Day 8 Thursday Grand Canyon
Trip Start May 15, 2009
23Trip End Jun 04, 2009
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Another yomping into the Canyon day, this time down the Bright Angel trail. We met a couple on the bus last night that had hiked to Indian Gardens, They started at 8 in the morning and didn't get back till after 5 and they said it was really hard going.
We had more water and bars with us than yesterday , and jumpers/hoodies as it was still quite cool. We started off down the trail at 0855. We didn't see much for the first 10 mins as we were still surrounded by cloud, but as we descended down the trail it cleared and we had our first view down the trail - whose bright idea was this! I'm sure the 1.5 Miles is the distance direct, certainly not by the length of the trail with the amount of switchbacks on it.
We continued down, the trail in parts is in a bad way. This is due mainly to the Mule Train tours that go up and down here every day, their hooves really dig up the trail and the amount of "organic" droppings and pools of vile smelling liquid makes it quite hazardous (and stinky!) in places.
We sat and rested for a good while, eating our sandwiches and snack bars while taking in the views which were spectacular. We could see Indian Gardens down below, but it would have been foolish to try and make it that far. We stayed there till we watched the Medivac helicopter take off.
Now for the hard bit. We headed back up the trail, leaving as 1240. Maybe it's my imagination but it did not seem as hard as yesterday. Don't get me wrong, it was hard! It's not that the trail is strenuous, it's just long. Imagine climbing stairs for an hour or two. Looking up, we could see where we had started off, it looked MILES up above us, did we really come down that (or more to the point do we really need to climb all the way back up it!)
To celebrate we bought a large hot chocolate and ice creams from the shop by Bright Angel Lodge. There were a few rumbles of thunder in the distance, and rain. We got the shuttle back to the campsite, sitting on the bus we started stiffening up. Gonna be sore tomorrow.
Back at the RV, we prepared tea - steaks, mashed potato, coleslaw and sausage. The weather had begun to clear so we went out to Yavapai Observation Point to watch sunset. Well, that was the plan, we got a good view of clouds and some rain. I headed for Bright Angel Lodge where I discovered you can sit in comfort in Reception and get free Wifi while Catriona went off to do the last of the laundry before we head off,
Tomorrow it's leaving here and on towards Death Valley. Hot Hot Hot!
Where I stayed