Friday, September 23, 2011

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Hike

On September 20, thirteen long time girl friends tackled the Grand Canyon doing the rim to rim hike from North to South. Eleven of them continued on and returned a day later. I was not one of them. I was happy to do the one way trip. 
Shan, Jenny, Suzan, Sherrie, Laura, Judy, Drexel, Terry, Cathy, Sherilee, Brenda, Charlene and Mary.
There was a mask floating around for grumpy women to wear if needed. I am not telling who is wearing it the first night. 

 Our first evening was beautiful and we watched the sunset over the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. After dark we were amazed at the sight of the Milky Way with no lights to distract from it. 

 Early morning start at the trail head. 

There are tunnels and lots of bridges along the way. 
The morning light was beautiful and everything glowed with the rust colored rock. 
You could spot friends all along the trail. 
 This picture was taken from a bridge of our shadows. Unfortunately when I took the picture one of my hiking poles fell off of the bridge. Oops, I hate it when that happens. I discovered that I preferred hiking with one pole. Lucky for me as I still had 22 miles left to go. 
 This trail is not for anyone with a fear of heights. You can see it carved into the mountain. It is about three feet wide and who knows how deep the drop off is. I did not dare to look over it far enough to see the bottom. 
 When we hit the bottom of the canyon we took a side trip into Ribbon Falls to cool off. The mist was delightful. 
 I got out my new silly looking hat but found it to be very helpful especially when I soaked it in the creek. 
 We stopped at Phantom Ranch for lunch. They sell lemonade there that was the best thing I had ever tasted. Ever!!!! With big cubes of ice. It was near 100 degrees down here. We then soaked ourselves with water from the tap. 
From Phantom Ranch we headed to the Bright Angel Trail. I have always been fascinated by that name. I found out that it was named to counter the Dirty Devils. 
 Crossing the Colorado River on a walking only suspension bridge. The temperature is now 114 according to the thermometer. The river was very muddy. 

My friends are really tough. They held this rock up. 
Here is one of the trail critters we ran into. 
The hike ended in the dark. We spent two or three hours hiking up Bright Angel Trail in the dark. Everyone had head lights on. All I can say is it was one long steep uphill hike. You could see the lights at the top of the canyon but they never seemed to get closer. There were 4.5 miles of switch backs. I ran out of steam and it was a tough hike out for me. 
My first step out of the canyon. I am feeling suddenly better. The sign is all about the dangers of the hike. 
The next morning I walked over to the rim to see what the trail looked like. This is the Bright Angel Trail that we came up.  

If you look closely at this picture above it shows the route from North to South. We started at the top of the picture in the canyon. 
I DID IT!!!!!!!!

Now I have to put my disclaimer. I read many things over the summer about this hike. Every single one of them said...DO NOT HIKE THIS IN ONE DAY. There were signs everywhere  in the canyon saying do not do this hike in one day. Although we did not have any problems we saw some others who did. So if you decide to do it be very cautious and make an educated decision. 


MZ said...

I'm proud of you, mom! I'm amazed at one thing never disobey warnings! You're like the worryingest wart in the bunch. Why'd you get talked into something so rebellious as doing it in one day?

Posted by me for Rachel

MZB said...

Glad you had such a wonderful experience, your photos reminded me of my hike, I had forgotten just how narrow the trail was and about the lemonade at Phantom Ranch.. Great photos.

Leslie said...

Total loss for words! Amazing and such an accomplishment! You DEFINITELY need to frame that last picture with the bird in it. Seriously.

barbchuck said...

What a great adventure. This will be something to remember!


Beth said...

You never cease to amaze me. For an "older" woman you are still incredible. Congratulations on making your dreams come true. The pictures are also incredible.

Garden of Egan said...

The more I hear about this from you and Terry the more amazed I am!

barbchuck said...

Mary, congratulations on your incredible accomplishment. I cannot believe that you and your friends went down and came back up all in the same day! Your pictures are beautiful. I am assuming that you did not carry your large camera. Did everyone use hiking poles? I want to get one for Chuck and one for me. I also think it would really ease the pain of Chuck's knees.

Katie said...

It looks like you had an amazing time hiking the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim. I applaud you for hiking such a trail! I'm in the middle of planning a Grand Canyon guided hiking trip with Just Roughin' It, but am no where near being physically and probably mentally ready to hike Rim to Rim. Was that the first time that all of your friends had hiked this trail or did someone have experience on it?

MZ said...

Katie I would be happy to tell you more about it if you want to email me at