I got interested in the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hike when I saw this WZ thread
. It looked like something I should do, but I put it on the back burner while I finished the Sierra Club SPS Peaks List
. I finally finished the list on September 22 after decades of not caring whether the peaks I climbed were on the list, and nine years of focusing on the list.
It was time for something different. My wife and I drove to the campground at the Grand Canyon North Rim. The next day, we did the usual tourist things, quizzed the ranger about the hike, and checked out the walk from the campground to the trailhead.
Saturday morning, the alarm went off at 2:30. It only took 13 minutes to walk from our campsite to the North Kaibab trailhead, so there was no point in waking Dovie and having her drive me. I started down the trail just before 3:30. I shed my jacket and gloves at 5:30 and stashed the headlamp at 6:00.
Iím too old to hike very fast, but I kept a steady pace and didnít stop to smell the roses. (I did, however, slow down often to look at them.) I rolled into Phantom Ranch a little before 9:00. It was time for a real break, and I sat down for a while. I changed sox, converted my pants to shorts, ate, used the toilet, and talked with dozens of hikers and runners.
Everybody talks about the heat and the need to drink lots of water in the Grand Canyon. I had consumed about a quart so far. I drank another quart at Phantom Ranch. I left Phantom ranch with about three quarts of water, bracing for the heat and planning to fill up at least twice on the way up the Bright Angle Trail. I was across the Colorado River before 10:00. The canyon walls and a few clouds provided some shade. I never stopped for water, and I had a quart and a half left when I got to the top. I did the whole trip on less than four quarts and felt fine.
I finished at 2:35, 55 minutes early for my meeting with Dovie. I lucked out and she showed up three minutes later. It was National Public Lands Day, and admission to the park was free. The place was crawling with people, so we hurried out of the park and spent the night in Kingman.
I would say more, but I just scored a permit for Russell on Thursday. Gotta go get ready for the next adventure.