From September 7-28, 2014, I tackled another historic challenge: solo kayaking the Grand Canyon 277 miles, from Lee’s Ferry to Pearce Ferry. Joining me was blind Navy veteran and accomplished kayaker Lonnie Bedwell. Together, we made a powerful and authentic statement about living a No Barriers Life and the belief that this was possible for each of us. Sponsoring the expedition was Nature Valley, reinforcing its own campaign theme: “Feel Nature’s Energy." The expedition was hosted by No Barriers USA, a nonprofit organization that empowers people with the message, “What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.”
With solid rock walls carved a mile deep by the mighty Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is one of the great natural wonders on Earth with a fearsome reputation as one of the most daunting whitewater venues in the world. Lonnie and I have spent the last several years training and developing innovative systems for kayaking rapids with the help of high-tech radios and verbal commands from experienced guides.