Not this weekend, not next weekend, not the weekend after that, but the weekend after that, I’ll be going back to the Grand Canyon. I have been the last five years and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make it six.
The first time I went was the first time I camped. It was Spring Break. I had been wanting to go since I was six years old, but was never around the right people to make it happen. I didn’t know you could just get in your car and go to places like this. Instead of doing the usual beach side binge-drinking, we went there. The first time I saw the Grand Canyon, something just bubbled up inside of me and came spewing out. I trembled and I cried. I have the same experience every time I leave the car and walk up to the South Rim to see it again.
That trip, we day-hiked to some of the plateaus and got snowed in. The next summer I took my younger brother backpacking down to Phantom Ranch and Ribbon Falls, getting to the Colorado River for the first time. The next year I hiked down Hermit’s Rest to the Tonto to Indian Garden and back out the Bright Angel. I went in wanting to die alone and came out a little bit better. The next year I hiked rim to rim to rim with some cool, young friends, making a stop on the way from California to New York. Last year I hiked more of the Tonto Trail, made four small mistakes that became a big mistake, picked up some heat exhaustion, and puked my way out of the canyon. This year I’ll be taking off the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and hiking more of the Tonto Trail going east. I want to hike the entire horizontal distance of the canyon. It will be spectacular. Nice and chilly. Walking along the Colorado with my hands in my pockets. Celebrating Thanksgiving in the bottom of the canyon with a turkey sandwich.
Anyways, that’s all I got. The floor is yours to discuss whatever. Just rememeber all the standard commenting rules apply.