Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Grand Canyon Day 4: Straight Outta Canyon

good mornin!
This was the last day...and possibly the toughest. This was the first time we got up before sunrise...at least for everyone but Raymund. Hoorah! We packed up post-haste, hoping to skip most of the sunlight for the day. The last day of oatmeal...for a while! Connie, who slept on the table because she didn't bring her tent, was up and ready when we were. Even with getting up early, I think we didn't get out until 7am. See ya Cottonwood...next stop, the North Rim.

roaring springsIt started off really nicely because we had nothing but shade for the first third of the hike. The canyon walls helped us out by blocking the sun as long as possible. But as soon as we hit the turn close to Roaring Springs, the sun started to peek out. We took this opportunity to stop for a quick snack. We huddled behind the shade of a big rock and nibbled away. With all our craziness I was surprised that Connie stayed with us for the whole hike out. The best example of this was Ross' inability to eat a piece of food that hit Caroline's leg and then the ground. He confessed that if it had only hit the ground and not Caroline's leg he would have eaten it. WTF?!! Gaw, Gah! That would be a turn-on for some people, but it seemed to be the ultimate turn off for Ross. Hilarious. He had nothing against "nature germs" but abhorred "people germs." Then the scenario about food falling in mule manure came up and he qualified that nature germs meant "rocks, trees, and dirt" etc. Too funny.

looking backWe reloaded and headed forward. The heat was getting to us and we started taking breaks whenever there was a sliver of shade along the trail. Plus, the switchbacks were starting. We took another extended break after passing Roaring Springs, at a shaded cove. This is where my gps decided to die. I mean, not even switching batteries worked. So, yes, I pulled out the compass. I determined that we had to go up. What navigation. We got going again and I figured our lunch stop was coming up, at Supai Tunnel. So I decided to keep going until the tunnel without stopping. Up, up, up the switchbacks, which were now back in the shade, thankfully. But no tunnel in sight--where was this damn thing?! I looked down to see where everyone was and I didn't realize I was so far in front. I kept going because I knew we would be stopping for lunch soon...so I thought. Up, up, up....finally I looked up and saw that the trail seemed to end at a rock face. That's where the tunnel must be, I thought to myself. And, yes, it was. I quickly got that pack off and sat in the shade waiting for everyone.

north rim trailheadWeihan was first to show, then the rest of the crew showed up at the same time. Lunch time! The last time for tuna and cheese and crackers. :( It was soooo good even though it was the 4th day in a row we've had it. We chilled, chatted with the folks on mule/horseback and refilled our hydration bladders for the final push for the top. Then some guy hiking down from the North Rim said "you are those guys!" Apparently our fame precedes us. LOL. I have no idea how he heard about us, but we played along. Then we just wanted to get it all over with. The sun was back in effect--that and the combination of dust and horse manure made this last climb less than optimum. I must have stopped at every possible shady spot. It was hot. I hung out with Warship for most of this section, but then he went on without me, claiming the glory of getting to the top first. One more switchback and I was about to scream in disgust. Thankfully, it was the last one as I saw clear skies, not lines of trees, above me. There was Warship waiting to capture the moment, so I gave it my all for "big arms." There was a nice reception of people at the top, clapping, among them 3 ultra runners doing a rim-to-rim-to-rim run. Insanity! We waited for a short while and the rest of the group finished up gloriously. We had finished! Yeehaw!

HART plus ConnieThere was a little confusion about the shuttle back to the South Rim (read: Kenny forgot his schedule). So we decided to walk over to the general store and make a call to the shuttle service and to get something to eat. The first time I called I got their answering machine, but the second time I got a real person and was able to confirm that they had planned to pick us up at the trailhead at 2pm. With blind luck, just as I got off the phone, the Transcanyon Shuttle van drove up to the general store! I asked him if he was the one who was going to take us back, and he said "yes"! Sweeeet! The timing seemed to be perfect this whole week. He gave us time to shower and then we loaded up in the van and headed back. Connie wasn't sure what she was going to do (she was thinking about hiking back to the South Rim!), so she decided to stay at the North Rim. We said our goodbyes and exchanged info and took pics. What a great person to meet along the way. Good times, good times.

kenny and the fine womenWe weren't done yet--we had a 4-5hr drive back to the South Rim! But it went by fast as there was a lot to see and talk about along the way. I tell you, Caroline was definitely the one person able to nap in any situation! Plus, our driver kept us entertained--another nice person we met along the way. He dropped us off at the backcountry office, where this whole journey with backpacks started. It was so nice to be back and not carrying those bags that still seemed to be as heavy as they were when we started, despite all of the food we ate! We quickly made a reservation at the Arizona Room for dinner and then checked into Maswik Lodge.

amazing colorsDinner was great! So was the sunset! It was a nice way to finish our visit at the GC. We even splurged and had dessert...a la mode! We headed back to the lodge and realized that this room didn't have air conditioning. WTF?!? Man, that room stayed warm for the longest time. Finally Deb opened up the front door and that cooled it down quickly.

back at the GC entranceThe next morning we had breakfast at Maswik again and checked out and made one last visit to the Rim. Sad to go. That was pretty much it! Drove back to Phoenix and hopped on a plane back to Htown. Mo was there to greet us and take Warship and me home. Another great trip to the GC! So, what's next year's trip, gang?!?!


Post a Comment

<< Home