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mini location map2019-05-25
13 by photographer avatarsbkelley
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Rim to RimNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar May 25 2019
sbkelley
Hiking44.50 Miles 11,000 AEG
Hiking44.50 Miles   19 Hrs   7 Mns   2.33 mph
11,000 ft AEG
 no routes
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cmatheez
desertchild
After we got back through the Box on the return hike, almost everyone else in our crew at some point asked me (incredulously) why I was doing this again. It was a fair question. Nobody's legs could be classified as feeling 'great' - or even 'good' - anymore. Dave and Shawn, visiting from Colorado, had shattered their daily hiking mileage records before we had even gotten back to Cottonwood, and we were nowhere near a point where anyone would consider us close to being done. But here I was again, nearly four years later, doing an R2R2R. It was tough (again), but it felt great to disconnect from work and a hectic semester and just hike. It was just what the doctor ordered. SK-NK-BA again.

Definitely a different experience when you have a group of 8 (and 7 that do the whole thing - one hopped on a shuttle back to the South Rim once we got to the North Kaibab TH), and everyone stays pretty close together. Last time it was just me and Eric, and we moved quickly and efficiently. We moved quickly again, but the 'efficiently' is much harder to accomplish at rest stops with a larger group that's laughing and talking and enjoying the day. As you should. The time at these rest stops does add up over the course of a day, though we only really had one where the break was probably a bit long (North Rim). No complaints, though, this was a fun group, I had nowhere to be and nothing on my calendar (for once!), and I wasn't at work. Most of all, though, it was so great to see the Canyon again, and even better to see it with good friends. We got ridiculously lucky (again) with the weather: highs in the mid 80s at Phantom Ranch on Memorial Day weekend should not be expected, but it sure made things nicer for someone now living in a place where it now snows in the winter.

Just like last time, the body felt great climbing up N. Kaibab and Bright Angel, and less than great between Phantom and Cottonwood both ways. Go figure. Sam was a ball of positive energy all day, Chris kept an easy-going attitude and steady pace, Taylor was a machine all day, JD and Bill couldn't stop talking about how pretty the canyon was, Dave had a blast checking off a lifelong bucket list item, and Shawn even smiled. It happens sometimes.

The next day, I heard at least four of them say that we should do it again. Remember that when you're going back through the Box on the way home, guys. Two is enough for me...that is, unless Lilah wants to go someday.
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