You must forgive the rather off-kilter formatting of this particular post. When I began uploading photos, I also started to watch ‘Remains of the Day’. Having never seen it, I was quite distracted (and have since tried to talk and write with a hint of British in every line.)
But I’m back to my normal American self and ready to talk about our quick adventure to the Grand Canyon.
R, N, A, & I (or C, because my name doesn’t start with an I, yet it may appear so due to the grammatical construction of the sentence. You know, to the millions of people reading this blog who don’t know me.) Well, anyway, R, N, A, & I/C packed up our 30 bags full of camping gear Friday night and headed to the airport. Again, like the our flight to Little Corn Island (see post here), I had never been on one so entertaining. But this time it was because of the flight staff. The man describing the plane, the placement of luggage, the general procedures of the flight talked non-stop for 5 minutes, intentionally.
It was an act, you see. A performance.
He made fun of the passengers, teased the work staff, and provided interesting information about the upgrades to the planes.
When he finished (and finally took a breath), most everyone (including me) actually clapped. I’m a thespian-lover. They could be street performers or opera singers, it really doesn’t matter. Because if they’re good, they’re good. And they deserve recognition fortheir talent.
So, I’m running away to join the flight attendants. If only for the free peanuts.
But wait! It wasn’t over! After everyone had been boarded onto the plane, a lady came onto the loud speaker and announced “I’ve found a black wallet at the front of the plane, here. It looks to be a man’s wallet….Okay, good! Now that I have your attention, Let’s start the safety procedures.”
Everyone laughed and, dare I say, actually listened to the procedures? Well, we knew N would either which way. He’s been pretty jittery since a terror flight he had recently.
It didn’t help when the pilot came on mid-flight and announced “If you look to the left, you will see [insert some geographical formation]. But don’t everyone lean to look at once, you’ll tip the plane.” And later, when R teasingly asked N during some turbulence, “So when do you think this plane would have arrived?” No laughs that time.
We landed arounded 7ish, picked up our rental car, bought food & supplies, and headed to our destination. Having arrived around midnight, A & I/C watched the boys put tents up by moonlight. An hour later, it started pouring. We had made it just in time.
After only a few hours of sleep, R was put in charge of making breakfast in the morning of which he did a great job. Nothing beats a good camping breakfast. Especially with some wildlife to watch while eating… If you look closely to the photo on the left (you can click to enlarge it), you just might see another friend of ours eating her breakfast.
We slowly got around to head down to the canyon, a couple shuttle rides away. N made some sandwiches that consisted of about 95% peanut butter and 3% bread. The other 2% were air bubbles created by my shocked exclamations.
We made it to the canyon, admired it’s grandness (no pun intended) and then quickly shifted our attention to something infinitely more fun. Squirrels! Despite the ominous signs showing bloody chunks taken out of fingers, we snuck pieces of food to the skinny squirrels thinking we were their only lifeline to survival.
After reading more signs asking each of us to please not die, we started down the Bright Angel Trail. This was touted as being popular, steep, with water. Some of the trails do not have water, therefore detouring some individuals. At one point we saw a young man climb out onto a outer rock to take photos. Our eyes widened, me with fear and the boys with excitement.
Oh, lordie. This is going to be a long walk, I can feel it.
The views were nice on this one… if only a bit narrow. It’s like seeing a sliver of the sky, knowing what the rest probably looks like, but unable to feel the full magnitude of it. But that was okay. Why? Because we got to see mules. And boy was I excited to pass by them.
I had read “the rules”, that hikers are to stay put (!) next to the inner wall and not to move. I took this very seriously.
Until the last mule literally shot out poop in front of me. And when I say shot out, I mean it was a horizontal excavation. That’s when I lost it….and squeeeealed. Not sure if that was the wisest thing to do while it was carrying a man next to the cliff’s edge, but now I know my natural reaction to that sort of situation. Apparently I make a noise similar to the animal involved. Just imagine me next to a donkey.
It took about an hour to get to our turning point. The bathrooms. We refilled our water bottles, ate some trail mix, and started our way back up. We were so happy walking down, skipping along at times, laughing & joking. It would be the same on the return trip, right? Right?
No. In fact, I think I would have been left for dead….
…if not for this woman. She joined us kind of last minute on this trip, and am I glad she did. Because do you know how long it took for the guys to compete against each other to see who could hike fastest up the trail? Nano seconds. The only part of them that stayed with us was their dusty wake.
A tried to talk to me a few times. She gave up after I didn’t respond. Not that I wouldn’t respond. I couldn’t. First of all, all I could hear was blood pouding on my temples and if some sort of noise phrased in a question actually reached my ear drums, I only whispered my answer through gasps of breath.
My brain and eye sockets were so much on fire that I didn’t even notice the guys’ backpacks laying on the rocks next to where we saw the guy climb out onto the rock. I was forging on, determined to get to the point.
So even when R and N stepped out, thinking they’ve pulled a good practical joke, my brain cells were too fried to figure out if it was funny or not.
We made it home within the next hour and collapsed around the fire. I had wanted to go to a Moon Walk which was offered around a full moon (which coincidentally was Labor Day weekend), but agreed that sitting on my bum with a good glass of red would be much more enjoyable.
So that’s what we did. We chit-chatted, listened to N’s adaptation of ‘Tales from the Crypt’, and went to bed early.
We had to be up at the crack of dawn to join a hike led by a park ranger. It would be on another trail with some of the most spectacular views of the canyon I’ve ever seen. I was a happy camper.
Up next: Grand Canyon Pt 2