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Deep Ramblings Beneath The Rim.
Once you leave the rim, your thoughts slowly and gradually begin to shift. Each step down into the canyon takes you further and further away from the comfort zone of your known reality. Credit Cards, cell phones, keyless entries, and restaurant menus are no longer an option. You begin to consider how many ounces of water you are drinking and how many ounces are left in your water bottles and how far it is until you can refill them. Between views from vistas and the grandeur of the canyon at every switchback you become concerned about temperatures and distances; "How far is it to Supai Tunnel?" You savor shade as if it were a spray mist station at Sea World. Sunset at Mather PointYou are reminded of the weight you are carrying on your back and if there was something you could have or should have left behind. You won't know the answer to that question until you reach the other side. Suddenly you begin to monitor the condition of your feet and toes, stopping to make adjustments to socks and boots, to take out the slack that has accumulated causing the random irritation. Conditioning becomes a tacit foothold and strength as if it were a step in the corporate world providing a confidence that sure's your way along the trail. Senses bring in the experience that is the Grand Canyon. The feeling is somewhat foreign for it is real. Absent are the artificially electrified visual and audio effects of our liquid crystal, plasma, wireless, world. In a silent whisper the Grand Canyon experience redefines our meaning of the word real. When you do reach the other side, relief and sadness are transparent and overlapping as the reality of your journey comes to an end. You are soon reaching for your credit card to pay for your steak dinner at the North Rim Lodge as dusk paints the canyon various shades and mixtures of cyan and magenta outside the window inches away from your table. The Grand Canyon experience is with you, it is not lost, but it is not the same. There is a faint magnetism pulling at you from beneath the rim as you drive away a passenger in the TransCanyon Shuttle.

Reflections of a Hike. Obviously, every year thousands of people hike the Grand Canyon, each in his or her own way. We met some nice folks along the trail. There was a father with his two sons from New York who hiked rim-to-rim and were staying at the North Rim Lodge for a day and then returning to the trail for another rim-to-rim. A group of three (two men and a women) from Prescott, AZ spent five days on their rim-to-rim trip relaxing for two nights at Cottonwood CG (changing camp sites on the 2nd night for a shady one). Tom and I enjoyed visiting with a couple from the UK with their ten year old son. They were on a rim-to-river trip traveling from the South Kaibak trail to Bright Angel CG and then back to the South Rim via the Bright Angel Trail. Some folks chose to jog across the canyon as if it were a marathon. There were plenty of trail runners that crossed our path. We even met two young women about the time we arrived at the North Kaibab Trailhead who had just completed a rim-to-rim and were taking a 30 minute break before heading back! That would be a rim-to-rim-to-rim in a day (approximately 40 miles via the North & South Kaibab Trails). They departed the South Rim around 1 am and were hoping to get back by midnight. They mentioned that it ran in their family.

We, on the other hand, elected to not try and conquer the Grand Canyon, but rather experience what it had to offer. We explored ancient rock art, camped in the serenity of Horn Creek, enjoyed the vistas of Plateau Point, watched the once endangered California Condor sore above the Colorado River, fought for shade along Devil's Corkscrew, watched desert lizards frolic on a boulder, peacefully hiked through the wonders of The Box, marveled at the beauties of Ribbon Falls, took the bucket of cold water over the head plunge at the heated Cottonwood CG, gained a sense of confidence along the vertical drops of the red wall formations, and watched nightly star shows with the Grand Canyon for a stage. I'm sure each of us learned something about ourselves on a more personal level. My father told me once that life changes by decades, each era bringing its own challenges and shifts in priorities. At forty, I no longer climb mountains to say that I did, but rather to learn and gain wisdom from the journey. Wisdom, of some sort, has crept in my being on this adventure across the Grand Canyon.


Interactive Maps:

  1. Bright Angel Trail
  2. N. Kaibab Trail

Catalog of Videos:

  1. Tonto Trail
  2. Plateau Point
  3. The Box
  4. N Kaibab Trail



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