Sunday, March 18, 2012

Grand Canyon 2012

Spring Break is gone!!
It went by so fast for us and it was busy busy.  But lots of fun and adventure.  We decided to go backpacking in the Grand Canyon with Sam's family.  As my sister said, if there's anyone that can get me to backpack in the Grand Canyon, it's Sam.

Day 1:

We drove out of Albuquerque around 7 and arrived to the South Rim.  Sam really really wanted to take our massive, fancy camera and took over a 1000 photos!  It was hard to pick some.  We got there in the afternoon and were ready to go!  Here are the members of the troop:

Super Mama
Mr. Miso

Our Personal Mule and Photographer
Pink Shoes
Speedy Gonzales

Our view of the Grand Canyon at the top before trekking South Kaibab:


Our troop again:

Going down the trail

Our outlook

Crazy Switchbacks

It's nice to know it's a little safer here

Colorado River is so green (picture doesn't do it justice)

How I got pink shoes:

The hike down really hurt our knees and toes!  We wanted to get to Bright Angel before it got dark, and we barely did it!  When we were able to get to the bottom, the campsite we picked was closest to the bathrooms (with running water!)  It was both a pro and con: surprisingly a lot of people like to go in the middle of the night.  Sam and I crashed, but everyone else went to the Phantom ranch and got to see a fox, ring-tailed cat, and some mule deer.  Jealous!

Day 2:

Sammy got a cold!  He was sooo miserable that it made this day the least favorite for the both of us.  We packed up and headed to the Cottonwood campgrounds.

Ready to go!

On the way out we saw lots of mule deer:

The squirrels were cute...or so we thought....

Sammy got an Alfalfa strand of hair going

Sam's pack was only 40 pounds, but it looked a lot heaver!

 Pretty picture Sam took

Fuzzy caterpillar Mama Hobbs found

We had to cross a river; Sam was the hero

We made it to Ribbon Falls

These two were brave enough to venture into the cave

It was that cold

It even had a window!

Ah, memories of when Sam was separated from his parents last time

I liked Cottonwood because there were a little less people and the porta-potties were the nicest I've ever been in, but Bright Angel wins for wild life, shade, and less bugs.

Day 3:

It was hard to find a campsite with shade, so we headed over to the "suite" campsite (you had to have more than 7 people to occupy it) to play games and rest up before the trek out.  Sam's mom took some Benadryl and was out while Sam was trying to get over his cold.  I just supported them by taking a long nap as well. 

The squirrel that kept coming back for food

There's the hubba, the hubba hubba,
 and our blue tent that might collapse any moment.

Day 4:

We headed back to Bright Angel.  The hike was a lot less tedious than the time before!  Sam was a lot better and we even beat some scouts that left before we did.

A pair of boots found on the side of the trail

Phantom Ranch.  You could buy a steak dinner at the bottom of the 
Grand Canyon for $40.  There were even laundry facilities!

Enjoying our last night

Sam found the bench was more comfortable than his own bed

There was a beach at the bottom of the Grand Canyon that was so awesome!  The water was beautiful (and cold) and the sand was so smooth and felt good under my feet.  I should have kicked myself for not bringing the camera, but Jared had some good shots.  When we got back to our campsite, Sam and I forgot to completely close our food boxes and squirrels did not hesitate to eat some of our snacks!  A full thing of Ramen noodles and our beloved oatmeal creme pies were gone.  The squirrels even took some bites out of Jared's tent!  Those Darn Squirrels!  We went to Phantom Ranch at night to have bagels and hot chocolate.  We wanted to see some wild life, but all I saw were some bats that flew around to eat the bugs (thanks bats!)

Day 5:

Sam and I woke up at 3am Arizona time: we were ready to head out!  Good thing we did, because we got to our place around 9pm by the time the day was through.  It was pretty dark, and I was the only one without a headlamp, so I went by Papa Hobbs' light.  Thank you! I kinda wish we could see some of the Grand sounded pretty.  At one point we crossed a more rickety bridge to cross the Colorado river in the dark...that was a little scary.  Jared was so fast!  He was half an hour ahead of the rest of us before he stopped at Indian Gardens to wait for some of us. 

Hiking the unknown

Can you tell how grueling the uphill was?

The blue "condor" (wish we saw a real one)

Stepping aside for the mules (were these people smarter than us?)

Super icy at the top!

We made it!  Up and out in 5 1/2 hours.  Impressive.

Our main motivation getting out:

Really fun trip.  Great challenge, but I'm quite happy with a shower and a comfy bed.  Hope you had a good week!


Celestine said...

Hi Kiley! Nice job on blogging our recent trip! I was so amazed at your hiking and camping skills, and you look so pretty ALL THE TIME too :-). How are your blisters healing up?

It's been so good to be home after that final long, grueling hike up to the rim. Slowly, the puffiness and swelling in my legs (and face) are going away. I think my body was under too much stress and trauma from the trip, but I'm glad WE DID IT!

You and Sam are an awesome pair! Love you guys ;-).

Jessica Dunlap said...

Dang, girl! This trip looked like so much fun! I wish I could have been there with you all! I loved looking at all of the pictures! Thanks for posting!

Sam said...

Thank you for the awesome post! I'll have to agree with my mom. You are such a great backpacker! Thank you for being adventurous with us and being so amazing! I love you! :)