|Photo creds: fellow tourist|
|I guess it's okay.|
|Hitchhiked for a ride. No dice.|
Saturday I flew & drove uneventfully to the South Rim. I arrived right at sunset and joined the tourist flocks in gawking. I greatly underestimated the raw, insane beauty and true grandiosity; I was shocked. That night I slept uncomfortably and freezing in the car I had rented. Tourists pouring into the parking lot at 6:40 woke me up. Rattlesnakes. My alarm did not go off. I rushed in getting dressed and slurped down some PB & bananas while driving to what I thought was the South Kaibab trailhead. Wrong.
I set out and had to run a whole extra 0.86 mi to the actual trailhead, along the rim, on an already long day. I was a little glad I had woken late as I got to revel in the glorious sunrise as I tumbled down the steep trail. I wore microspikes as the trail was covered in a sheet of ice. Olympian skeleton bobsledders would be afraid to practice on this. I also, in my cold rush to get ready, decided to wear my puffy and full tights (le-gasp, me in pants?!) as the pre dawn temps were 17F. However, the snow soon gave way and the rising sun started to bake. I ditched my puffy and long sleeve at the bottom by the bridge as they wouldn't fit in an already full pack with my winter mitts. I did not know the conditions on the north rim, so I supposed bringing the spikes and mitts would probably be a smart idea.
|lol. K, South Kaibab.|
The sun was starting to cook and this Seattlite began to sweat profusely in the 50-60 degree temps. I regretted wearing the tights, but thanked god I didn't have a fleece lined option earlier, as I would've surely chosen that. At least I got the heat training I sought? If I had worn bun underwear, I would've stripped the tights off without hesitation. Alas, running half naked though was probably not kosher.
|Accurate description of how I felt about|
turning around at the North Rim
I had passed some hikers a half mi from the top and ran back down to them. I asked where they were headed. I wanted to forget this whole mess and steal a ride back to the South Rim (there wasn't a soul in sight up top). Unfortunately, but fortunately, they weren't and kindly filled me up with water. I graciously thanked their Texan hospitality and was on my way running (read: dancing) down again. It's amazing what a lifeforce water is. I returned back half because I really had no choice, and half because my spirit was rejuvenated and this adventure excited me.
|Stairs on Stairs on Stairs|
The way back seemed to go by more quickly. Before I knew it, I was back at the Black Bridge at the base of the South Kaibab trail. I knew it would be a few more hours, but I hoped to top out before sunset and avoid using a headlamp.
This side seemed more grueling than the North side. Perhaps it was the 38 miles on my legs? That my watch died and I had no gauge for time? That my subconscious wished the adventure would never end? The trail carved out steep switchbacks spiralling up for miles. I leaned into my poles, wishing one of those mule trains I saw earlier would carry me up.
|Oh lookey! the only flat section|
|Omg I actually did it.|
- Salt tabs & 25 gels (only ate 17)
-SPOT Gps (my worried family & friends loved this)
-TNF Motus tights (wish I wore shorts)
-Squirrel's Nut Butter lube (TG)
-puffy & long sleeve (wish I just had arm warmers and sucked it up)
-Petzl headlamp (booyeah didn't need it)
-my redesigned Salomon vest & 1.5L bladder (that I should've filled more often when I could)
-VSD buff & wool headband (wish I just brought the buff)
-TNF MT mitts (thick but light gloves would suffice for just the beg & end)
-I totally spaced on bringing printed maps marking the available water spots
-Garmin watch (died and missed last 6 mi, but here's my Strava)
-ipod full of jams & my phone to take 1,001 pictures
-A good attitude and grateful heart to experience & love on this land
|Neature is neat.|
|Another boring picture|