225 miles downstream in the largest canyon in America—some people wait a lifetime for this.
T9 Model and adventure-lover Anne Conway wasn’t very optimistic when she applied for a rafting permit that most people wait a decade (or more) for. But on a whim, 15 minutes before the yearly deadline, she threw her name into the hat. Fast forward to later that evening, when she got the call: She was in.
Let the planning begin.
First up? The Guest List
Anne was part of a larger group of 16 people, but had a couple open slots on her dance card. She invited fellow T9 models Katie Hancock and Jazzy Garrety, along with T9 photographer Freya Fennwood. The girls jumped at the chance; then it was time to get to work.
How do you plan for 25 days in a raft, with no contact with the outside world? You get creative—with your gear, your grub, and your all-important theme-night costumes (priorities, are we right?)
The job was huge: all meals needed to be planned, packed, and kept cool; boats needed to be rented, borrowed, or purchased; tents, bathrooms, emergency supplies, and potable water all needed to be accounted for. The spreadsheets were massive, the to-do lists were long. But the promise of a month on the river was enough to keep the girls organized and on top of it.
After a year of planning, the party got started: 6 rafts, 3 kayaks, 225 miles, 25 days. Whatever happened, everyone knew this was the kinda thing you only get to experience once.
The days on the river quickly developed a rhythm: Early rising for the day’s cook crew, coffee, breakfast, and camp break down. After the rafts were packed, the team set out downriver.
The sun was a luxury. A mile below ground, much of the day was spent in shadows: sunrise came late, sunset early. With only five or six hours on the river a day, life slowed down. (Except when it didn’t—Class IV rapids were lurking around nearly every corner.) By around 3pm, it was time to search for a campsite and set up camp. The kitchen crew got dinner going, while the site crew set up tents, toilets and found firewood. By dusk (if they were lucky) they were ready for some R&R, some hot food, and a little fun…
T9 Middle-of-Nowhere Hacks
Just because you’re two weeks away from anywhere, doesn’t mean you can’t have a spa day. The T9 crew brought a pop-up tent down to the beach, dug a hole and put tarps down, then added lava rocks that had been baking in the fire all evening. A sprinkle of river water and boom—sauna on the go.
Spa Day Extra Credit
A bucket of water and a razor work just fine for shaving (because that’s how we roll in the wild).
Somewhere in between setting up camp and crashing for the night, the crew had a little fun—theme nights were par for the course. Somehow, the girls had room in their bag for flamingo hats AND formalwear, but they won’t reveal their secrets.
When Jazzy fell while climbing, she was afraid it was the end of the road (or river) for her. The rescue helicopter was a radio request away. But after a fellow rafter, who also happened to be an EMT, examined her, nothing looked massively out of place. A temporary splint, some creative wardrobe choices and more than a bit of ibuprofen kept her on the river for the remainder of the trip. When she was back on dry land, an x-ray determined she was definitely lucky: no broken bones.
Ready for your adventure of a lifetime? Before you grab your gear and head out, pick up a few new favorite pieces, like an adventure-worthy skort, performance tank top or a wear-it-with-everything tunic.
I was just looking at the last page of the new catalog thinking that launch site looks familiar!! I got to do that trip last year as a 16-day trip & was wishing I could have stayed longer. I can’t wait to do it again. It is a trip of a lifetime!! Way to go Jazzy for staying!! I slipped on the 2nd day of my river trip & hurt my knee so I didn’t get to do any of the amazing hikes. Sooo glad that I stayed too. Being on that river & in that canyon changes who you are. Gets in your soul. Turns out I tore my MCL & ACL. Now I’ve got scars from the surgery to reconstruct the ACL & some rehab time (just recently had the surgery – I was hoping to get the ACL to scar in & heal but no luck on that) No regrets though – I would do that trip again for sure!! Can’t wait to see more of the pics…
Wow, you and Jazzy are two badass women. Thanks for sharing your story!
Where does this rafting trip take place? Looks great and would like to look into it!
What a great adventure! A truly lucky group. I personally find nothing gross about leg shaving & would be right there with her! Thanks Title Nine for sharing this story.
Sounds like a lot of fun! I’d love to do a trip like that
Need to know what kind of beer they are drinking in the horseshoe photo. Also, they brought hoseshoes?!?
We don’t know about the beer, but we do know they brought all kinds of things with them. Even costumes!
I swear if I ever got the chance to do this I totally have the crew & photographer to do it with! It would make me the happiest woman on the planet to go from helping the helplessness in our church office to living with my ‘Tribe’ on the river for a month!!
I noticed this in your catalog and was shocked, and even more shocked when I saw it was actually highlighted on your website. No sane woman ever has packed for a 4 week river trip and included a bucket and razor to shave her legs. I have backpacked, rafted, camped, canoed all my life and have never once felt the need to shave my legs in the woods. Never once. And no woman I have ever been with has felt that way either. So it is pretty gross for you to put your leg shaving tips in a story about a 4 week back country raft trip – which should be treated as a serious endeavor – not a beauty tour. I’m offended enough that I will no longer buy from your company, because you included this in advertising when you didn’t need to. You could have spent more time addressing safety measures, or doing in depth gear analysis, or send a telescope so they can learn something. But no, the Title 9 priority was to tell the pretty girls how they can still look pretty in the back country. You sort of showed your hand as a company that profits from women, but certainly does not respect them. Thank You.
Hi Heidi, we appreciate your passionate response! Each woman is different, and one of the woman we highlighted on the trip chose to shave her legs. We support that, and we also support all the women who choose not to! You are right, we highlighted just a little bit of what they did, and we thought any sort of bathing or grooming in a bucket was pretty badass. We also highlighted that one of the women thought she broke her arm, but continued on the trip anyway. Also pretty badass. We are all about highlighting the many different ways that a woman can be adventurous. We hope you stick with us and see what’s next.
Why are you being so presumably judgmental? You assume she has no skin conditions that require her to shave so she doesn’t break out and that T9 shared that to promote profit. This type of judgmental thinking is wrong. Even if it is for her personal preference, who cares? Who are you to judge that they didn’t “take it seriously” or do not respect women? Did your mother not teach you that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all? Wow!! I’m just seriously shocked at your assuming negativity. Personally, the trip they took sounds amazing and I enjoyed the pictures and info. Maybe, next time just ask questions instead of condemning others. I think you’ll feel happier and lighter. Peace
I have to admit that when I saw the shaving, I felt a pang of disappointment in my heart. I’ve been down that river 3 times with my beautiful badass woman rowing friends, and never did any of us take time out to shave. We were as beautiful as the landscape in our natural glory.