Grand Canyon Colloquium

Grand Canyon Colloquium Information and Contacts (click here)

Excerpt from 2008 trip: We launched our boats from Lee’s Ferry, Arizona and from the “get go” had exceptionally fine weather. Late May in the canyon usually has good weather anyway. We were very fortunate to have a group of people in the other boat of this two boat trip that were really fine people. So twenty seven happy campers in ideal weather, floating on good high water and with great boatmen to take care of us all added up to produce an exceptional trip. Two of our new Earth and Environmental Sciences faculty members, Brad Rosenheim and Nicole Gasparini came along and were great in adding to discussions of the unfolding canyon geology. In addition to looking at a rock section encompassing nearly two billion years of earth history we saw lots of wild life including desert bighorn sheep, lizards, birds and fish. The highlight was a big 50+ pound beaver that scared the wits out of Nicole at the waters edge one evening at dinner time.

Grand Canyon ColloquiumRunning the rapids and looking at the great vistas from the boat is worth the trip itself, but the really outstanding highlights of any trip of this sort are the hikes up the side canyons. These experiences range from riding small rapids in the Little Colorado wearing your life jacket like a diaper, climbing along the canyon walls to look at Indian ruins and pictoglyphs, climbing up Carbon Canyon to look at spectacular structural geology and ancient algal colonies, walking up side canyons to see and splash under small water falls and walking up narrow shaded side canyons to enjoy the spectacular rock formations. Because we saw so few people on the river all of these side trips were unhindered and outsiders were seldom seen. Because we take these trips on 35 foot long inflatable boats we are able to carry a lot of fresh food and many hundreds pounds of ice. We support the philosophy that just because you are in the wilderness it is not necessary to live on subsistence rations. We had ice for our gin and tonics when we reached camp, fresh salads to precede our steak, pork chop or grilled chicken for dinner and fresh eggs for breakfast in the mornings.

Grand Canyon ColloquiumEven at the end of the trip, the helicopter ride off the floor of the canyon up to the Bar-10 Ranch on the rim and the flight back to civilization were quite spectacular. If this all reads like a travel promo---- well, it is!! The trip this year was particularly enjoyable because of the mix of people. In the future we think that there will be more room for alums. SO, if you are a Tulane student or alum and think this type of trip would be of interest to you, please let Stephen Nelson know so he can put you on the Grand Canyon mailing list.

Grand Canyon Colloquium Photos

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