Grand Canyon River Guides, our nonprofit gang of boatfolk and fans, has two gatherings each year: the multi-day Guide Training Seminar at Marble Canyon, and a fall meet somewhere. This year it was at my boat shop. It was originally going to be on November 1, the Day of the Dead. But schedules forced it ahead a day to Halloween. So we combined the holidays.

Margeaux and I brainstormed on what to do, then threw it all in Lynn Hamilton’s lap to manifest. She hooked us up with Deadwood, a great local band, Maggie the face painter, and Nate with his Chili Box Food Truck. Several of us assembled on the 30th and began dragging boats out and building ofrendas (shrines to those who have passed on). It’s a little shocking to realize how many boatmen have now run their last rapid, but we conjured their spirits for the party.











Maggie painted faces for five hours nonstop.



Deadwood shredded the whole time.


Mariah and Billie rant a great bar.




The kids’ craft table drew more grownups than children, painting skulls and such.


And a huge and wonderful assortment of the river community came together. Maybe something about the beauty of the candles and decorations, or the sentiment of the shrines to our fallen ones, or just being all together–a combination no doubt–made it one of the most delicious gatherings I can remember. I love our community.