Monday, June 10, 2013

Grand Canyon Trip...Day 3: Hiking From the South Rim to the North Rim...

We set our alarm clock for 1:45 am.  Isn't that what everyone does on vacation?  
Wide awake and ready to hike 21 miles to the North Rim!

Waiting outside of the Bright Angel Lodge for Patrick and Jena to pick us up and take us to the North Kaibab trail head.

Ready to take off!

Our very first peak at light.  The sun comes up in the Canyon around 5:00 am

The dust is really bad on the hike down, so Ken wears a bandanna like a bank robber.

The sun is up and it is time to stop to wait on the rest of our group

Jean, Maddie, and I hiked the first few miles together

Maddie, me, Jean, Michelle, and Abby

Our traditional group photo with half of our group

Stopping for a snack

Ken's food of choice is Uncrustables

With my love

Michelle and Grant

One of my favorite pictures from the hike

On our way to the Colorado River

Our first view of the Colorado

See the bridge?  That is where we are going.

Ken hopes to white water raft on the Colorado River one of these days.

Crossing the bridge.  It was not scary at all.  It is such a cool bridge.  There was a mule train following us, so Maddie and I took off so we would not get passed by the mules.  We made it into Phantom Ranch before the mules.

Grant took this picture.  He told me that this was his Stand By Me Moment.  You know, the part where the kids are on the train tracks and run to avoid getting hit by the train?  He ran to avoid getting hit by the mules. :)

The Ranger Station at Phantom Ranch

7 miles down, 14 to go!

Ken and me at Phantom Ranch

While we were at Phantom Ranch, we learned that part of the water pipeline that supplies water in the Canyon had burst.  There would be no water until the Supai Tunnel, which is 1.7 miles from the North Rim.  Not to worry, we all have purifying water drops or filters.  I filled my Camelback with 100 ounces of water and filled my extra 24 ounce water bottle.  Everyone was topping off their water supply before heading out.  This is where Maddie and I broke off from the group and hiked the rest of the way by ourselves.

Maddie and me stopping for a snack.  Not too long after this, a Canadian lady asked us where our parents were.  She thought Maddie was 13 and that I was her 20 year old sister.  We got a good laugh out of it and this lady might be my new best friend for thinking I am 12 years younger than I am.  I am sure it was not the visor or anything.  :)

Sal and Ken at the site of the burst water pipe.  

Grant, Abby, Ken, and Michelle.  Don't worry about me leaving Ken during the hike, he has fun without me.  

A view back to the South Rim

And it suddenly appears from out of nowhere, the Supai Tunnel!  Maddie and I were both almost out of water, so it was excellent timing.  We sat at the water stop for a bit, to cool Maddie down.  We had been in the sun for the last few hours and she started to get a migraine.  Unfortunately, once you are in the Canyon, you have got to get yourself out.  After some water and snacks, she was ready to tackle the last 1.7 miles to make it to the North Rim.  I just new Patrick would have cookies waiting for us up there.  :)

The best sight ever is when you see this metal cart on the side of one of the switchbacks.  That is the signal that it is the last switchback (a freaking long one, but the last one).  These plastic glasses were sitting there, so we had to take pictures with them.

Striking a pose, Grand Canyon Style

And we made it!  

Hiking buddies

We waiting around for everyone else to finish.  In my opinion, this is my favorite part of the day.  We yell and scream for anyone and everyone that comes up the trail head.  While we were waiting, Abby had a reunion with her rock:

Abby's Rock
Abby had a melt down in 2011 in this very spot.  She thought she would never make it out of the Grand Canyon.  She claims that if it were not for Ken, that she would still be in the Grand Canyon two years later.  I know better than that, she is stronger than she thinks she is.

Jeff and Ken hanging out at the Supai Tunnel water station

Jeff finishes!

Grant and Michelle

Here comes Ken and Abby!

So proud of both of them!
Rim to Rim finishers!

Abby and me

Me, Jena, Abby, and Michelle

Ken and his Jack Daniels with Honey that he was apparently sipping on while on the trail...


Ron, the biggest jerk I know :)

Amy, Anna, and Jen

Our group just chilling and enjoy their post hike beverages.  I am telling you, it is almost worth hiking just to sit on the North Rim and drink and cheer on the other hikers.  We are such a fun group!

Katie and Mary

Mary and her flat dentist

Katie, and the flat dentist, but she also brought along a picture of Mike for the hike.  Mike was suppose to hike, but he is really old :) and broke three ribs while he was playing soccer.  Poor guy.  

Abby, me, Katie, and Mary

Sal and Jena!  

Patrick and Jean!

The girls (and Kyle photo bombing us).  There were five girls still out on the trail head that finished later.

The boys

It was such a fun day!

We ended our day with pizza and drinks in the Saloon on the North Rim. Everyone had fun and everyone was safe, what a great day! 

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