30 adventurers up 16,000 feet over 10 days to reach mystical Machu Picchu.