Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grand Canyon -Royal Arch - Day 3

In comparison of our trip with Scott and John's the year before, our 2nd night camped along the Colorado river was their first night.  While the trail they took on the first day was technical and hard, it was more direct. They also made their trip early October when there was more daylight each day. Their 2nd day (our 3rd day) they ran out of water because of the heat and they each thought they had enough water to make the 12 mile trek across the Tonto. Luckily our weather in November was cooler but we still had the 12 miles to go with the fear there may not be water at the camp site.

In the morning we had a leisurely start at 8:30am. Paul wrapped Michele's purple bruised ankle and we started out. Again it became obvious we would be racing the sun. Michele and Scott fell behind due to Michele's ankle and John, Paul and I hiked onward. Paul and I frequently got in trouble with John who thought we were lallygagging because we were talking while hiking. This is now know as jabberwalking. The fact was we were hustling and I often saw Paul practically jogging to keep up.  The look of determination on his face reminded me of my dad. As compared to the first days 12 mile hike, we took more frequent rest breaks, about 7 minutes of rest which helped immensely but I was still ready to pull a Jim at the end of the day and just stop and not go a step more.

 Eventually we saw the canyon we were stopping in but it was way below us and deep in; I couldn't  imagine hiking my way down that far. We continued into the canyon descending slowly and the floor of the canyon rose up to meet us so there were no huge drop offs. It was dusk at 5:30pm when we arrived at some nice camp spots but no water.  John and Paul went to find water and left me at the site. I would have made hot tea but I was worried the guys wouldn't find water and couldn't have the luxury of heating water until after I knew if they found water. After setting up our tent I sat on a rock with a headlamp and wrote in this my journal.
It's 6:15pm and pitch black. John and Paul went to find water in the dark. Michele and Scott are still hiking. Michele turned her ankle many times and has a mild sprain. Perhaps its more than mild after today. There's no water close to camp and  John and Paul may have to go as far as 1.5 miles to get water. They left more than 1/2 hour ago and I haven't heard them. It is completely silent. The wind has started and the tent is rustling. There are crickets and what sounds like the whizzing of cars, although its just the wind and maybe the bass rapids I'm hearing.
An hour later John and Paul came back successful with water but the pump was plugged. Shortly after that we saw the headlamps of Scott and Michele walking the side of the canyon.  John left and met them taking Michele's pack the rest of the way to the site. We had dinner and crawled into our tents without singing any campfire songs (you can't have a fire in the GC and besides John singing its a small world, we weren't a bunch of singers anyways)
One water hole

Another long day complete with beautiful scenery and lots of good conversation while jabberwalking.


Johann said...

So beautiful and what a fantastic time you had! That photo of the "one water hole" tells a story, love it!

The Green Girl said...

What a beautiful place to hike. I love it - jabberwalking - that is awesome!

I'm sorry to hear Michelle was struggling with her ankle - poor thing.

One Crazy Penguin said...

Absolutely breathtaking pictures. These posts are making me want to follow in your footsteps at some point in the near future!

Black Knight said...

Lady Christina you are enjoying a part of heaven.
I agree: absolutely breathtaking pictures.