starting to hit rock bottom!
Grand Canyon Travel Blog› entry 5 of 9 › view all entries
So in the morning... before everyone else got up... John and I went to the Rim to take some photographs of the sunrise... normally I never seen the sunrise; just a few occasions when I pulled an all nighter in college but I was in a cramped photography lab anyways or when I would go to work at the Pittsburgh Airport and I'd have to be there at 6AM. But this was absolutely Gorgous! The way the color of the the pinks and blues merged with the sky and the Canyon peaks... I'm happy I brought my 300mm lens with me because I was able to get some really cool shots!
We went back to the lodge and packed up our things and stuck them in the trunks of the car which we then proceeded to move over to the lot closer to the South Rim where we were leaving them.
We drove to the South Rim lot, went into the store to rent some walking sticks, because there's ice at the top of the Bright Angel trail.
As we were getting ready I was waiting for everyone to put on their layers... as I was holding their packs and walking sticks for them they looked at me and asked, "is that all you're wearing?" I looked down at myself in a pair of timberland hiking boots (and a pair of timberland sandles strapped to the back of my pack that nobody thought I was going to wear), a pair of very thin wind pants, a Penn State T-shirt and a worn thin zip up hoodie I've been wearing since 1994.
So on the way down I was snapping pictures left and right, infront of me and behind me and at one point I stopped my aunt and put on a 35mm lens and told her to stop. This was the last point I could get a photograph of Amy with the top of the canyon above her head. Hold it I told her... almost there... well as a nice couple hiking came down after us they came running up to me... STOP they said. I was like what's wrong... well, if I took one more step back I was going to be one of the statistics except in reverse. Most poeple fall off the edge because they are taking a photo of a person with the canyon behind them and tell them to keep backing up so they can fit the whole body in the photograph... well, I was doing the opposite.
At one point of the hike John and Dave decided to go over to the ledge over look... I'm not too sure how they got there but somehow they did the hike and caught up to us in no time. And go figure. I got harrassed for carrying too much camera equipment in my bag and the guys had beer... didn't anybody ever tell them it's bad to drink while doing physical activities... where's that water! (the funny part is that was the only bottles they had... so they brought back 4 bottles back to the top of the canyon).
While hiking down and as I snapped photo's I ended up looking back at them and a lot of pictures I took had my Aunt Nancy in the background.
The walk down was like 4 different temperate zones. At the top it was woodsy and snowy, another part was pure dessert, the next part was like going through the mountains of Latin America with all the greenery and the last part was like hiking in a midwest state park. It was amazing to see everything and how it all changed in that 7 miles! The trail was also deceiving.
Well, like I predicted everybody else started to get really hot and take their coats and ear muffs and gloves off... well, not me... I took off my hoodie at one stop for lunch and I switched my shoes when I got into the desert portion of the hike.
So I finally made it out of the lush, green, valley and see the Mighty colorado river... I must be close to Phantom Ranch... errr... another false alarm. I still have a couple of miles to go til I get to the bridge. when I do see the bridge I'm the happiest person in the world... but then I see what I have to hike over. The bridge is just meshed steel and you can see right through the floor.
On the other side of the bridge we saw some deer in the passing. The cool thing about wild life here, it's like seeing wild life at Disney World. They are so used to humans they know we're not there to hurt them so they just continue to graze and let us snap photo's until someone in the group makes a loud noise and then they get spooked and run for it. But finally we got to Phantom Ranch and I was relieved because it's time for dinner... they only have 2 meals and they are $20 or $35... one is a stew dinner and the other is a steak dinner.
Finally it was time for bed so the ladies went to the womans bunk and the guys went to the mens bunk and I fell asleep without a care in the world just praying that the pain in my worn out legs goes away by morning because I want to hike to the couple of miles with Dave the next day to the Havasupai Falls.