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The Narrows - The Awakening

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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

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

That night, I set my alarm for 5:20 am, to give myself a few extra minutes in the morning to pack up before the 6:30 am shuttle.

At 5:30 am, I awoke to "Princess, time to get up." I mumbled something to assure the others I was awake and grabbed my alarm clock. The time was set accurately, including am/pm indicator. The alarm was set accurately. However I forgot to actually turn the alarm on.

I crawled out of my sleeping bag and began cramming it into its stuff sack. It didn’t fit. Not wanting to waste time, I took the stuff sack with the bag hanging out the opening and tried to cram it into the dry bag. It didn’t fit. I yanked the sleeping bag out of the stuff sack and tried to stuff it directly into the dry bag. It didn’t fit. Time check… 5:45. I moved on.

I deflated and rolled up my therma rest. This was the one thing that went right. With its never-ending series of leaks, it was already mostly deflated. After clearing everything from the tent, I yanked out the stakes, removed the poles, and looked around for my tent pole bag. Couldn’t find it. Searched the campsite. Searched the collapsed tent. Searched my pile of stuff. Couldn’t find it. Time check… 6:00. I moved on.

Camp Camp w/ View
Camp in the day light We were packing up in the dark

I rolled up my tent and stuffed it into its bag. It didn’t fit. I set the tent bag, with the tent hanging out next to the dry bag with my sleeping bag hanging out. It was a pathetic sight. With time running out, I yanked the sleeping bag out of the dry bag and stuffed it back into its normal stuff sack. I tried to pawn the now useless dry bag off on Elaine. She didn't bite, but she took the dry bag and stored it in the car. $3/day wasted! I searched the site again for my tent pole bag, but nada. I crammed the tent the rest of the way into its bag - I made it fit. Looked around again for the missing bag. Nothing. Time check… 6:15. Panic raced through my veins.

Elaine and Robyne were packed and ready. As they glanced at their watches, I could see the effort it cost them not to yell at me to hurry. I haphazardly threw everything into my pack and jumped in the car. We arrived at the visitor center at 6:29. I don't know why they were so worried!

  • $27 per person for shuttle ride to trailhead
  • $16 per person for neoprene socks, water shoes and walking sticks.
  • $3 per day for an unused dry bag.
  • Not missing the 6:30 am shuttle... priceless.

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