Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Long Hike Down

The kids recovered pretty well from that traumatic little hike on Monday. I wish I could say the same for my leg. Although it looked fine and there wasn't a hint of infection, it HURT. In retrospect, I'm thinking it probably poked through the skin into the bone and bruised it pretty good. I had to take Advil just to walk in the morning.
But the kids were up for another hike. I can't remember now why I chose Tuesday for the most challenging hike of the trip. There was thought behind it and that's all I can say.

The thing about staying along the rim of the Canyon is that there's no real direction to hike but down. And if you hike down far enough, it's a long, long way back up. I knew that. I had my book of easy hikes handy. And while I'd chosen the hike down the North Kaibab Trail, I reminded myself repeatedly that we were going to turn around at the Supai Tunnel. Tunnel. Tunnel. Tunnel...

We stopped at the Coconino Overlook and took pictures of each other.
Although the views were beautiful, as they were everywhere along the rim, the top of this trail is frequented by the park's mule trains. It's no big deal to move aside for a mule train. But what they leave behind is...well...stinky. So we spent much of our downhill trip stepping around steaming piles of poo and avoiding cesspools in the trail. Still...pretty.
And before too long, we reached the Supai Tunnel.
But one can't just look at a tunnel and not go through it, right? So we did.
And this was the view from the other side, down, down, down into Roaring Springs Canyon. If you look closely, you can see a tiny little footbridge down there. And since I'm me, the tunnel just wasn't challenge enough and that footbridge looked mighty tempting. And the kids weren't smart enough to talk me out of it. So down we went.
On a map, this part of the trail is a very thick line. That's not because it's wide. It's because there are so many switchbacks that they basically just color that part in. Down and down and down, we went. Smunch, ever in a hurry (or perhaps to warn of impending danger) was far ahead and made it to the bridge well before Mam and I did. He's kind of a red speck in this picture.
From the bridge, you couldn't even seen the white-ish Coconino stone near the top of the Canyon, just the red rocks stretching up into the sky.
We found some shade, had a snack and then started the long, hot trip back up the Canyon.
Naturally, there was plenty of whining and complaining about why we'd gone so far down and just how far up it was going to be. I admit, it was long. It was especially long with two hot, whiney children. We got back to the Supai Tunnel, where there was a water fountain, and the kids filled their hats with water before putting them back on their heads.
They were moderately happier for a while after that.
But nothing beat getting back to the parking lot and driving back to the campsite. They were tired and hungry. We got some ice cream and made dinner.

I'd hoped to take a hike at sunset that evening, but I wasn't too anxious to press my luck on that one. Instead, we took a drive out to Point Imperial, which I'd noted didn't seem to have much in the way of a hike. It was just a drive and at twilight, the parking lot was nearly deserted.
That's a pity for all the people who didn't get to see the amazing light on the Canyon that evening. But it was pretty awesome for us.
The kids were not altogether impressed since you couldn't actually see the sun from this vantage point. Once the light left that portion of the Canyon, they wanted to go back to the lodge and head to Bright Angel Point for sunset. I didn't see any reason why not. (Ohmigosh, is that my little boy walking next to me? He's all the way up to my shoulder!)
It's hard to get tired of views like this. We could have done this every night and never gotten bored.

1 comment:

Barrett, Melinda, Angel Trinity, and Baby Zander said...

It's been FOREVER since I've had the chance to get on blogger and catch up on my blog along with catching up on my friends blogs. Wow, I can not believe how big the kids are now!!! Your photography continues to impress me have such a beautiful talent in it my friend. We are expecting another baby, a healthy baby boy. Trinity would be 12 now (CRAZY!!!), our son Zander just turned 2, and this little bun-in-the-oven will be arriving soon (I'm currently 34 weeks). I've updated our blog with preggy pics and the happenings of us crazy Adams. I graduate in December with my nursing degree, and I'm super excited about that. I love everything that has to do with the nursing profession and am anxious to be done with school. I hope you're doing well my friend.

Love Mindy Adams