Hiking, Grand Canyon
Take the South Rim shuttle to the Kaibab trailhead. You can stand at the top and get a nice view of the Canyon or I suggest going down a mile or two so you can see some great views of the Grand Canyon. If you go as far as Cedar Ridge (where the mules come up to rest) that's about as good as it is going to get for a short hike.
Make sure and take some water and snacks and hike early or late.
There are not as many people on this wonderful trail compared to the Bright Angel Trail and the views are much better.
Fondest memory: I miss the size and the constantly changing beauty of the Grand Canyon. The Canyon tends to put things in life in perspective.
One can sort of get lost in time at The Grand Canyon.
Fondest memory: We took a brief lunch break. At this lower elevation, it was warmer than the frigid conditions at the rim, but still pretty chilly. But, even on a cold rainy day in November, the views left me in awe. It was pretty disappointing at first to see the Canyon under cloud cover and rain. But, as Jim put it, this is a view that few visitors get to see. You had to look closer to see the colors of the Canyon walls, but didn't have to strain too hard to see its beauty. Even in the midst and clouds, the Canyon was still incredible.
Don't be afraid to be weak.
Don't be too proud to be strong.
Just look into your heart, my friend.
That will be the return to yourself;
the return to innocence.
Enigma Return to Innocence
Fondest memory: After breakfast, Dan and I headed over to Phantom Ranch. This is the only place in the United States where mail is carried out by mules. Jim insisted that I mail a postcard to myself so that it would be waiting for me back home. After that, we headed across the silver bridge to pick up the Bright Angel Trail and head up about 2.7 miles to Indian Gardens.
I picked out a postcard which was taken from near the bottom. In the postcard, the bridge to the base of the Colorado River is visible below. That one will sit on my desk as well. I wrote three words on the postcard: Never Die Easy. That's my new motto.
Fondest memory: The weather remained a light drizzle for the early part of the hike. By the time we hit the Redwall, about a mile from Indian Gardens, we were loaded with rain gear and beginning to sweat. We stopped at 3 mile resthouse for a very quick break before continuing to journey upwards into more rain and colder temps.
I need a sign
To let me know your here.
My tv set just keeps it all from being clear.
I need a reason
for the way things have to be.
I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me.
Train Calling All Angels
Jim told me it would take a while for the experience of hiking the Canyon to sink in. But even out here I'm starting to get it. There is solitude and peace down here. A silence that reaches to your soul. You really can find yourself out here, or lose yourself, whichever you choose.
Jim and Dan insisted on preparing soup at Mile and a Half Resthouse. We were soaked with rain and sweat and Jim thought hypothermia was a possiblity and the temperature was steadily declining.
I had a better plan. After staggering up those cursed steps leading to the resthouse, heavy pack and wind threatening to pull me down with each tread, I pulled out my last can of Redbull and last pack of Pop Tarts. The sugar and caffeine combination worked much like spinach did for Popeye in those cartoons.
As we exited the Resthouse, Jim had good news and bad news. The good news; only three switchbacks to go. The bad: these were the steepest and longest switchbacks of the entire trail. The Canyon doesn't let you out easy. Pre- Redbull and Poptarts, I was shivering with cold and fatigued. Post Red Bull and PopTarts, I smiled at Jim and said "bring it on."
Night two brought us to Indian Gardens, the halfway point between the South Rim and the bottom. The temperature remained warm throughout the day, but it would be dropping tonight. And tomorrow, as we made our way back up to the Rim, the temperature would continue to decline.
Fondest memory: Its a different feeling to be taken away from all that you know and every comfort you're used to. 4.5 miles from the South Rim and I still feel far away from everything. I feel as if I'm farther away than I've ever been.
Favorite thing: After Devils Corkscrew, we took a detour along the Old Bright Angel Trail. The trail is no longer maintained and requires a bit of route finding. But it is a shortcut to Indian Gardens which passes the Tonto Platform and will cut about a mile out of your hike. Plus the views are great and you can see some Indian ruins in the caves along the way.
The Grand Canyon has a spectacular view from either rim, in which colours are changing continuesly with the rising and setting of the sun. One should if anyway possible at least take a short walk into the depth of the canyon. Here to the changes in landscape and natural habitat are as great as the canyon itself. The walk might be strenuous, but a mediocre hiker will have a wonderful walk.
Fondest memory: Looking up from below towards the rising and rising "walls".
Favorite thing: When visiting the Grand Canyon you, of course, must walk around the rim and look from the different viewpoints of the canyon. Another must is to hike (or at least see) part or all of the Bright Angel Trail which winds down to the base of the canyon.
Favorite thing: Even if yoou don't plan to hike all the way in, at least make an effort to start down one of the manyy trails. We took the Angel Bright Trail down until the warning sign indicated that you shouldn't go further unless you had water. We didn't, so we turned back.
Fondest memory: On the morning of day 3, the rain came back, just as Jim predicted it would. The last morning in the Grand Canyon was cold and rainy. And I'd finally managed to get my jacket dry.