I forget how grueling a trip in the canyon is. For some crazy reason before the trip I thought only coming up will be hard. WRONG!! Going down is very tough and my thoughts swing like about like a pendulum swinging to "this is great" to the other extreme "I don't know how I could possibly think this is fun or enjoyable". It is 8 miles down to the Colorado River at which point we will eat lunch. 8 miles….piece of cake. As a runner I equate miles into number of minutes it takes me to run it. 8 miles at a 10 minute mile is 80 minutes. I can run 8 miles. I can run non-stop for 80 minutes. Hiking from 7400 feet to 2000 feet for 8 miles with a backpack on is completely different than running. Each mile rather than taking 10 minutes takes 30 minutes. In an hour, 2 miles of ground is covered.
The last mile for me to the river was incredibly hard, my legs ached and I felt like I was finishing the last 2 miles of a marathon dragging the wall with me. With half a mile to go, I had to stop and take a rest. Using the excuse that I had to pee, I dropped my pack to get a couple minutes of rest. Finally, after almost 5 hours of hiking I arrived at the Colorado River. I’d love to say I did a little jig to celebrate checking off my life-time list “hiking to the bottom of the canyon” but I was too pooped to do anything. John and I sat next to the river and munched on our lunch, consisting of trail mix, dried veggies and dark chocolate M&M’s.