|Backpack||38.20 Miles||4 Days || |
|5,749 ft AEG|| || || |
Took Angela (Tibber) along with 3 other canyon newbies and 4 experienced hikers on a fun little hike through my favorite giant hole in the ground. This trip was almost exactly a month after my Royal Arch adventure, and was SO remarkably different and still quite wonderful. Each day was filled with hiking, but it was always relaxing and comfortable - even in spite of the cold weather which blew in just a few days before our departure.
Once again, I was impressed by how nice the South Kaibab trail is without mules. It's the prettiest of the corridor trails, anyhow, but without the mules, it's pure delight! I hope they smart up and keep it this way (ha - like that'll happen).
Watching the faces of the newbies as they realized not only how massive the canyon is from the inside, but also how strong their own skills were has hikers was my favorite part. Everyone did amazingly well - I hardly had any babysitting to do at all. All but one of the newbies made it out to Ribbon Falls. In fact, Karen, Gary and I left Ribbon at 1:15pm and made it back to the canteen in time for 2 beers! I couldn't believe my watch when it said 3:20 -I don't ever think I've made that kind of time without feeling like I was trying! (Shows what a beer with a closing time at the end of the trail will do).
The campground and lodge were both full, but thanks to the weather turn the trails were never really crowded. I told Angela that I was sorry that her experience of the Canyon was less than complete - you really haven't hiked Bright Angel until you've had to fight off hordes of turons in flip flops! She seemed to think that she could live without that.
We got to spend time doing things I haven't gotten to do on many canyon trips - like exploring Garden Falls, eating dinner at Plateau Point and hitting BOTH happy hours at the Phantom Canteen. This slower pace and relaxed itinerary were just perfect not only for beginners, but for canyon die-hards who just need a little more time to love their favorite place.
Now... Lets see...when can I go back?
It troubles me that these days no matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up
- Lilly Tomlin