I woke at 5:30am to shower, and pack our bag that would get carried up by the mules. We were allowed 30 pounds, and we used every last ounce.
We had breakfast at Phantom, and said good-bye to the friends we had made during our stay. The staff was fabulous; living at the bottom of a canyon, and serving people that have just hiked 10 miles down a steep hill to get there cannot be easy. But they were all so friendly and accommodating.
We stepped foot on the Bright Angel Trail at 7:45am Sunday morning. The girls seemed motivated, and prepared for the long journey. We had a 10 mile hike ahead of us, and it was all uphill.
We had chosen Bright Angel as our return trail. Although it was 2 ½ miles longer than S. Kaibab it wasn't as steep, and we were told by other hikers the views were amazing. They were right. Coming down S. Kaibab was great, but returning to the top via Bright Angel was even more so.
I don’t have many photos of Scott and Paradis on the way up, because we split into two teams. Paradis had a faster pace, and there was no stopping her. Annelies and I were going with the ‘slow and steady wins the race’ philosophy.
However, Scott and Paradis waited for us half-way up at Indian Garden Campground for lunch. Same lunch as the day prior, but it tasted good.
We filled our water bottles, and continued on the trail. I’m not going to sugar-coat the return to the top; it was a tough hike and all of us were sore from the hike down. But we did great. They say the average hiker takes 8-10 hours to reach the top via Bright Angel. It took us seven.
When Annelies and I were near the top, we saw Scott walking down the hill toward us. He and Paradis had reached the top about 20 minutes before, and he was coming to grab my pack. Oh how I love that man.
I have to admit I had tears in my eyes during this photo of all four of us at the top. I’m not sure if it was because I was so darn proud of everyone for making it to the top, or because I was in such pain! Either way, I knew it was a good day and I’m so glad we did it.
We went back to Maswik Lodge for some lunch, and ice cold drinks. We stopped at the gift store for souvenirs, and drove to our hotel where we instantly dropped our sore bodies in the hot tub. It felt great.
Overall, our adventure to the bottom of the Grand Canyon was amazing. My hiking team was positive, and I wouldn't have wanted to do it without them.
I had simple goals for this adventure:
- Hike to the bottom of The Grand Canyon. Success!
- Hike back to the top. Success!
- I wanted my entire hiking team to enjoy it as much as I did. Success!
- And I didn't want to have to poop on a rock during the hike. Success!
It was a good day.
Day Six: 0 miles (481 total); $0 on gas ($44.65 total); 0 states (3 total); $88.23 Lodging ($885.55 total); $108.56 Souvenirs ($597.27 total); $0 Tourist Traps ($155.80 total); $0 Redbox ($2 total); 0 fights (0 total); 0 injuries (1 total)