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Ascent from the Bowels of the Grand Canyon

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  Introduction
  Arches National Park
      The Great Alcohol Search
      Camp
      Devils Garden - Arches
      Devils Garden - Hiking
  Grand Canyon
      Preparation
      Pre-Hike
      The Plunge
      Bright Angel Campground
      Clear Creek Trail
      The Ascent
      Indian Garden Campground
      Tonto West Hike
      The Great Snake Battle
      The Final Ascent
  The Narrows
      Gearing Up
      The Awakening
      The Hike In
      Pee / Poo
      Camp
      The Hike Out
  Sedona
      Places We Missed
      Meteor Crater
      Airport Mesa
      Thunder Mountain
  Farewell

Friday, September 19, 2008

The day I was dreading arrived. The ascent from the bowels of the Grand Canyon. Even though we were only gaining 1/3 of the elevation in a mere 4.6 miles, I worried about my stamina. The Canyon was kind and eased us into the hike. The first mile or so was relatively flat. We crossed the silver bridge and followed the Colorado.

Silver Bridge
Silver Bridge crossing the Colorado River
Flat trail along Colorado
Flat trail - Nice!

Then came... (drum roll please)... the Devil's Corkscrew. Steep, twisty switchbacks gaining 1,400 feet with no "Devil's Wine Bottle" to go with it. The name refers to the fact that this is usually the hottest segment of the trail with temperatures in the summer that often reach 130 degrees. The black rock of the Vishnu Schist mercilessly absorbs the sun and bakes the air. Nothing to do but forge ahead.

Rose in a cave Trail begins to climb
Rose searched a cave for an elevator - no luck The trail began to climb

We reached the top of the corkscrew and looked at the gentle rise ahead, then back to the twisty trail beneath. "That was it? That wasn't so bad!"

Looking down at Devil's Corkscrew Devil's Corkscrew
Looking down at the Devil's Corkscrew A closeup of Devil's Corkscrew

We climbed through the rest of the elevation with a feeling we could handle anything. As we neared the Indian Springs campground, we entered a wide flat shady trail next to a rambling stream. Elaine and Robyne saw two Condors and I saw two deer. I think they won the who saw the coolest animal game.

Lush vegetation
Lush vegetation greeted us as we approached the campsite
Waterfall
Waterfall
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