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New discounts for Rafting in 2014

by GriffithAdmin 14. October 2013 10:57

Pay in Full Discount

rafting discounts! NEW DISCOUNT:  If you pay your full multiday river trip fare at the time you book we will give you 5% off your trip cost. This discount can be combined with both the 2013 rates and returning guest discount. This could be a 20% savings! If you have already booked a trip for 2014 and want to pay the remaining balance we will still give you the book online5% Pay-In-Full discount. Just call or email Kristl at 800-332-2439 to make your payment.


*Remember if you reserve your spot before October 31st you will receive this year's price. This is a savings of over 5%. If you are a repeat guest you still receive your 10% off. This could be a savings of over $250!


Happy Guests Comments:

Everything on our trip was excellent, from calling to make reservations, payment ease, questions answered, the guides were awesome, informative, very knowledgeable and made the day that much more fun! Our guides were Amber and Tabitha and they were EXCELLENT! The best part of this trip was the RAPIDS and the guides made it that much more fun!!!!! HUGE THANK YOU TO AMBER AND TABITHA! I would go back and highly recommend SGE anytime to anyone! You will not be disappointed!

-Janette K. Chicago IL

October Activities at Sheri Griffith Expeditions

by Kristl 9. October 2013 06:44

Rich Practicing his Drive

Short days, colder nights and even some snow on the mountains...must be October in Moab.  We've been busy cleaning, repairing and putting away the rafting equipment here at Sheri Griffith Expeditions, but we have found some time to get out and play, too.  We still have beautiful weather for spending time on the water, in the canyons and on the golf course. 

Brenda took some time to explore Cataract Canyon, launching on the evening of September 30th so that she could beat the "shutdown".  She explored some side canyons and was excited to show us the pictures of the arrowhead she found (and left) there.

Kristl took her family and friends for a "Ducky Day" on the Daily Stretch of the Colorado River and had lots of fun playing in the sand and building sand castles with her kids.

Arlo took some time to kayak on the Colorado River for a day away from the computer and brochure planning.

Jose has taken some great hikes to area petroglyphs, and is planning some more fun excursions with his family.

Marshall and Nicole took their family on a Labyrinth Canyon excursion.

Rich took his family down Cataract Canyon.

Aaron hiked into Cataract Canyon and then rafted down from the Confluence.

Izzy is planning a Cataract Canyon or Labyrinth Canyon trip for next week.

Max and Tabitha have spent time in Pennsylvania with Tabitha's family, and are planning a trip to Costa Rica in November.

Stephanie is traveling abroad, visiting Italy, Sri Lanka and other destinations.

Christian and Rich

One activity that Brenda, Rich, Sara Jane and Christian are going to participate in this weekend is the Moab Regional Hospital Charity Golf Tournament.  The proceeds from the tournament benefit the hospital's Digital Mamography Services. Brenda's team may not be the best on the course, but they'll probably have the most fun!

Winning

by arlo tejada 7. October 2013 15:11

Wasatch MTN

Hello Everyone.

This should be the shortest update yet. I am just updating you on my treatment from last thursday (Oct 3rd)

For those that do not want to read more: I feel great after the last treatment.

Arlo in the InfusionThe rest of the story: I came up to Salt City on Wednesday Oct 2. The drive is starting to get to me even though the Leafs are starting to change. This makes the drive a little bit nicer. It is still 3:30 hours of me thinking to myself. Never a good idea when you are not sure how long you are going to live. I did not have anyone come up with me this time. My Mom flew in on Thursday Morning.

We had breakfast at the Park Restaurant before heading up to treatment. (that is my product placement for this update)

The Doctor was again very excited about how things have been going for Hodgkin's patients. He was also excited about the CT scan results.

My schedule for the future will be pretty set at every other thursday in SLC with CT tests every couple of times. This also runs into Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Not to excited about that.

There was a little discussion on how fast we would need to move to the BMT at the end of treatment. This is something that has been brought up a lot lately. In my head and with friends. The PD1 might be too successful and this has really forced me to think about my next step.

The short answer is I do not know what I am really going to do.

I have not really thought about it a lot lately. But it is something I need to think about. I will save that for the next update….two weeks away.

And Yes I am still think of doing it...and still thinking of not doing it.

In an effort to keep this short. 5 days after the drug I feel great.

Arlo Sea KayakingHad a fancy dinner with my mom last night and we went very ritzy and stayed at Grand America hotel in SLC. (Hey if the drug company is paying for it why not?)

Otherwise my week was rather good. Lots of fun, including Moab Pride events, sea kayaking the river, last weekend up big cottonwood canyon with friends, and finishing the SGRE brochure. 

Very much feel like my rather amazing life is turning towards the even better, yeah I am going to say it. “I am winning!” Much Love!



Arlo Tejada

Tags:

Arlo's Cancer Story | Arlo's Cancer Story

Cataract Canyon...Now with NEW RAPIDS!

by Sheri Griffith River Expeditions 7. October 2013 09:25

Cataract Canyon...Now with NEW RAPIDS!

 

Family Rafting Trips on the Colorado River

September’s record breaking rains and the shrinking of Lake Powell have combined to form some new rapids in Cataract Canyon. For about 10 years, Lake Powell has been at record lows. These low lake levels have allowed the Mighty Colorado River to reclaim some of its former rapids. This has given us the chance to run 5 “new” rapids including the very fun and almost mile long rapid of Water Hole.

Our Operations Manager, Brenda, was able to squeeze in a trip last week before the government shut down. She reported lots of new debris flows from the recent rains.

One of these mudslides created a brand new rapid! Here is Brenda’s description of the new unnamed rapid: “A brand new rockslide has come from the right-side of the canyon to narrow the channel below Water Hole Canyon. At the low water level I ran it at it is was not huge maybe a class 3. The start of the rapid has a classic “V” into some fun splashy waves. If you break through the “V” to the left there is a runnable hole. The hole is little smaller than the Little Delores hole on Westwater Canyon. This should be a really fun rapid at higher flows. YEAH new Rapids!”
Westwater Canyon Rafting on the Colorado River

 


Government Shut Down and Sheri Griffith Expeditions

by GriffithAdmin 1. October 2013 11:57
Moab Utah and the Shut down.
Sheri Griffith River Expeditions is not directly affected by the Government Shutdown. We can still run all our Westwater Canyon trips for the rest of the year. But we feel sorry for all those coming to our great town of Moab, Utah looking forward to seeing Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park


Tags:

Colorado River Rafting | Westwater Canyon Rafting

All Good!

by arlo tejada 25. September 2013 11:54

All Good!

arlo!!!

Hello Everyone,

This will be a much quicker email from last weeks. And that is a good thing.

I went to SLC on Wednesday Sept 18th, to do another treatment and a CT scan. The CT scan was on Weds and the treatment would be on thursday.

The CT scan went fine except the nurse had to stick me twice. And on the second one she said "well I think it's in there." At this point my veins are rock hard and it seems to be very difficult to get to the obvious ones. The contrast that they give you beforehand is terrible and I had to start drinking it two hours before the 7pm test. Which meant drinking it on the drive up through twisty roads. Lucky for me I had a driving partner that liked to remind me "It's time to drink!" and "One more sip!" The other hard part is the IV contrast they give you while you are in the machine. The last two times I thought I was going to throw up afterward. It makes you feel like you just pissed your pants. This time was worse than anytime before. I did not throw up but felt terrible for a couple of hours.

Arlo And Alycia at huntsmanThe next day the we went in around 10. They take 12 vials of blood every time I go in these days. This time the nurse hit the vein on the first try. But that might be because my accompanying friend, Alycia, threatened the nurse. The nurse looked at each arm twice "to be real sure."

When I met with Dr. Halwani he was down right giddy. He said the response in Hodgkins patients has been doing really well over the study. Even Alycia commented on the doctors mood "Is he always like that?" He also said the CT scan showed no Pneumonia. He had to talk the drug company into keeping me on the study.(or at least that is what he told me.) Staying on the trial is obviously a very good thing. He said I most likely will take about 10 total treatment, but really it is just guess. I should not expect any really improvement until week 8.

Sadly the CT scan had not been transcribed by the radiologist by the time I saw Dr. H.

I went to infusion at around noon. I was there for about an hour. It went really smooth except for losing a game of Battleship to my friend. (I know can you believe she did not let me win?) That is how I wish every infusion went. How far it has come from 3 years ago, puking on the "Red one" of the ABVD chemo.

On the way out of the infusion center the coordinator gave me the CT scan report.

It took me a couple times of going over it but all the tumors seemed to have shrank!

family at huntsmant statuteThe largest tumor went from 3.3x1.3 cm to 1.9x0.07 cm. this is of course a great sign. Kind of wish I could have talked to Dr. H about it but it does give me a lot of hope. Of course the PET scan before the 4th treatment will be the most important. The tumors were not big but were very active on the last PET scan. After the treatment I had no reactions and felt very good. I even was able to have dinner with Dasch and Meg. Which was the first time since I had my worse scan in Feb of 2012 that I had seen them. It is kind of funny to reminisce about my last time in SLC fondly considering why I was up there and how hard some of that chemo was on me.

I still feel great. In fact I think I feel better than I have. But that might just be in my head, which really does not matter does it?

Ok that is all. I have another test on Thursday Oct 3rd and I will write again then. Hopefully it will be short.

Thank you all for your support and love.

Arlo Tejada

Tags:

Arlo's Cancer Story | Arlo's Cancer Story

Skinny Tire Events and the Moab Century Tour

by Kristl 20. September 2013 10:36

 

Skinny Tire Events

This weekend is the Moab Century Tour in beautiful Moab, Utah. Mark Griffith and Beth Logan work hard each year to organize this tour and the Skinny Tire Festival as a fundraiser for local cancer programs and for cancer research. Here at SGRE we have always supported Mark and Beth and their non-profit organization Skinny Tire Events as they work to raise funds to fight cancer.

Their work has become more personal lately as Arlo has gone through his cancer journey these last few years. Arlo was a key-note speaker at the Skinny Tire Festival a couple of years ago, and has been a recipient of services that are now available in Moab due to funds raised by Skinny Tire Events for the Moab Regional Hospital.

A lot of the contributions made by Sheri GriffitSkinny Tire Events-gearh Expeditions to Skinny Tire Events are "behind the scenes", including free use of our equipment (tables, chairs, vans, busses), copy services, rent-free use of our warehouse as a staging location for the Aid Stations, donated time of our drivers and a yearly donation of a 2 person 5 Day Cataract Canyon rafting trip for the Skinny Tire Festival biggest fundraiser.

We appreciate all that Skinny Tire Events is doing for the Moab area, and for the fight against cancer. Over the years that Skinny Tire Events has been working to fight cancer, they have raised over $3.6 Million. When I spoke with Mark this morning, he said that as of today, the Moab Century Tour that is going on this weekend has raised nearly $200,000! We are proud to support such a great organization! To find out more about Skinny Tire events, please visit their website at www.skinnytireevents.com.

Tags:

Arlo's Cancer Story | catraract canyon rafting

Huntsman...huh?

by arlo tejada 16. September 2013 15:10

Huntsman Cancer Center...Huh?

arlos family
Hello Everyone, The last month has been very stressful and more of the same. Nothing ever seems to go the way it is supposed for me anymore. Just when things start going well, something always gets messed up.

On Aug 15th I went to SLC to do another PET scan. This one was at the Huntsman Center. They do this test a little different. They shoot me up with the radioactive sugar like normal but instead of the normal 50-minute wait they do 90. Which is very boring and they do not like you to read or move. Plus the test itself is 35 minutes long in the “tube.” Supposedly this test is more accurate.

The report on the PET scan came back bad…and not so bad. There has been only a little spreading or growing of the tumors. They are basically the same size which is good since I have not had treatment in 3 months. But the activity or brightness has gone WAY up. The main tumor at the top of my stomach went from 11 SUV to 22.34 SUV. The other larger tumor went from 6 to 18 but both are about the same size as before.

arlo and JoseOn Aug 16th I talked to Dr. Halwani, who is running the clinical trial at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake. Here we setup a start date of Thursday the 22.

I am trying to keep things normal in my overall life. I have stopped going to work but still working from home.

I am also looking at potentially hiring an assistant that may replace me in the future. This is a lot harder than I would have thought. I have to make a list of what I do, then I have to go through and fill in the details. I realized that no one else in the company has a clue what I do. This task is incredibly frustrating and actually very sad. Do not like the idea of not being here. But I guess that is to be expected.

The big issue for the week was I got sick on Wednesday August 21st. I drove to Salt lake that day. It was a miserable drive. I was very sick with flu like symptoms. I really should have called the dr. and the hospital but I was very worried about getting kick out of the trial or waiting longer on getting treatment. It has been months since my last treatment and I have started to show new symptoms such as night sweets and itching. Obviously this was very worrying to me. (somewhat of an understatement.)

I went into my appointment the next day feeling a little better. I thought I would be able to fake it. I was not. They were rather upset that I did not call and sent me home. Along with some antibiotics. I spent the next two days in bed in SLC. I was in bad shape. I went back to Moab on Saturday not feeling great but better. By Sunday I was a bit better. And on Monday I was…normalish. Still sick but not in the body.

I was pretty good on Tuesday Aug 27 or so I thought. I talked the doctor into giving me the drug that day. The best part of the day was the free set of Skull Candy headphones given to all new patients. That is about the only good thing that has happened to me at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. I will go over this more later.

I had to sign new consent forms because they have found new side effects for the drug in the past week. One of the new side effects came from animal testing. Which means this drug is so new they are still testing it in animals…and still finding side effects.

arlo!The infusion center is amazing. Huge room with great views of the Salt Lake Valley. Very comfortable and fairly private chairs with individual tvs. I can not stress how much money this place must get, really seems like money is not an issue. The service is the issue.

I came into the Infusion room around 1:30. I was setup with a nurse and a helper. The nurses seem to be taking care of about 8 people at once. Which I thought was a lot. But it was hard to tell.

I was hooked up fairly quickly and got under way. the quote of the day came from my nurse who said “Wow, this does not have name? It’s just numbers. Never seen that before.” Very reassuring.

The infusion took about and hour. The big issue was that I then had to wait 3 hours and get my blood taken to see how much of the drug was still in my body. Here is the rub. The blood tests are not to see how I am doing it is strictly for the drug company’s research.

At around 430 my nurse left without warning. The only way I know this is because I could see her from out of my window at the bus stop below.

At 5:30 another nurse came by to do the blood draw. I was not feeling great so I asked her to check my vitals. I would have thought that would be the routine but I guess it is not. Temp was a little high but nothing to worry about she said.

I went back to where I was staying. About a 40-minute drive away. By the time I got there I did not feel great at all. I had dinner with my friends and sent out texts to my main contact that if I called in the middle of the night, acting weird to call Jon and Gretchen, the friends I was staying with.

On my way to bed I asked Jon for a thermometer to have at the side of the bed in case. When he gave it to me he said we should check it. It came out to 101. We got another thermometer and that one came out to 103. At this point we called the emergency number the clinical nurses gave me. The doctor I spoke to told me to go to the ER. Preferable the one next to the huntsman.

We went to the U of U ER. I actually did not have to wait. They got me in a room right away. We spent about 3 hours there, mostly playing board games with Jon on Gretchen’s Iphone. They finally decided that I would be admitted to the BMT ward of the Huntsman.

This is a very similar experience to getting admitted to the LDS BMT ward for an infected line years ago. But the rooms at the Huntsman are enormous compared to LDS.

arlos family at weddingAfter being admitted I met with the night doctor. She said I would probably be out around noon the next day. This was great news to me.

The problem was no one talked to Dr. Halwani, even though I told them to call him and his nurse Mary. This is a trial drug and normal treatment might not be correct because of that.

After 4 people told me I would be released, Mary came and told me she doubted I would be there less than 3 days.

Even after I was told that several of the nurses told me I would be released soon. The communication was terrible.

My sister flew in the next morning. And my dad and brother came up on Saturday. We played cards and it really was not to bad.

I also had lots of visitors. Including my favorite nurse from LDS hospital. And several of my friends stopped by to watch college football. The room was kind of like a hotel room more than a hospital.

The room was not only nice. The whole floor was great. With an outdoor patio and walkway. I keep thinking how hard it will be to go back to the tiny LDS hospital rooms….that is until I think about IV’s changes.

The IV the ER nurses put in my vein was right on my elbow and very uncomfortable. As soon as I was moved to the Huntsman I asked for them to redo it and put it in a different location. They basically refused. Turns out there was a reason for this. They are really bad at IV lines.

They required a LOT of blood during the first two days. And none of it could come through the IV. Which required them to poke me a lot. I have never really had issues with anyone finding a vein. Especially just for a blood draws. But for some reason it was a huge deal here. Not a single time did they get the vein on the first try. Which for me is very rare.

After four days they decided to remove the IV that the ER put in and try the other side. It took three different nurses to do it. Again unheard of in the 3 years I have been spending time in hospitals. The second time they thought they had it in and started the antibiotics. My arm stared to swell up and get really stiff. My arm two weeks later is still slightly painful to bend.

The last IV I got they put it in my wrist. Blood shot everywhere. Then the nurse did not clean up the arm afterward and just slapped the tape on over the blood. Then left, with my other IV still in! About 25 minutes later another nurse came by and took out the first IV. At this point I had my mom call customer service. The head nurse came in a short time later and redressed the IV, Apologizing the whole time. Here is the “funny” part. The last IV was in for 2 days and was never used.

Enough about the service at Huntsman. I will just say money does not always buy quality.

In total I was in the hospital a week. I had a lot of tests run. Including several that I was never told about. A guy in a wheel chair would just show and tell me “I am supposed to take you to get a blah blah scan.” No warning from a nursed or doc. Yes very bad communication.

Dr. Halwani visited me several times. He told me I was going to be in the hospital at least two maybe three weeks. I thought that was ridiculous. I also told him I was leaving for my brothers wedding in two weeks no matter what.

It turns out I had pneumonia. Probably from being sick before and the infusion extended the issue. No one else has ever had a reaction after the first infusion on this drug. So that is a good sign. Though the pneumonia could be related to the cancer itself.

I have been taking it real easy since. The Dr. told me if I have another reaction they will most likely have to kick me off the study.

That would probably be a death sentence.

Since I have been home I have felt pretty good physically. Though I have not really been doing much. Not being real physically active and avoiding anyone that might be sick for the most part.

arlo reading weddingMy highlight of the year if not longer was being the minister for my brother's wedding last saturday sep 14. I was SO nervous I was worried I would cry the whole time. One of the first things I did when I got the bad scan in April was call my brother and sister in law and told them to final set a date! They had been engaged about a year at that point. And if anyone knows Obe and Natalie they could have gone for ever without setting a date. The wedding of course was beautiful and I am very happy I was able to be apart of it.

I go back for another CT scan on Wednesday Sep 18th. And then I have treatment on Thursday. I really hope everything goes alright.

I am pretty excited to see the CT scan and I hope to see some progress but the doctor tells me not to get my hopes up. Though there was a person on the study with a Hodgkin’s that had full remission at 8 weeks. Hard not to get my hopes up. I feel great. Thank you all for your support.
Arlo Tejada

Tags:

Arlo's Cancer Story | Arlo's Cancer Story

Gearing Down and Gearing Up

by Kristl 2. September 2013 09:27

Yampa River

Here at Sheri Griffith River Expeditions we are starting to gear down from the height of our 2013 season, just in time to start gearing up for the 2014 rafting season.  We loved meeting new friends and re-connecting with old friends as we traversed the canyons we call home. We've already received reservations for the 2014 season, and it is starting to look like a great rafting seaon! 

As part of our "gearing up" for the 2014 season, we are offering a special September special on all of our rafting trips!  If you've been following us for a few years, you know that we always offer our "Next Year's Dates at This Year's Rates" until October 31st, but this year we are offering a special incentive.  If you make your reservation during the month of September and pay for your rafting trip in full, we will give you an additional 5% discount!  This discount works in addition to our group discounts and our return guest discounts, so you could save a lot of extra money!


Call or email Kristl for more details! (800) 332-2439Gates of Lodore


If you've ever wanted to see Cataract Canyon, the Yampa River, the Gates of Lodore or any of the other beautful canyons that we call home, this is the time to start planning!  We offer all-inclusive rafting excursions, so no hidden rental fees and no extra transportation fees will be added on to your reservation.

Another Great Review from Westwater Canyon

by GriffithAdmin 20. August 2013 15:50

“Indiana Jones would be jealous”
Read the review on TripAdvisor about one of recent guests trip down Westwater Canyon.