|Grand Canyon - South Rim - AZT #37, AZ|
|Grand Canyon - South Rim - AZT #37, AZ|| |
Grand Canyon - South Rim - AZT #37, AZ
|Hiking||9.72 Miles|| 4 Hrs 6 Mns ||2.83 mph|
|758 ft AEG|| 40 Mns Break|
|We left town around 7:30AM and met up at the IMAX around 10:45AM. We left Tonto Jr to pile into Shawn's truck for the supposedly short drive to the buses at the VC. The short drive was at least 30 minutes as the line getting into the Park was very long and moved slowly. And then once we boarded the bus, the driver waited for awhile as he tried to pile more passengers in so that the bus was stuffed to the gills.|
We put on our gear and headed along the paved trail enjoying the views into the canyon when they were exposed. I was last at this trailhead in 2010. We didn't know we had missed the turn south until Shawn asked if we were going the right way so we had to backtrack a bit. There is NO signage indicating that obscure dirt trail is the AZT. This was the first of our "oops" we missed a turn.
So you hike to the paved road and across altho I accidentally took a small shortcut. Once across the road you are into the forest but can still hear the noise of the road. You come to the powerline road and we continued across as I saw a carsonite but this was NOT right. So we're moseying down the trail and Shawn once again asks if we're going the right way. I look at HAZel and say, we're right on the trail. Tracy looks at her app and it says we are NOT on the trail.... again. The trail has been re-routed from HAZ's official route so we had to cross-country a bit to get back to the powerline road.
You once again cross a highway and then you are on a paved path for way too many miles and you're near the road and campsites. Certainly not the AZT experience one expects. It was past lunch time due to our late start so we thot we might as well take advantage of the picnic tables along the campsites and pulled over. We watched ravens picking away at the food some others had left on their table.
Back on the paved path again until you get to cross the road again on to more paved path and in the line of the helo traffic from time to time. During this whole hike we would see only one other person and it was a bike rider. My entertainment was kicking off even the littlest rocks from the pathway (no pine cones to crush this time [ triplog ] ). The pain of walking on this pavement was not pleasurable for any of us as we were all whining. We finally got to the end of the park and took a short break on a log to let the burning feet sensation subside enough to continue on.
Once you go thru the tunnel it's all dirt. I had commented that I was surprised we didn't record any 20 minute miles on all that pavement as you feel like you're going a pretty good pace. So Shawn says, I'll try and do a 20 minute mile with you. Well by that time, the pavement had turned to dirt but I thot "what the heck" and at the 7 mile mark we gave it a whirl. Well within minutes I barely could see Shawn and then I was hearing all sorts of bird commotion so I wanted to record it. So I'm walking as fast as I can while I film the sound.
We then came to an intersection that Shawn blew by so he had to back track. Not that it mattered because once again within minutes he was almost out of my site. I then had to stop to get a hike-by picture of a flora I hadn't seen before. Finally we hit the one mile mark and HAZel said I had done 17:29 minutes. Shawn was probably about 5 minutes ahead of me including the detour so he probably did around 12 minutes. He just kept going as did I until we came to the intersection by the rock outcropping where he was sitting waiting for us.
My response: The AZT Section Crew just did this yesterday and we are in total agreement with you.
The section between the SK trailhead and Tusayan is probably the least enjoyable stretch of the AZT I've done so far - highway traffic noise, helicopters overhead, several miles of pavement walking on the Greenway. Routing a new trail a couple miles to the east on a more direct line to the SK trailhead would be a big improvement, but I imagine the NPS isn't very receptive to the idea of building new trails inside the park.
We walked over to the IMAX and then over to Wendy's where Shawn bot Frosty's. We dropped Ambika at the hotel where she was meeeting her family. We then went over to the Yavapai Lodge and had a louszy dinner before picking up Shawn's truck and headed over to Grandview Point tower campsite. The next morning, they rolled out about 5:30 and I wasn't too far behind except Tonto Jr no start. I quickly texted Tracy and fortunately, they weren't too far away so came back for the jump.
I didn't turn off Tonto Jr until I got home except for when I got home, I thot my garage door remote wasn't working so I went in the house and then realized the electricity was out. I went and flipped the breaker and then the neighbors came out to tell me the electricity had gone out at 3:15AM and they were waiting for it to be repaired. The workmen were at the street behind us. However, the repair time wouldn't be until 2:30. So I took Tonto Jr to Pep Boys and got a new battery, hung out at Starbucks and then picked up lunch when I got the notice, electricity was on.
And now a whirlwind weekend was done but my shins were going to be killing me; they did and they have.
[ youtube video ]
||Wildflowers Observation Isolated
|For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination. |
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.