Monday, April 27, 2009

Grand Canyon 2009

Yes, we finally made it to the Grand Canyon! Our goal, descend South Kaibab, cross the Colorado twice, then ascend Bright Angel Trail. How did it go?

It actually started out kinda rough for me. Herb and I arrived at the parking lot in front of the lodge and grabbed our gear. When I walked up the little driveway to the bus stop, I immediately sat down. My heart was pounding, I was dizzy and generally not feeling too good. I decided just to stick it out and see what happens. Could be the altitude.... 

Our course on the map.

You got it?

Here we are at the start taking pictures of each other taking pictures of each other, taking... Well, you get the idea.

This is at the top of South Kaibab Trail. It's roughly 6.9 miles and 4700' of elevation loss down to Phantom Ranch. The view from the trail head:

There are some directions to follow in case there's an encounter with a mule train:
Spectacular views looking south:

Plenty of warnings... We didn't listen...

Herb making his way down:

Most of of South Kaibab Trail looks like this:

We still have a ways to go:Still great views:

Colorado coming into view:

About halfway down:

This phone predates twisted pair! Emergency use only!!

Mule train!

Still great views:

Colorado getting bigger!

Black Bridge coming into view. We still have a ways to go to get there.

Very close to Black Bridge!

North view from Black Bridge:

Looking south from Black Bridge:

The Colorado was flowing pretty good.

We're at the bottom!

A flat easy hike to Phantom Ranch:

We've arrived! No fanfare, and I'm very surprised at how empty Phantom Ranch is. About a dozen or so people just hanging out, the cantina is empty. Herb and I hang out for about an hour. They make great lemonade, and only change $1 for a refill! That washed down some peanut M&Ms nicely. Herb has his patented peanut butter and banana sandwich with that awesome lemonade. We hung around for about an hour, then headed out.

Great shot of the American Flag with the Grand Canyon as a backdrop:

Taking a right:

Walking around the Ranger House, we saw a sneaky deer looking for lunch. Not afraid of us at all.

Silver Bridge comes into view:

Looking south from Silver Bridge:

Looking at both bridges from Bright Angel Trail:

Colorado is really flowing from the north:

Another way to see the Grand Canyon:

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