Friday, June 19, 2015

Arizona Trip: Day 5 &6...

We had another early wake up call for the hike from the North Rim to the South Rim.  Ken woke up and did not feel 100% and decided that the should not hike.  With him not feeling his best, he did not want to take a chance of getting sick in the heat or ruining our pool time we were taking at the Biltmore.

We set off at 3:00 am.  I hiked with our friends Grant, Molly, and Chad.  The hike from the North Rim is usually a hotter hike than hiking from South, mainly from the added sun exposure on the South Rim.  Plus, it is three miles further by taking the Bright Angel Trail.

The four of us rolled into Phantom Ranch around 7:45 am and waited for Phantom to open so that we could get ice and a few other things.

One of the things that we had to get was a beer for Grant!  Apparently you cannot take the beer outside, so Grant stood at the door and drank it.

Grant enjoying his beer.  I almost ordered one in Ken's honor, but it really did not sound good at all!

Molly, Me, Katie, Julie, and Mike at Phantom Ranch

After leaving Phantom Ranch, there is only 10 miles to get out of the canyon.  Most of the 10 miles is in the sun, which makes for a long hike.  The first thing that you have to do is cross the Colorado River on Silver Bridge.

I am completely terrified of this bridge.  I realized this year that it is the rapid below that terrifies me.  The sound of the water rushing below almost makes me vomit.

Silver Bridge 

The Colorado River

After crossing the river, I always look forward to making it to the Devil's Corkscrew, which is a series or switchbacks that look like a corkscrew.  This is one of my favorite parts of the hike.  I guess my favorite part about it is hiking up above the corkscrew and getting a view/picture of it.

Devil's Corkscrew

Another view of Devil's Corkscrew

Chad, Grant, and Molly

Molly, Me, Chad, and Grant with a little more than a half mile to go

The four of us had the best time hiking together.  Molly and I talked nonstop the entire way.  Molly recently became a nurse practitioner so we discussed all kinds of things during the hike.  Molly inspired me to go to nursing school after we hiked together in 2011.

We finished the hike and relaxed and enjoyed a few beverages with our crew waiting for us at the top.  Shortly after we came up, Mike and Katie mad their way up as well.

Mike was thrilled to be finished

Katie and me.  The two of us have been plans for hikes next year in Switzerland, along with Ken and Mike of course.

My proudest moment of the day was the double scoop cone that I enhaled.  When I walked out of the ice cream shop, people were staring and pointing at me with my super large cone. One lady even stopped me and said, "You can do it Honey!" while giving me a thumbs up.  I told her not to worry, I had it handled!

After we cleaned up, we met for drinks and appetizers in the bar.  It was a very long day, but gathering to tell stories after the hike is always the best part.

Grand Canyon Cooler, do not mind if I do!

On Tuesday, we made our drive back to Phoenix.  The highlight of the drive is always stopping at In-N-Out Burger.  

Good bye Grand Canyon!

The rest of the crew headed to the airport, but we made our way to the Arizona Biltmore for a few days of relaxation.  

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