Down and Up!!
Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
300Trip End Nov 04, 2008
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Basically, as you can imagine, the Grand Canyon is inverse climbing...you go down fast and then suffer all the way up again.
We selected the Blue Angel Trail which is the most popular one, and the better prepared one. In any case it is still 12.2 miles (6.1 each way) and the temperature (although not as bad as in summer) was still around 30 degrees celsius at mid-day.
So we packed all our camping equipment in the car as we would later move to a motel for a good shower, prepared water and food for all the day and got ourselves motivated for the incredible hike.
Down we started to go, past the 1.5 mile rest house (first place with water to refill our bottles), a little rest and onwards.
When we arrived at the second mile we both sat down in the shade to have a snack. Alas...everything went wrong at this point! We had forgotten to pack the food in Marcos' backpack!!! He was carrying the camera and two bottles of water plus first aid kit and other stuff, so the weight made him believe it was in there.
We sat down with frustration for about 15 minutes looking at the Canyon and deciding what to do. We only really had one option unless we asked other hikers for food (not in our characters)..we had to go back up. The Grand Canyon only has water in mile 1.5 and 3, but no food available so continuing what already was a minimum of 4 miles climbing would be a serious error...especially with the heat exposure.
We had read a lot about the errors day hikers have made in this route, and how many of them have suffered dehydration or have collapsed so sadly and in silence we made all the way back by noon. We decided during the ascent to stay another night in the camping in order to make another attempt tomorrow...this time with food! Silly mistake.
Anyway, we put our tent and equipment up again in the camping, and decided to enjoy the rest of the day reading and visiting the Imax National Geographic cinema in the village. The film they show is about the Grand Canyon in a huge screen ($12 per head) and was a great introduction for our walk tomorrow.
Marcos bought the book "Death in the Grand Canyon" which has all the statistics and stories of all the deaths known in the Grand Canyon. After reading a few pages we knew we had taken the right decision in going back up!
The only problem...our legs were aching a bit...it would just increase the effort for tomorrow.