7:00 AM: after spending 10 hours lying on a two-inch thick bed roll on the hard, ungiving ground, in the confines of a mummy bag, using a crumpled up jacket as a make-shift pillow, I woke up feeling much like a crippled old lady. and then I remembered I was at the bottom of the Grand Canyon! the pain was worth it!
I gently eased myself into a sitting position and began stretching out the kinks. as I was contemplating my next task-- how to get myself up and out of the tent-- Gary reaches over, clamps his hand on my tender calf muscle and squeezes. OH! (and then another dozen exclamation points!) the pain alone was enough to make me sky out of the tent, my cries of mercy echoing off the canyon walls.
you guys, was that mean or was that MEAN? men. can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. NOW GO MAKE ME BREAKFAST, you turd!
and speaking of food, I can hardly stomach looking at these next photos. can you say just add water? excuse me for a second while I cover my mouth, run to the trash and puke. but let's face it: trying to come up with meals that are lightweight, require no refrigeration, but yet are appetizing-- well, there is no such thing.
life-saver: Starbucks Via. who cares if the food was bad. at least I had great coffee!
below: his and her sleeping bags. I rented a down bag from a local outfitter and WOW was it nice. not only did it scrunch up into the size of a soccer ball, it weighed less than my camera. serious. I think it's time for the hubby to splurge on a decent sleeping bag, you think?
above: if you're on the ball and into planning a couple years in advance, you can stay at these cozy little cabins at Phantom Ranch, instead of camping out. bedding and food are provided. all you have to do is haul your own butt down there.
at 9:00, we went on a 2 mile guided hike on the River Trail, led by one of the park rangers. along the way, she talked about the history behind the trails at Grand Canyon.
as well as being super informative, it gave me a much greater appreciation for the back-breaking work that goes into maintaining the trails, or "super-highways," as they're referred to today. back in the early 1900's, the trails were extremely narrow and had anywhere from a 20 to 40% grade! can you imagine hiking on trails that steep? eek! you may as well hop in your toboggan and sled down. today, the trails have no more than a 17% grade.
before packing up and heading to Indian Garden (our second night destination) we attempted to dip our feet in the freezing Colorado River. talk about insta-headache! the river temp remains the same year round-- a whoppin' 47 degrees. oh, I lied. it can reach up to 49 degrees along this stretch.
we left Bright Angel Campground just after 2:00 PM. from there, it's a 4.5 mile jaunt on the Bright Angel Trail up to Indian Garden. we crossed over the Bright Angel creek several times along the way. the scenery was superb; some of the vegetation showcasing their fall colors. and I'm tired of typing the words Bright Angel.
we spotted a big-horn sheep leaping up the cliffs. very cool! if only I could morph into one of these guys, I'd be a happy camper!
a couple shots looking back at the trail we had just traversed. lots of switchbacks as we made our way up. we kept a pretty steady pace. and to tell you the truth, I think it's easier going up than down.
uh, hon, if I were you, I don't think I'd be leaning against that rock wall like that. it could give away and... what was that? did I hear you say you just upped your life insurance policy? oh good. stay there a bit longer then while I snap a couple pics. LOL
just as I was taking this picture I felt my stomach lurch. UUUUGHHHH. something was definitely up.
at this same time, two ladies came racing up the trail with these small day packs on. "trade ya packs," I said half-joking, but yet half-serious as I hoisted my own heavy pack on, grunting with the effort. "well," the one lady pipes up, "I bet we have you topped as far as miles go." and then she went on to say that they had hiked from the south rim, down to the river, up to the north rim, back down to the river and now were on their way back up the south rim. all in the same day. that's like over 30 miles. "oh," was all I could say. crazies!
we rolled into Indian Garden just before 5:00 and I had just enough energy to clamor up to a lookout point to watch the sun set on the Canyon walls.
and then I spent the next 12 hours with my head in the toilet.
thus ends day two.