Saturday, October 3, 2015

Rim to Rim of the Grand Canyon

Exactly one year ago on this Saturday I hiked rim to rim of the Grand Canyon. I never finished my blog post (started it in October of 2014) so I thought today would be a good day to get it finished and posted.

On October 4th, 2014, I got another item checked off my bucket list, and put more miles on my feet than in any one day prior to that. Rob and Kathryn have friends in Page who do an annual (maybe every other year?) rim to rim hike of the Grand Canyon. There were some extra spots open in their group, so they invited me to come along, and then I invited Gina to join us. We left Phoenix Friday around lunch and arrived in Page just in time for dinner. Rob and Kathryn's friend was kind enough to cook dinner for us, and then she hosted us for the night. We had spaghetti for dinner to carb load for the next day.

After dinner everyone worked on getting their packs together for the hike. I don't know for sure what Kathryn was making - PB on tortillas?
These were my snacks for the day - I ended up having way too much food with me. Also, I carried 2 liters of water, however, there were water refill stations along the trails so was able to refill often.
Bags are ready - Gina's, mine, Kathryn's and Rob's.
Saturday morning we got up around 2:30am to be at the trailhead and ready to hike by 7am. This was the group at the north rim just before we set off. It was also about 25 degrees.
North Kaibab Trail - let's do this!
The views all day were amazing. This was my first time hiking in the Grand Canyon...even though I am an AZ native. It took me 18 years just to see the Grand Canyon.

Gina and I at the Supai Tunnel. We had maybe been hiking for 45 minutes and it was already starting to warm up significantly.

Gina does an amazing standing head to knee pose.
The guys were getting their yoga on as well.
Side planks on the bridge.

In some areas the trail was very narrow. Fortunately I didn't almost slip off the edge on this trip :)
Gina is way out in the distance.

First water break stop. I believe this is Roaring Springs, which is 5 miles into the hike.
Rob and Kathryn sitting for a minute at Roaring Springs.
Back on the trail and crossing another bridge - I don't know for sure how many bridges we crossed throughout the day but there were quite a few.

Taking a break at the turnoff to Ribbon Falls - we were waiting for the group to determine if we were doing the side hike but decided against it since it would have added 3 miles to our already 24.3-mile hike. I'm eating chips here to get some salt intake.

We are so strong!

Made it to Phantom Ranch - 13.6 miles down.
We stopped and ate lunch here and got some lemonade from the little store at Phantom Ranch. We also changed our socks (we had been advised that best practice was to bring an extra pair of socks) and taped up our feet. I was starting to get a blister so fortunately someone had duct tape for it.
Relaxing at Phantom Ranch.

Leaving Phantom Ranch - it was pretty warm at this point and I was glad that I had a hat.

Leaving the North Kaibab Trail and switching over to the Bright Angel Trail. The South Kaibab Trail is actually a shorter distance but it is steeper so we chose the longer trail that isn't as steep.

Crossing the Silver Bridge. The Colorado River was very muddy looking.

This wheelbarrow was off to the side of the trail so I gave Gina a ride. Ha ha - not really - we are just posers :)

The trail to Indian Gardens. The hike at this point was starting to feel long.

Warning - DO NOT attempt to hike rim to rim in a day.
The sun was starting to set. This was after we passed Indian Gardens, which was 4.5 miles from the rim. This was the longest 4.5 miles of the day though. We were "climbing the wall" at this point, and my legs and feet were starting to hurt.

3 miles to go. There was a sign at 1.5 miles as well.

We made it to the first arch! We were told that once we got to the arches (there were 2) we were almost out.
This picture is blurry, but it was so dark and my flash was not doing well. I included it because we were so happy to be to this point. When we got to the second arch, there were people there in flip flops with wine so we knew we were close.
Done! Almost 12 hours and 23.5 miles later. We went to dinner at the South Rim with the group and then we stayed at a hotel at the South Rim as well. The shower felt so good, and getting in bed felt great too!
We had breakfast the next morning at El Tovar Restaurant
Charlie and Rob
The hiking group - everyone made it out to tell about it.

Gina, Me, Kathryn and Rob
The "cheering" group. They did a lot of the logistical planning, and they drove cars around the Canyon while we were hiking.
Back at the arch. Since our picture the night before didn't turn out to well, we came back to get another one.
That's what we hiked.
It was a fun day, and I would do this again for sure!

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