April 12 – We woke up at first light to a chilly morning. It had rained off and on in the early morning hours, but we had slept snug and dry in our tent. Breakfast was a simple affair – a breakfast bar and some water – we had planned to eat only cold foods in order to to lighten our load. We packed up our tent and sleeping bags, packed the backpacks and hit the trail. Our time in the canyon was quickly coming to an end. All that was left was the hike out…..
The morning’s hike started out in peaceful beauty……
Several mule deer were browsing….. oblivious to our presence.
And, again, the wildflowers captured our attention.
The 4.5 miles of the Bright Angel Trail, from Indian Gardens to the rim, is conveniently divided into thirds by 3 mile Rest House and 1.5 mile Rest House. The first third heading up gains 1,000 feet of elevation. The second third gains 800 feet, while the final push to the rim is 1,200 feet of elevation gain.
We could feel the effort of hiking uphill….relentlessly, steadily uphill. The trail had been worn by the mules and each ‘step’ was wallowed out, making the effort one of lifting ones foot up–and–over each step. We had not remembered the final 1.5 miles as being so steep.
We kept pretty steady at it. I have found that is how hiking out usually is…….Once it is time to get there…...you just kind-of grind it out. We hiked out in 4.5 hours.
We were tired, but not much the worse for wear. My feet fared well….no small triumph….We were not ravenously hungry…..We had eaten so much at Phantom Ranch. Legs - OK. Knees – OK. It had been an effort…but, overall, one that we had felt well prepared for.
We headed back to the camper, glad for our cozy little place to rest. Bed by 8pm and a SOUND nights sleep!
The next several days were spent working on our pictures and these blogs, taking care of housekeeping chores, laundry, grocery shopping etc. and thinking back over our time in the canyon…..and what an incredible experience it had been.
Saturday, we zipped down to Chandler, AZ to pick up Jade, who had been staying with Sarah and Jason. Thanks again, guys, for taking such good care of her. : ) While in Chandler, we stopped by REI to replace a tent pole that had broken, and got much needed haircuts.
It is difficult to leave such an awesome place….one that holds such fond memories….This Grand Canyon which draws us in. Monday, we will hitch up and head to Utah, where we will spend some time in Zion National Park, and the surrounding area…..making new memories and perhaps discovering new ‘favorite’ places along the way…..