W. H. Meadows, president of the Wilderness Society, complains that the "average citizen" has little chance of getting on the Colorado river through the Grand Canyon on "his own boat" because the noisy commercial motorized river rafters have monopolized a majority of the time slots allotted by the National Park Service [letters, Sept. 14]. He requests banning the motorized multipassenger rafts in favor of the average citizen in his own boat.
We are senior citizens who recently took an awesome seven-day, six-night safari down the Grand Canyon because we, like most of the other 20,000 people who raft through the canyon each year, were able to make use of the experienced whitewater guides and safe motorized equipment provided by a commercial rafting company. The average citizen in his own nonmotorized boat has little chance of surviving the rapids. Only fit and experienced whitewater oarsmen with special equipment can make it alone.
The 14 of us on the raft were of limited fitness and experience but had three expert guides per raft. As for motor noise pollution, there was none above the roar of the rapids (only screams of terror and exhilaration). In the calm stretches of the river, the motors were at quiet idle or turned off to avoid spooking the abundant wildlife. The five to eight mph river current was our motor.
Yes, there was a quick helicopter trip immediately up and over the rim to a ranch outside the park, but this was confined to a remote one-mile section at the end of our 188-mile adventure.
CAROL AND LOU WOOD