What You Can Expect on a
Canyon Calling Trip
We join these trips for many different reasons but we all travel with Canyon Calling to have a really fun time in beautiful locations. Women in general, and certainly our guides, are very in tune with all our marvelous personality differences and are patient and indeed celebratory of those differences. You will find that your guide is a great group alchemist and sets a good example of inclusivity. She is welcoming, caring, kind and patient.
These are the essence of Canyon Calling adventures and are what make our trips so special. We hire the most appropriate outfitters in each region to give us the ultimate outdoor experiences. They are fun, competent, licensed and permitted and are usually folks with whom we’ve been working for years. They understand that many of us are new to the activity and they give detailed and patient instruction. Most importantly, they work hard to keep us safe while ensuring a fabulous time. You will be in good hands.
Also, unlike other tour companies, you are not required to tip while traveling with Canyon Calling. We take care of tipping outfitter guides, drivers and wait staff.
Your travel mates come from very diverse backgrounds but you will discover that you all have two things in common. One is that each of you has a little adventure-seeker inside. Two is that no matter how fabulous the destination or the activities, the best part of the trip will very likely turn out to be the friendships forged with the women with whom you travel. If you’re disappointed there aren’t more ladies your age on the trip, perhaps take it as an opportunity to learn a little about life through their older or younger eyes. If someone seems less intellectual than you, be assured that she WILL contribute to the success of the group. If you disagree with someone’s opinion, consider asking follow-up questions and maybe through her answers you can find common ground or broaden your knowledge. Be respectful of our differences – not just the obvious ones like politics and religion but regional, lifestyle and background differences as well. As women in this evolving world our lives have had their hardships and that has often shaped how we see the world. Kindness and grace go a long way on a tour.
Giving and Friendship
A tour group is much like life – you put energy into it and you get back ten-fold what you have given. You often arrive tired – from life and from the flying. Your smile will do fine until you have caught up on sleep. Be generous of heart. Show interest by checking in with each other most days. Be conscious of volume – our van is a small space. Questions are welcome but excessive questioning wears out your guide and your travel companions. We were given two ears and one mouth and it’s a good reminder to use them in those proportions! If you need more quiet than others, that will become obvious and folks will let you chill-out. Most importantly, give a little of yourself – perhaps share a funny story from your past or maybe a challenging experience and what you learned from it. We’re not implying our trips are therapy on wheels!! What we’re saying is that getting to know each other requires giving something of yourself. We have found that the rewards of friendship are so worth the investment.
Trust your Guide!
Most of us have control issues in our own little ways. No matter whether we’re single, divorced, married or partnered, moms or aunts, we all tend to be independent women making our own decisions every moment of the day. And now you’re on a vacation – and one where you’re paying someone else to make those decisions for you. So we respectfully invite you to relax and do just that! Please be flexible, after all this is adventure travel. Your guide is intimately acquainted with the area, the local conditions, the schedule, the timing required and most importantly, keeping everyone safe and happy. She leads well giving clear instructions and invites follow-up questions. Every evening she outlines what you can expect the following day – and what to wear to keep you both comfortable and safe.
You guide also recognizes that most people are a little nervous at the start of a trip. Some have fears like “Will I hold the group up?” “Who will I be roomed with?” “Will I be liked?” “Have I brought the right clothing?” “Will I be safe?” etc. Until the settling-in period is over a few folks can sometimes be a little edgy, curt, overly chatty, deliberately aloof or even rude. Some may test the guide and now and again someone may be a little impatient. It is our experience that everything usually settles within 24 hours and a good rhythm develops. Our goal is synergy – a group where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
We only have two rules on Canyon Calling trips: Please wear your seatbelts and please treat everyone you meet exactly as you would like to be treated. Canyon Calling insists upon professional standards and practices and we will not tolerate anyone who’s behavior diminishes the experience of the group. Please see our Fine Print: http://www.canyoncalling.com/pages/policy.html
Your job is to get yourself to the trip assembly point at the correct time and to get yourself home after the trip ends. We take care of everything in between!
We travel in a van – usually a 12-passenger van, sometimes a mini-van depending on the group size. Your guide will drive, except on the Moroccan, Peruvian and Costa Rican trips where local drivers are required. We rotate seating each day so that everyone gets a turn up front. We play easy listening music and turn it off when the guide wants to address the group or when someone has a question.
These vary depending on the trip but in general they are quiet, clean three and four star lodges, inns and motels. “Posh” is not Canyon Calling – we’re more Super 8 than Holiday Inn.
You will have your own bed. Each room will have two beds – sometimes three so we rarely stay at B+B’s as these mostly have one bed per room placing them outside the budget. We rotate roommates each night that we change locations and this policy has served us well ensuring great group dynamics. If you join the trip with a friend or relative, obviously the two of you will room together the whole trip. You can also choose to join the rotation – its up to you.
Some accommodation is destination-specific like log cabins and historic lodges in Wyoming and farm guesthouses in Iceland. In Morocco we sleep two nights in Berber tents and one night outside under the stars in the Sahara. In New Zealand we spend one night sleeping on mattresses all in a row at the Maori homeland, and on the Swiss trip we have a one-night alpine hut experience sleeping dorm-style at 6000’. On the Desert Mountain trip we stay one night in rustic rooms at Ghost Ranch to experience the early morning and late afternoon light that so influenced Georgia O’Keefe’s art. In most of these unusual situations bathrooms are not in the rooms. You will get a shower every day (except on the Moroccan raft trip).
We eat at regular family restaurants and Canyon Calling pays for any main course dish and a non-alcoholic drink. You pay for your own alcohol. There are always delicious choices but if you’re looking for up-market gourmet food our trips are probably not for you. Appetizers and desserts are not included in our meal choices. This policy is a little about cost but much more about time. Adding a course with a group can add 30 minutes per course. We spend enough time in restaurants and we have found that the time saved in waiting for extra courses is far better used as quiet time to ourselves each evening. Sometimes lunches are picnics out on the trail and sometimes the odd breakfast or lunch is to-go to ensure that we can meet the start time for an activity.