Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Rim to Rim

I'm back from 3 days and 3 nights of backpacking the Grand Canyon from the north rim to the south rim. We had great weather and lots of fun.

For most of us this was our first trip from the north rim to the south rim and we were looking forward to seeing the canyon from another view rather than from the south. We did run into a little unknown scenery snag, though. It just so happened the park was performing prescribe burns along the top of the north rim forest and the smoke settled in the canyon. This limited our views of the canyon while we were going down on the first day. But, the smoke was lifting while we were hiking to our first camp site at Cottonwood and the skies were clear for the afternoon and evening.

But when we woke up the next morning our camp site was clouded with smoke and we could hear people coughing from smoke inhalation. I was not bothered by the smoke and just chalked it as a rainy day in the woods.

After breakfast we continued to hike to the Bright Angel campground at the bottom of the Canyon where we did not have any smoke problems. Our entertainment for the evening was listening to a Naturalist talk about bats and the importance of their survival for the benefit of mankind. The naturalist did a good job of educating us, but when she made a comment about, proving scientifically that bats do not have any interest to fly into your hair, she lost our attention. After the show we went to our campsite to enjoy a beautiful clear night with so many stars never to be seen while living in the big city.

The next day we hiked from the bottom up to Indian Gardens. After setting up camp we hiked out to Plateau Point to enjoy great views of the Colorado river snaking through the canyon. On our way back to camp we stopped at a water fall to enjoy a cool refreshing shower. That evening we played a card game called mow mow for the canyon championships. One of the players said, he never laughed so much while playing cards. We were having so much fun teasing and bantering one another in good spirits.

The final day out of the canyon was a 4.5 mile hike to the top. My plan was to march up as fast as I could. I wanted to set a precedence of making good time on hiking to the top from Indian Gardens. I made it to the top in 2 hours and 5 minutes. I was met near the top by my sister-in-law who gave me a banana and an apple. I very much appreciated seeing her and giving me those treats. I dropped my pack off at the van and ran back down about 1 and a quarter miles to meet my wife to take her pack and walk with her to the top.

The time in the canyon goes so fast because we see and do so much. It also helps to share the time with those you love.


E-Speed said...

Thanks for the address update Lou! I wondered what the heck happened to your blog!

Grand Canyon sounds so awesome. Some day I hop to hike rim to rim or maybe even run it!

Neese said...

Thanks PL! :) And, did you ever get yourself setup on FB? That second photo of the GC is gorgeous!!