Friday, June 28, 2013

Grand Canyon Trip...Day 5: North Rim to South Rim Hike...

I am not exactly sure why, but the hike from the North Rim to the South Rim is my favorite hike. I am not sure if it is because of the Devil's Corkscrew or the Switchbacks from Hell, but I love this hike.  

Wide awake and ready to go at 2:00 am

Our group ready to take off.  I have no idea what I am doing in this picture.

Michelle, Jeff, Ken, and Amy

Just hiking right along the North Kaibab Trail

Time to empty the shoes of all of the dirt at Roaring Springs.

Our group having a snack.

Amy and Anna, two of the nicest ladies in the world.  Amy is the only other person I know that has an interest in running the Leadville 100.  Maybe one of these days we will run that sucker.

It is my understanding that Salvado was claiming that it is more than 1.5 miles from Cottonwood to Roaring Springs.  Mr. Ken decided to take this picture just for Sal!

Hiking along to get to Cottonwood

Aren't these two and their bandanas cute?  We have a blue one and a pink one.

Abby, me, and Jeff chillin at Cottonwood, home of the second nastiest bathrooms on earth.  The first place nastiness goes to a bathroom in Lake Tahoe.

Enjoying the fact that we are still in the shade!  This is near the turn off for Ribbon Falls.  We did not visit the falls this year.  I did not have to cross the massive stream that this year was barely a trickle.

I am pretty sure I was looking for a spot to pee at this point.  Oh and guess who tried to get pictures of me peeing outside.  That sweet husband of mine.

All of us girls

Ken crossing one of the bridges getting closer to Phantom Ranch

Such a fun group!

Mr. California King Snake that Ken and Grant found on the trail

We made it to Phantom Ranch and guess what, they have beer!

Ken has beer and Grant has Body Glide for Her

Anna and Amy at Phantom Ranch

Ken wearing his stolen towel from the North Rim.  That towel came in handy later.

Ken and me getting ready to leave Phantom Ranch.  I should have bought a Snickers when I had the chance.

My favorite bridge, Silver Bridge!

It was in this moment that I had a melt down.  I looked below me and saw the water rushing.  I thought about what I would do if the bridge collapsed.  I know the chances of that happening are slim to none, but in that moment I freaked out.  I took off as fast I could walk.  I was breathing heavily and Jeff was asking me if I was meaning to walk as fast as I was.  Um, yes.  I need to get off this death trap bridge.  In the end, the bridge did not collapse, I did not die, the bridge is still standing and hikers probably crossed it today.  Oh and lucky me, it sounds like I will get to cross this bridge again in April, when we go on our next adventure in the Grand Canyon.  It is a pretty bridge though.

See those rapids?!?!

I caught Grant and Michelle sharing a very tender moment.  This is one of my favorite pictures that I took that day.

You can see that black bridge that we cross on the South to North hike off in the distance.  Did it freak me out, nope.  I think the Silver Bridge is so much closer to the water that the noise is scary.

Ken, Jeff, and I separated from the group and hiked the rest of the way together.  I had so much fun with these two!  10 miles to the South Rim, no biggie!

Ken is clearly picking up part time work in the Canyon

The boys stopping to get their shirts wet before we head to the Devil's Corkscrew.

Making our way along and being grateful for the shade!

Waiting on the mules to pass

Ken seems to be having a lot of fun

There she is!  The Devil's Corkscrew!

Jeff getting a good look.  Yes Jeff, you hiked up that thing!

Ken and me along with my friend, the Devi'l's Corkscrew

Making my claw face for Patrick!

With all of the Devil's Corkscrew excitement, I almost missed out on seeing more mules go by and guess what!?  There was a white one which I got excited about and deemed it the Kya Mule.  Never boring in our house folks.  Anything white becomes a Kya whatever it is.  I really called it a Kee Kee Mule.  Ken knew that it made my day.

One last look at the Devil's Corkscrew.  Next stop, Indian Gardens!

It is so hard to believe that there is so much green inside the Grand Canyon

Made it to Indian Gardens and it was only 103 degrees this year!

See the group of trees toward the bottom of the picture?  That is Indian Gardens.  Only 4.5 miles to the top!

Stopping to get our shirts wet at the 1.5 mile house.  Only 1.5 miles to go!

Almost finished!

Ken and his signature pose.  You had to know I would not go all day without taking at least one!

I had so much fun hiking with these two all day!

Here we come!

24 miles...done!

So, I have to tell you how sweet I was to these two.  I carried a bottle of Gatorade the last few miles for Jeff because he did not have a place to put it where he could reach it easily.  Pretty nice, huh.  I also would we their shirts at water stops so that they could just sit.  I guess that is what happens when you are an Ironman, you are deemed to have more energy so you can take care of those sort of things.  I kept telling both of them that they are lucky I grew up with two older brothers.  I enjoyed hiking with both of them so much.  I was so proud of both of them!

Michelle and Grant

Amy, Anna, and Abby

I was so proud of Abby!  She had doubts about hiking the second day.  I told her that I would drag her out of her cabin and drag her to the trail head.  I am pretty sure she took me seriously.  I knew she could make it.

Hanging out, waiting on the rest of our hikers to finish.

Stephanie, Natalie, and Jamie

We have Anna giving Amy a foot massage and I can only assuming I am telling some story to Jeff and Abby.

Ken was excited that he got a bloody nose while waiting for the rest of our hikers.

Mary, Sal, and Katie!

Sal and Jena.  We were so proud of Sal!

After we all showered, we had drinks and told stories.  I have never laughed so hard in my life.  We are such a fun group.  I will have to say out of three years, this was by far my favorite year to hike.  Which is a good thing, since we are not hiking next year.

I had a moment this year that took me by surprise.  After Stephanie finished hiking the second day, she came up to me and gave me the biggest hug and was crying.  She told me that she looks up to me and thinks of me as a mentor.  I cannot explain the feeling that I had.  It showed me that you never know who you might inspire.  It was the perfect way to end a three year hiking streak.

On our way back to Phoenix we stopped and one our favorite places.  We love us some IN-N-Out!

Thanks crew for such an amazing trip!  Our next adventure is going to be a doozie!