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Rafters hold out hope for launch on Colorado River

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — More than 30 people from around the country are holding
out hope that they can launch rafts on the Colorado River through the Grand

But with the federal government shut down, they weren’t able to get close to
the water Tuesday, and their Wednesday launch appears unlikely.

Both groups with 16 people each are camped out at a lodge near Lees Ferry in
northern Arizona to see if the government resumes operations.

Getting a permit for the coveted self-guided trips isn’t always an easy task.

One trip leader applied for a permit in 1995 and got one last year. The other
secured his last year through a lottery system.

Grand Canyon spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge says the trips won’t be allowed to
launch retroactively. She says the park has made no decision on refunds or


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