in The State We're In, Things we do

Grand Canyon hike: Check! And nobody fell in. Or got pushed.

We timed our adventure well. The weather, sunny with a high of 61 degrees and a light breeze, was perfect. The scenery was spectacular, and changed in color and intensity as the sun shifted throughout the day, and — best of all — crowds were low.  We crossed paths with only about 75 other hikers and a couple dozen mules on this early November Sunday.

Mule train! See 'em coming up the trail?

Mule train! See ’em coming up the trail?

Step aside, human. Step aside.

Step aside, human. Step aside. We gots work to do.

There were other critters on the trail too. This guy wanted food, and took a hopeful taste of Tim's hiking pole, but skittered off looking more than a little disappointed.

There were other critters on the trail too. This guy wanted food, and took a hopeful taste of Tim’s proffered hiking pole, but skittered off looking more than a little disappointed, and like he might have been planning our untimely demise.

I was apprehensive about attempting a hike in which the up comes after the down, and rightfully so. It’s a tough way to end a hike! All the tips we read said to plan twice as much time to ascend as to descend, but at my slow and steady pace, I spent the same amount of time on each.

We started at the South Kaibab Trailhead, hiked down about 2000 feet in elevation over 3 miles to Skeleton Point, and then back up -- which I'm pretty sure was 5,000 feet in elevation over 8 miles. Took us 2 hours each way.

We started at the South Kaibab Trailhead, hiked down about 2000 feet in elevation over 3 miles to Skeleton Point, and then back up — which felt more like 5,000 feet in elevation over 8 miles.
Took us 2 hours each way.

We laughed mighty hard at the "Puking Guy" sign near the start of our descent. On the way back up? Not funny. Not funny at all.

We laughed mighty hard at the “Puking Guy” sign near the start of our descent.
On the way back up? Not funny. Not funny at all.

We always look so happy and clean at the start of a hike. By the time we're finished, we're both filthy, soaking wet, stinky, and I'm crabby as hell because my body doesn't handle depletion well. You've heard of a mean drunk? Well I'm a mean hiker. When I growl, "Stop talking to me," Tim knows that's his cue to put about half a mile between us.

We always look so happy and clean at the start of a hike.
By the time we’re finished, we’re both filthy, soaking wet and stinky, plus I’m crabby as hell because my body doesn’t handle depletion well.
You’ve heard of a mean drunk? Well I’m a mean hiker. When I growl, “Stop talking to me,” Tim knows that’s his cue to put about half a mile between us.

We started out just after 10 a.m., and watched the sun come over the canyon walls on our way down.

We started out just after 10 a.m., and watched the sun come over the canyon walls on our way down.

We looked down at this set of switchbacks, wondering just how much they were gonna hurt on the way back up. Answer: lots. Sore knees, achy hips, trembling legs, and one torn calf muscle (Tim's) are now on the mend.

We looked down at this set of switchbacks, wondering just how much they were gonna hurt on the way back up.
Answer: lots. Sore knees, achy hips, trembling legs, and one torn calf muscle (Tim’s) are now on the mend.

One mile down: Ooooooohhh. Aaaaaaahhhhh.

One mile down: Ooooooohhh. Aaaaaaahhhhh.

Three miles down: time to eat lunch before we turn into skeletons!

Three miles down: time to eat lunch before we turn into skeletons! I bet that’s why they named it that.

Picnic lunch for two, with a view

Picnic lunch for two, with a view

img_1426Glad I did it, but wow, once was enough for me. Tim, meanwhile, got the itch to add a rim-to-rim hike to his bucket list. Guess I’ll serve as the support chick when the time comes, and pick him up when he gets to the other side!

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  1. I think our writing styles are very similar, just from reading this. As for the G Canyon? Nope, I don’t ever need to go back! I mean, I WILL if something comes up, but I guess I am more of a closer-up, touchy-feely type of voyeur. : )
    Like Marble Canyon. Or Zion. The GC has its awesomeness, and yes, the massive challenge of coming back up on the way OUT! I get how dangerous it can be. Safe travels, guys! I hope we cross paths one day!