What can I say? The Grand Canyon was fucking amazing (if every there was a time to use “fucking” to describe something, this is the time).
My trip ended up taking seven days, two of which were travel days. From sunup to sunset, my days we packed with amazingness. However, in an effort to share my trip with you and not come across like the annoying relative who makes you sit through an hour long slide show presentation of their vacation to (fill in the blank), I am breaking things up into three posts: The Descent, The Bottom, and The Ascent.
Furthermore, I am transcribing my trip directly from my mini travel journal. This is in part because a) I am lazy and b) if I don’t I many never get this sucker up!
- Car one: Roger, Christine, Summer
- Car two: Chris, Shelly, Breeanna
- Stopped in Salina, UT. Ate at Mom’s Cafe. Yum!
- Stayed at the Kaibab Cabins (#7 & #8) just outside the North Rim of the park. Sorted and weighed our packs (mine was 30lbs with water!).
-Drove to the North Rim. Saw the GC for the fist time. Was giddy with joy! Felt like a kid again.
- Winds were gusting at 36mph. So cold, yet exhilarating! Literally took my breath away. Couldn’t stop smiling.
- Impossible to take in just how large it is (TWSS).
- Ate dinner at the North Rim Lodge. Consumed half of a chicken.
- SNOWED on the drive back to the cabin.
- Overnight temps were below freezing.
- Woke up to 2″ of snow.
- Took a VERY warm shower.
- Decided to pack a tent and extra layers, although I don’t have many. Worried I might freeze.
- My pack now weighs 34lbs.
- Started at North Kaibab trail head.
- After 1st lookout we were able to shed clothes. Slow moving with 6 hikers all fussing with clothing, cameras, and heavy packs.
- Clear blue skies. Breezy. I was the only one in the group to keep a long sleeve on for the entire hike.
- Stopped at Roaring Springs for lunch. Sat on a rock in a spring. Ate lunch with small bullfrogs.
- Outhouses and water stations all along the way. Started spotting out of nowhere. WTF?
- I have the start of blisters on the first day. Going to tape my toes in the morn.
- Ankle did great the entire time. I taped it.
- So far it is very green and lush. It reminds me a lot of Zions. I keep stopping to look up and take it all in. It’s unreal to think I am actually here and that all of the surroundings are real.
- People hike “Rim to Rim” in 1 day. At first I thought that sounded fun. Now it sounds crazy!
- Lizards are everywhere. All sizes and types. My fav so far had a blue belly.
- My group is great but I am often hiking alone. I like the solitude and non-existing conversation of it all.
- We are staying overnight at the Cottonwood Campground. There are only 7 sites. Ours is fairly sunny. It is by a beautiful river where we can soak our feet and get some semblance of clean.
- Tonight I eat my first freeze dried camp dinner.
- We must lock all food up to keep varmint out and hang our packs on metal t-shaped poles provided.
- Christine snores. Sharing a tent should be fun.
- We hiked 7.2 miles today.
- I miss Jaron.
- Last night went smoother than expected. Took an Ambien and slept until 3am when Christine woke to pee. Glad I got up though, no moon and a million stars.
- Woke around the time it started to get light (5am?) because Roger, Shelly, and Chris were up.
- Sore as can be, mostly my calf muscles and knees.
- Ate breakfast, packed, waited for Christine and headed out.
- Chris adjusted my pack so it wasn’t as painful on my shoulders.
- Knees started hurting right away. The last 3/4 mi I wore Breeanna’s knee brace.
- Hiked to Ribbon Falls. It was BEAUTIFUL. Wished we had more time. Roger was rushing us.
- Found out why the rush. The GC is not forgiving in the middle of the day.
- “The Box” is a narrow canyon area that feels like an oven when the sun is directly overhead.
- Our hike was 7 miles down hill. The last mile my knee hurt so bad I didn’t know if I would make it.
- I hiked with Breeanna and Roger for most of the hike. Their company helped keep me entertained and my spirits high.
- By the time we reached Phantom Ranch, my knee was aching and my calf muscles were so sore I could barely move. But no matter how bad I was, I was still 100% better than Christine who suffered extreme dehydration and a sprained muscle from a previous injury.
- Christine, Shelly, and Chris arrived to PR 1 hr later than us. When they got there we celebrated with beer and lemonade.
To be continued…