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Celebrating 5 years! Grand Canyon 4/23-26, 2009

 
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Liz



Joined: 22 Dec 2008
Posts: 218
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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:02 pm    Post subject: Celebrating 5 years! Grand Canyon 4/23-26, 2009  Reply with quote

My husband, Gary, and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary at Grand Canyon!  We got married there, so we figured it was a fitting place to celebrate.  And, if you know me at all, you are not surprised that I did not care to celebrate in some fancy hotel or with a $200 dinner.  The backcountry suits me (and my hubby) much better!

We began on Thursday, April 23, at the Hermitís Rest trailhead.  This trail begins from the south rim, about 7 miles west of the village.  Itís a short, but steep, rocky descent.  Once a popular trail for guests to take to visit historic Hermit Creek Camp, this trail has now gone un-maintained for 80 years.  Many rocks and boulders have fallen onto, and remained on, the trail.  At times, the trek required us to climb over large boulders, which is always interesting when youíre carrying your full pack.  We actually took this trail 6 years ago, but this time we moved much more quickly and felt much stronger.  We are both about 20 lbs lighter, with hundreds of miles more experience.  Honestly, since we did the John Muir Trail in 2006, everything has felt easier.

Anyway, we got to our camp at Hermit Creek early in the afternoon.  There we found a nice little site, set up camp, then went to take a dip in the creek.  We found a great little swimming hole, which was a welcome relief from the hot day.  It was at least in the upper 80ís, or low 90ís.  As the afternoon progressed, we heard this interesting noise.  We were convinced it was the bleating of bighorn sheep.  After dinner, our curiosity got the best of us, so we went to investigate.  We soon discovered the noise was coming from tiny frogs, in the creek!  Included in my photos, youíll see a couple pics and a video.  We later learned that we had spotted the Canyon Tree Frog.  The noise they make is their mating call.  Oh, and for the record, every other hiker we spoke to about it confessed that theyíd also believed they were hearing sheep.  Ha ha!

On day two, we took the leisurely hike down to Granite Rapids, on the Colorado River.  These particular rapids are a class 8 (on a scale of 1-10) and are about 10 feet tall.  From our campsite, we heard the roar, which was pretty cool.  We enjoyed a very laid back day, strolling, exploring the area and lying on the beach.  We splashed in the cold water a little bit, and watched some rafters run the rapids.  I have a short video of one of the rafts.  Finally we enjoyed a little happy hour.  All in all, a very relaxed day at the bottom of Grand Canyon.

Day 3, we hiked up from the river, through Monument Creek, and then climbed about 1,500 feet to the Tonto Plateau.  We put in about 12 miles that day, but most of them were pretty easy, meandering along the plateau.  That day was considerably cooler, which was nice, and we happily walked beneath a sky of mixed clouds and sunshine.  As we had throughout the trip, we saw so many desert wildflowers in bloom.  We then spent our final night at Indian Gardens.  Honestly, itís a lovely campground, but itís way too developed and crowded for my taste.  However, our ranger, James was awesome!  He was fun, friendly and informative.  Also we made friends with our neighbor, Hans, a very nice, enthusiastic hiker from Wisconsin.  Iím pretty sure weíll meet up with him and do a trip together one day!

My favorite part of any Grand Canyon trip came on day 4óthe hike up and out!  Yes!  I LOVE hiking up, out of the canyon.  In fact, my first hike ever was in October 2002.  We backpacked to the bottom via South Kaibab, and then hiked out via the Bright Angel Trail.  I had immediately fallen in love with the feeling of hiking uphill.  So of course, it was a treat (Iíll speak for myself) to hike up that beautiful Bright Angel Trail, yet again.

Once at the top, Gary and I went over to the spot where weíd tied the not 5 years ago- almost to the minute!  In my pics, I included one wedding photo from 2004, and then our photo (in hiking threads) from this April 26.  We thought that would be fun.  We had a fantastic time, and plan on returning again, possibly next spring.  There are so many places yet to explore, and so many goals to establish and reach.  I hope you enjoy our pics: www.flickr.com/photos/33777171@N06/sets/72157617435740963/
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lilbitmo
Silverdaddy AKA DILF


Joined: 04 Mar 2008
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Location: Orange County

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:51 pm    Post subject: Grand Canyon Reply with quote

It's always breath taking when I think of the 5 million years of history in the walls of those canyons - going down you go back in time, coming out you go from the past to the current, always interesting.

Looks like you had a wonderful time, great report, great pictures and congratulations on the 5 year anniversary.

I'm jealous but I'll get out there soon enough.

If you plan a rim to rim in October (cooler month) I'm in.

Thanks Liz

Lilbitmo  Very Happy NIcccccccccccccccccccceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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Liz



Joined: 22 Dec 2008
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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:58 pm    Post subject: Rim to rim Reply with quote

I may do rim to rim to RIM within 24 hours in October, or next spring.  Hee hee!
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EnFuego
SGMDF Rescue Crew


Joined: 15 Dec 2008
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Location: Seal Beach, Ca

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty nice photos. †I haven't explored the GC much, but it looks like a pretty exceptional place.

You're ready to do the rim2rim2rim now. †In fact, you can prolly add an extra rim in there too.  Don't wait till spring. †Do it in October. †Do the c2c now too.

Nice photos by the way.
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There is no place for me in this world, Chanchito, I don't belong out there and I don't belong here. So I'm going into the wilderness, probably to die. I hope to see you again Chancho, maybe in the next life.
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Liz



Joined: 22 Dec 2008
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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:44 pm    Post subject: c2c Reply with quote

Doing c2c May 30, baby!
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kgw



Joined: 18 Jul 2008
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Location: Long Beach, CA

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful stuff! Can't be a much better way to celebrate, eh? Cool
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Liz



Joined: 22 Dec 2008
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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 7:13 am    Post subject: Well.... Reply with quote

I guess the only way to make it better would've been extending the trip.  But hey, we'll be back.   Very Happy

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