run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Grand Canyon Part 1

Standing outside the Bathrooms at the South Rim.

Last summer, Melissa and I were running in PWP, when she randomly said... "You know what I've always wanted to do? The Rim2Rim2Rim at the Grand Canyon." To which, I immediately responded... LET'S DO IT! AND INVITE THE BITCHES! 

Fast forward a few months. After months of planning and feeling like it was so far away. We finally found ourselves taking our first step onto the Bright Angel Trail at 3:15am.

The KoB taking a step onto the trail the day

There were months of planning, organizing, grilling The KoB (who was the only one in the group who had done it before) with dumb questions, and months of not REALLY looking at a topographical map (which The KoB pointed out to us about a zillion times while on the trail) of the R2R2R. 

I'll do other posts about the logistics, planning, training/not training, etc. But for now, let's just focus on the fun stuff: the actual run hike.
We decided to leave our hotel at 3:00am, which would hopefully get us on the trail before 3:30am. This meant a 1:30 wake up call for me and The KoB. 
 The food we bought.
About 50% of that was uneaten.

To be completely honest, I wasn't that nervous. I expected a hard, long day. But, I was deliriously excited. I had seen the Grand Canyon for the first time the afternoon before, but the idea of actually being down IN IT and seeing it and experiencing it, was so exciting. I actually don't think I've ever been more excited for anything. So, I really had no problems getting up and ready at such an early hour.

The moon over the canyon.

We started our descent down the Bright Angel Trail around 3:15. I was surprised to see other headlamps in the canyon and even people coming up as we were going down. The KoB stressed the importance of not running the descent, because the time gain wouldn't outweigh how trashed our legs would be so early in the game. It was sound advice and we joked and chatted and peed all the way down the south rim in the dark. Seriously. There was so much peeing. I've never been around such healthy bladdered people before. I think I peed once to everyone else's 3-4 times.

The trail was rockier than I had expected, but overall, since we would be hiking up and down the south rim anyway, I wasn't too concerned. It wasn't super dark, thanks to an almost full moon and we saw plenty of eyes in the canyons of deer and what I am calling a Javelina. It might have been something else... but, it was the shape and size of a Javelina, so, dammit, I'm calling it a Javelina.
A Javelina!
So cute!

The KoB had suggested that I not fill my hydration pack with water till later on the trail. There were plenty of water stops at the beginning and with the nighttime and downhill start, my handheld would be plenty. He was right and it was so nice to not be lugging around 2 quarts of water on my back. Particularly, since I was already carrying about 15 pounds of junk food and other random supplies. 
More shit that I carried.
Let's just say I was prepared in
case this turned into a
gilligans island scenario.
We finally hit the Indian Garden Campground which is about mile 4.5ish on the trail and I filled up my pack and took off my headlamp, etc.
 The arrow roughly marks where Indian Garden is, as you look
down from the South Rim of the Canyon.
The sky was starting to brighten up a bit and
I foolishly assumed we had finished the descent.

The KoB and I had left Jeff and Melissa at the water spicket and headed down the trail a bit figuring that they would be right behind us.After a couple of minutes, we backtracked to the water spicket and they weren't there. FUCK. We yelled for them. Nothing. There was another trail off the left, and The KoB quickly took off his pack and started sprinting down the other trail looking for them.

I stayed back at the campground and waited.
And took some pictures.
And waited...
 More pictures and waiting.

I started to get a little nervous...



wesa121 said...

Really? A cliffhanger? :)

Amy said...

I know... I'm a total bitch.

Carina said...

Yeah, what wesa121 said.

Carina said...

Haha, now I keep thinking, well, she said, "I'M alive," why didn't she say "WE'RE alive"?...

Gracie said...

Hey. That's not fair!

chacha said...

Just going to say I am super jealous. I want to run R2R2R but I have a rat's chance finding several other equally crazy people.