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Grand Canyon - The Plunge

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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

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rules and warnings are prevailent to hikers of the Grand Canyon. I know, I know... "Rules! We don't need no stinkin' rules!" But some of these you might like.

  • Don't hike down to the bottom and back in the same day - Duh! That's way too much hiking for one day. If you are that motivated, I think your genes need to be removed from the pool anyway so the rest of us can survive.
  • Don't hike between 10 am and 2 pm (the hottest part of the day) - This is a little tougher since it means waking up early. But it does provide a nice four hour lunch slot.
  • Eat twice as much as you normally would - Now we're getting into the good rules!
  • Every time you stop for a break, you should eat and drink - I'm sensing my family might suddenly be interested in hiking the Grand Canyon. However, they would propbaly stop every minute instead of the recommend once per hour and their drink of choice would be alcoholic. I don’t think they would make it out of the parking lot.


With all of our concerns about this particular hike, we were pleased to see one sign plastered everywhere. It showed a single, buff male in his early 20's. The poster said, "If you look like this, you have the greatest chance of dying in the Grand Canyon." Evidentually, that demographic tends to be a tad overconfident, so they under-plan and over-exert. Luckily, since we weren't male, young or physically prepared, we knew we'd do fine!

We started our seven mile hike down with heavy packs and light spirits. We figured our packs weighed around 40 lbs. except for Elaine's. Since she had the bad knees, we let her carry an extra 5 pounds. Seven miles may sound easy, but it's seven miles with your brakes on. We averaged about 1.5 miles per hour.


Elaine and Robyne are dressed like twins!
Rose on the trail


Our first stop was Cedar Ridge at 1.5 miles. You'll never guess what we saw there! Something you'd never expect to see on a backpacking trip!! That's right... Toilets. As if that wasn't strange enough, each of the three stalls had toilet paper. This is what we get for hiking in the main touristy corridor of the canyon.


Our next stop was Skeleton Point at 3.0 miles. Remarkably we weren't dying of heat exhaustion and Elaine's knees were doing better than expected.


Our final resting point at 4.4 miles was called "The Tipoff." Not only were there more toilets, but also an emergency phone. From here we took our final plunge to camp.


So, to sum up our descent, we started at the top and...

Hiked down...
 
And down...
 
And down...
 
And down...
 
Until we reached the bottom...
 
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