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Boucher - Hermit Loop, AZ
mini location map2015-02-16
11 by photographer avatarslowandsteady
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Boucher - Hermit Loop, AZ 
Boucher - Hermit Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 16 2015
slowandsteady
Hiking21.49 Miles 5,291 AEG
Hiking21.49 Miles   11 Hrs   48 Mns   1.98 mph
5,291 ft AEG      58 Mns Break
 
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BiFrost
We earned our "You're an Idiot" badges on this hike. :y: (To be fair to the Ranger that said that...since it took me twice as long as Dave1 to do this hike, she probably would have been correct calling me an idiot)

We headed down Hermit as the sun was coming up. We turned onto the Boucher trail and headed for Yuma Point. Pretty quickly we realized our 10 hour plan might not work out, as HAZ Tracks was telling us we were doing 30 minute miles. I was nervous about what I would find on the Supai layer. It felt like the "flat" of Boucher had exposure. We ran into a group of three backpackers heading up who had spent the night at Yuma Point. They seemed to be enjoying themselves and didn't mention anything sketchy. I tried to calm my nerves,then I tripped over my own feet and fell down. Now my nerves were on full alert. We cruised by Yuma Point, finally dropping down into the supai layer, I just sat on my bum and scooted down a few spots. Anticipation was probably worse then what we encountered. I just took all the time I needed to go slow and careful.

Heading over to the red wall, another group of six was heading up from Hermit Creek. We chatted and this young girl said this was her first backpack! Way to go big! I asked her about exposure, she said she was just watching her feet and not looking around. She was a calming force, she came across that she was genuinely enjoying her hike. Hiking down Travertine Canyon called for a little more bum scooting but without exposure, it was enjoyable. Then it is never ending down until finally reaching the Tonto. We took a break and a deep breath.

Now for the Tonto, it felt good to be away from exposure and on nice trail. We could get Haz Tracks down to 22 minute miles, rebuilding my confidence. Just gorgeous scenery, we could see Boucher and Hermit Rapids and the Colorado was pretty green. Tonto was up and down and in and out. We spooked four deer before arriving at Hermit Creek. Karl pumped water and filled up our Camelbacks in the cool clear creek. After a short break we headed up to the Tonto-Hermit trail junction.

Now we just had Hermit left, approximately seven miles and done. I put my HAZ Tracks at half mile intervals, in hopes it would motivate me. During the initial switchbacks a large group of ten were headed down to Hermit Creek. Then on Cathedral Stairs we passed four more headed down to Hermit. We got to Breezy Point and I caught my breath. Now I just needed to do the three rolling miles to Santa Maria Spring, where I could take a nice break in a rocking chair. It is those giant steps and hauling yourself up that get you. The wind picked up a little, but it felt good. It got chilly quickly resting at Santa Maria. Ok, only 2.2 miles to go and done. With barely half a mile to go, we pulled out the headlamps and then finished in the dark. But, we finished!

Last May on our hike from Phantom Ranch to the rim via Bright Angel-Tonto-Hermit, we were racing the clock too. At the time we had a conversation wondering how long it would take to forget how painful that journey was. Apparently nine months.

Thank you Karl for taking me on these adventures and for having the patience to see that we both finish!
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