Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Grand Canyon -Royal Arch Loop - Day 2

I woke to the light around 7am. I hadn't slept real well but felt refreshed. I expected to wake up and see the Royal Arch staring me in the face. No luck.  I looked back to where we had come from and saw the huge boulders we had climbed over to get to our campsite.
The area we climbed down to get to our camp site.

It was still quite a walk to the arch with a lot of climbing. I was very thankful we didn't have our packs on to go to the arch and had stopped where we had the night before.
Going down to the spring and eventually Royal Arch
I envisioned a giant free standing arch, like Rainbow arch, what I saw was a giant hole in the rock. Initially I was a tad disappointed. It was however very grand in size and we are dwarfed in the pictures.
A quick group photo and a little bit of exploring we were on our way back to camp to get our packs and head  over to the river. Today was an easy day.  3 miles to the river and 3 miles round trip to Elves Chasm waterfall. We heaved on our packs at 9:30am and started back towards the steep trail out of the canyon we were in. It was amazing to see the boulders we maneuvered around in the dark. I had rumpaged so much the day before that I had split my pants and Paul had torn a hole in his pants too.  Somewhere there is a blackmail picture of our butts with the holes in our pants. Along the way John found Scott's hat that he had lost the night before. Scott recap - lost knife, camera, whistle, sunglasses, grey hat, blue hat. Still missing knife and camera.

Today's "easy day" included taking on/off the packs a gazillion times in order to negotiate down a drop off.  It also included rappelling down the side of the cliff. I really wish I had a chance to go back and try it again.

5 hours later we traversed the 3 miles and arrived at the river.  Again we were worried about the darkness catching us.  We dropped our packs without setting up camp and headed to Elves Chasm. The waterfall is super pretty and would be a great swimming hole if it was warmer.

We had 1.5 hours to get back the 1.5 miles before darkness set on us again. We made it back at dusk and set up our tents in the dark again. While John was pumping water I sewed up my split pants and Paul wrapped up Michele's ankle that she had rolled a couple times on the hike.  After our Chili Mac dinner (not the best) Paul pulled out homemade toffee.  What an excellent treat for the end of the day.


Beth said...

Your trip looks amazing!

Johann said...

That is just amazing! What a beautiful place, the more I see of it, the more I know I'll have to get there some day. Thanks for sharing!

Giorgio said...

Great adventure! Thanks for sharing this beautiful report.