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Grand Canyon Pre-Hike

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  Arches National Park
      The Great Alcohol Search
      Devils Garden - Arches
      Devils Garden - Hiking
  Grand Canyon
      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
      The Hike Out
      Places We Missed
      Meteor Crater
      Airport Mesa
      Thunder Mountain

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thank god we brought our fleeces!
Thank god we brought our fleeces!
Our morning shuttle to the trailhead was scheduled for 6:00 am, so we decided to organize as much as possible the night before. We hit the grocery store late in the afternoon for firewood. The checkout lines wound back into the aisles, but since fires are prohibited in the Canyon itself, we needed a campfire that night. While waiting, I grabbed a package of peanut butter crackers to eat on the trail. The firewood was stacked by the exit, so when we got to the checkout, all the cashier saw were the crackers. "You waited in line for these?" Without hesitation, Robyne responded, "These are damn good crackers!"

After hours of packing, reorganizing, questioning the value of each item by weight, we finally felt ready. That is until Elaine asked the fatal question, "Are we bringing our fleeces?" A debate ensued. Fleece is heavy, but the nights at the bottom of the canyon were supposed to drop into the mid-50s and with no campfire, the comfort of a fleece would be welcomed. This then morphed into a rain gear debate. With the "dry heat" we wouldn't stay wet long, but we kept picturing a cold early morning, hiking in the rain. In the end we decided to burden ourselves with the extra weight in exchange for comfort on the trip. MISTAKE! The only use we made of our extra gear was to bundle up our fleeces for pillows.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We woke the next morning at 4:30 - INCONCEIVABLE!! The sun wasn’t even up. We packed our gear, excitement over the trip compensating for the unholy hour when disaster hit. As Robyne loaded Elaine’s pack into the car, one of the primary closing buckles snapped. What could we do?!? Should we cancel the trip and catch the next flight home? Hell no! We did what any resourceful hiker would do. While Elaine panicked, we reached for our duct tape. However, since duct tape is heavy and we never take it backpacking, we resorted to a bungie cord. All was saved. (Why duct tape is worth it’s weight backpacking - we may have to change our policy about it being too heavy!) Waiting for the Shuttle
Waiting for the Shuttle
Copyrighted by McDoten Wachowski Enterprises @2008