Saturday, November 17, 2012

Top to Bottom to Top of the Grand Canyon!

When we arrived to the Grand Canyon it was quickly getting dark and was absolutely freezing, so we booked ourselves a campsite for the night ($18...ouch!) and set up our tent. Because we figured that going to bed at 6:30 might be a tad too early, we instead had a little movie night and enjoyed watching a movie on Taylor's laptop in the warmth of our cozy car! Much better than shivering in the cold!

The next morning we made our way to the Visitor's Center to get our backcountry pass for camping at the bottom of the canyon. Turns out that we had gone to the wrong place actually, but the ranger that we spoke with gave us a scare, telling us that there was absolutely no room in any of the campsites down there and that there was a waiting list to do such a thing. WHAT!?! We momentarily panicked, thinking that our entire time in the Grand Canyon was now going to be ruined as our plans for the next two days were looking impossible! But before getting too upset we decided that we ought to check with the people in the correct office (the backcountry office) to see what they would suggest. Turns out that our first ranger friend couldn't have been more wrong, and that they did in fact have plenty of openings in all of their campgrounds. Phew!

We headed to the rim of the canyon and made a new friend named Chris who had clearly decided he was sticking with us for remainder of the day. The three of us shuffled down all 7 miles to the base of the canyon in approximately two and a half hours and set up our camp at Phantom Ranch. There is a neat little "canteen" there where backpackers and lodge-stayers alike can enjoy snacks and drinks and send post cards and things like that, so we spent most of our evening in there. It was very fun!

The next day Taylor and I went for another couple mile hike (because goodness knows we weren't doing enough hiking already!) and then headed to our second campsite which was a couple miles away from Phantom Ranch, heading out of the canyon. Here's the thing about doing the hike in and out of the canyon over a span of 3 days....while you get to enjoy an absolutely amazing experience, you also give your legs time to let that soreness really sink in, and sink in it did for me!! I was stiff as could be that second day as we walked to the other campsite, but managed to make it and get to bed early. Unfortunately sleep did not set in quite as quickly as we would've liked because it turned out that the loudest snorer in all of the Grand Canyon had set up his tent right next door to ours! By 2am it felt as if his snores were echoing off of the canyon walls!! Ugh!

The soreness that I felt that second day was absolutely nothing compared to what I woke up with on our third morning!! Taylor had to literally lift me up and out of the tent because my legs couldn't move! Ouch! So how did that make for our hike all the way up and out of the steep canyon? NOT GOOD! It was a painful haul the rest of the way and took quite a bit longer than we would've like (around three and a half hours we counted) but we made it out safely and were extremely thankful to see the car!!


The views were so beautiful that even standing on the rim and looking our didn't seem real! I felt as if I was looking at a screen!




Made it across Black Bridge!

Down at the bottom of the Canyon at Phantom Ranch


We Love the Grand Canyon!


Colorado River with Black Bridge and Silver Bridge

So true!
Backpackers have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Mules of the Grand Canyon, and by love-hate I mostly mean hate. It was interesting to hear what the other backpackers had to say about the Mules and the people who ride them. See, there are three types of people who travel down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon: Those who backpack/hike down themselves, those who hike down but send their bags and luggage down on mules, and those who simply ride the mules the entire round trip. It turns out there is quite a bit of pride within the community of those belonging to the first group of people, as their exhausting and hard-earned efforts down but especially back up the canyon give them cause to feel a bit more intense than those who ride the mules or send their bags on them. I will say that it all sounded a little silly to me, but after dodging mule poop step after step and having to constantly break our strides to stand aside for the slow-going mules carrying tourists past us, we were a bit less than enthusiastic about the mules ourselves!




Petroglyphs on the rocks!

No comments:

Post a Comment