Sunday, April 21, 2013

Grand Canyon Trip 2013 - Part III (The End)

I need to finish this trip segment up so we can get back to bikes!  I attended the 4th Annual vintage bike show today and I'm eager to post some pictures.  But that will have to wait until later in the week.  For now, back to the Grand Canyon.

This is the third day of a Grand Canyon trip my wife and I took with my parents and my sister's family at the end of March.  The previous day my wife and I hiked to the North Rim and back from the bottom of the canyon.  After crawling into our tent around 10:30pm we immediately fell into a deep slumber which could have lasted well into the next afternoon.  Unfortunately the alarm clock Kiri had set for 5am seemed to go off 10 seconds after I closed my eyes.  Nope.  It really was 5am.  I had just crawled into a tent in total darkness.  And now I was crawling back out in total darkness.  Kiri and I had a 5:30am breakfast.  Who the heck made these arrangements??  Oh yeah I did.

After grabbing a bite in the cantina, Kiri and I had to break down the tent and pack the duffel bag for the mules to take back up.  Things were a bit hectic, but we made the mule deadline.  At which point we were ready to hike back out!  One final group shot as we get ready to cross the Colorado River.  My niece was the only one who didn't smile, and as a result, she gets a Photoshopped mustache.  I did tell everyone to smile!

Unlike the South Kaibab bridge, the Bright Angel Trail bridge had a metal grating walkway which you could see through as you crossed over it.  If you have a fear of heights, don't look down!
Looking east as the sun started to rise over the towering cliffs.
Kiri was unphased by the previous days hike.  The woman could have been a Spartan warrior.  I however, felt like a 80 year old man.  Joints creaked.  Legs ached.  Are we there yet?
The first portion of the trail followed the river at a relatively flat angle.  This isn't so hard!  The end of the trail must be around the corner for sure!
All we found around the next corner was a dirt path that went straight up......
and up and up and up and up.
Always spend quality time with the parents whenever you can.  Any side-of-the-trail shady spot will do.
Setting my camera at max zoom I captured my sister's family waaay off in the distance.
We pressed on.  There seemed to be hundred of switch backs in the trail.  Every time I looked up Kiri was smiling down at me.  Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair!  So I can climb up.:)
Unlike the South Kaibab trail, there was a nice flow of water coming down the Bright Angel trail.  The water created quite a bit of green vegetation.
I found this guy sunning himself on a log near the trail.  I asked if he'd pose for me and he started doing push ups.
We reached Indian Gardens and took a break for snacks.  There was potable water here so we were able to fill up our water bottles.
Have you guys seen my wife?  I need to get a picture of her.  She went that-a way?  Thanks.
We took this photo because ten years earlier we had rafted down the Colorado and hiked up Bright Angel.  We tried to recreate a photo we had taken at Indian Gardens on that trip.  Unfortunately my wife tells me we screwed up and our positioning should have been switched.  Oh well.  Guess we'll have to try again in ten years.
From Indian Gardens it's still five miles to the rim.  We headed out and I took this looking back.  Indian Gardens is the bright green in the center.
I'm fairly certain this trail was created from one of M. C. Escher's paintings.
One of two rest stops after Indian Gardens.  I believe this one is called "3 mile" since it's three miles from the rim.
From here you could start to see signs of the modern world.  Almost there!
I overheard one hiker talking about some Pictographs up on the cliff face.  After some searching around I was able to find them with the camera zoom.  I'm not sure how old these are but they didn't look like modern graffiti.  This was old school graffiti!
Almost at the top!  I thought the colors of this picture were amazing.  Indian Gardens can still be seen as the green group of trees, left of center, in this photo.  How far we've come!
Kiri could have made it to the top long before I did.  But she put up with my slow a$# so we could reach the top together.  Thanks honey!
A small quiz here.  One of these guys just hiked 9 miles up from the bottom of the canyon and is about to go take a hot shower.  The other just hit the gift shop and wants to feel the burn of a good 10 minute walk.  Which is which? You decide!
There you have it folks!  Three days of hiking.  ~44.5 miles of trail with ~20682 feet of elevation change.  Probably the longest hike we've ever done.  It was a great trip!  Thanks for following along.
Vintage bike pictures coming up soon!


  1. What an awesome three day hiking adventure. Those pictures are awesome. I can only imagine the views being there in person.

    Hiking it is on my bucket list preferably while I am young enough not to have to carry an oxygen tank with me, lol.

    Thanks for the hiking review and sharing all the pics.

  2. @Trobairitz - Thanks for reading! I don't think you or Troubadour will ever need the use of oxygen tanks:) To much good living up there in Oregon. You both look like you're in your early twenties:)