A group of eight hikers embarked on an eventful hike down the Grand Canyon, March 12-16. We were led by two leaders of the RR Hiking Club, Mike Campbell and Kent Jensen. As seasoned hikers, both men provided expert guidance to their faithful followers: Laurell Graf, Derek Graf, Jim Baxter, Lisa Hunt, Geri Anne Finnegan and Tom Andrews.
We arrived late in the afternoon to the Grand Canyon on March 12 and checked into our lodge rooms. We made sure to do our carbohydrate loading that evening, topping off with generous portions of spaghetti at the Bright Angel Restaurant! Early the next morning we arrived to the South Kaibab trailhead and experienced incredible vistas at every turn on our hike down for 7.2 miles. We even went over a suspension bridge over the Colorado River!
Our group had reservations to stay at the historical Phantom Ranch where we rested up, nursed our sore legs and feet and explored the lovely canyon and Colorado River during the next two days. At the Ranch, we stayed in a quaint cabin, but had no running water for showers or toilets due to water line breaks in the main supply line.
However, the Ranch had fresh drinking water available and hearty stews and breakfasts to keep up our strength.
At dawn on the 15th, we left to make our way back to the rim on the Bright Angel Trail. We experienced all forms of weather that day: abundant sunshine, light to heavy rain, sleet, wind and snow over the course of the 11.2 miles to the rim. Thank goodness for rain ponchos, trail mix and good hiking boots!
Needless to say, the experience was both exhilarating and exhausting. To see the Grand Canyon during a 4500-foot elevation change was spectacular, to say the least.
However, at the end of the trip when asked if we would ever hike those two trails again, the unanimous answer was “DNR: Do Not Repeat!” (Maybe take a mule down the next time?)
It was a trip of a lifetime and we tested our limits of endurance, and as a result, we were able to experience a truly magnificent wonder of nature.