7 August 2015

Flashback Friday - The Grand Canyon

Today is 5 years to the day that we set off on our adventure across America living in our beloved Chevy Astro, Toby.
We don't do as much travelling these days, so I thought I might have a little flashback every now and then to past places I have visited.. some I will be drawing from an old blog of mine like this post. 

original post date : August 24, 2010

What goes down must come up!

Day 1.
I am writing this blog entry from the very bottom of the Grand Canyon, but will be posting it when I reach civilization again! If that does not impress you, it should, because it sure impresses me! But wait til tomorrow, the 15.3km hike out of here is going to simply astound me! the 11.3km hike in today was tough enough! Going down hill for that long, sure puts a strain on the ol’ legs! Took about 4 hours!

We have set up our tent and now are relaxing after a refreshing soak in the creek. (It’s about 35 degrees) The temperature got warmer the lower into the canyon we got. It was interesting to watch the vegetation change on our descent. The leaves became broader to soak up more sun.
Sitting here taking it all in, there is an abundance of wildlife. Butterflies all around! One just landed on my finger.. a snow white moment! Love it! And the cheekiest of desert rock squirrels is stalking our camp – he’s already had a chew of my back pack while my attention was turned the other way! I’ll be glad if we don’t see all of the wildlife though, there is something called the Giant Hairy Scorpion that lives around here. Sounds awful!
Down her in the inner canyon there is an excavated Hopi Indian Kiva  and we are off to a ranger talk in an hour about the first inhabitants of this very secluded  area.

Day 2.
It was difficult to sleep due to the heat and the thought of the following days hike out! But we headed to bed early with the fly off our tent so we could watch the stars and the dozens of little bats flying around the night sky.
We awoke in the middle of the night to a mule deer nibbling at the bush next to our heads. The closest I’ve been to one! It was too exciting and I had trouble getting back to sleep.
The alarm went off at some ridiculous hour and we were packed and heading out just as light started to seep into the the outer canyon. We wanted to get some miles under us before the sun really woke up.
Our legs had stiffened over night from the hike in and the first part of our walk out had me very nervous indeed! But sure enough as the walk became a climb, new muscles were introduced to the Grand Canyon!

The first half wasn’t too bad and we made the half way point by 8.30am.  I was pretty chuffed. We rested a little and felt a bit rejuvenated. This feeling didn’t last long! The sun was getting hotter, the legs sorer and the terrain steeper! Suncream and sweat was dripping off me and I just felt awful.
The closer to the top, the worse it got! (& the worse we looked) And annoyingly the more people we encountered heading down looking all fresh and lovely.

Unlike the hike in, I forgot about the scenery (except at rest points) the camera battery died on us on the way out but i was unlikely to use it as we just looked so dreadful! (Kind of a blessing in disguise!)
When we finally reached the top, 7 1/2 hours after we left, the feeling was awesome! I am very proud of myself although I can hardly walk and my shoulders ache like crazy (did I mention I was the water bearer??) Without a doubt, the hardest hike I have ever been done and so so satisfying!
Though the canyon is Grand from the rim, I would never have realised how deep and intricate it really is and how much it plays with perspective if we hadn’t ventured to the inner canyon!
One of this trips biggest highlights so far! Though my legs don’t agree! :)

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