It has been too long since part one, so here it is for you to go back and refresh your memories….
The short catch-up version is, I don’t know how to use a fax machine. I don’t now how to select the correct weather forecast for the area we are heading into. We booked a motel in the wrong town. We caught the slow bus. Things started out Ok, but were heating up quick.
Ok, so, as I said, the trip started out well enough, the slope is gentle and the steps are not too frequent.
What we did not relize at this stage is that because Freddy was using the walking sticks, it made it hard for her to use her drink tube. So while Terry and I were sucking down a little bit of water pretty often, Freddy was not taking in anywhere near as much.
At the next major stop, we had some food and proper fluids. Freddy commented that her shoes were starting to hurt, but nothing too bad, no blisters or anything, so we adjusted the tension on the laces and kept going.
The further you get in, the more the logs (aka steps) kick in. Each one is a bit of jar. This is why Freddy was using the sticks, to help ease the jolt onto her hips, and feet.
I will skip the really ugly photos, but we needed to stop a few more times and put bandages and stuff on Freddys feet to try and ease the pain and future pain.
It was only as we got near the bottom that it became clear just how dehydrated Freddy was.
After you go through the tunnel you come to the bridge that crosses the Colorado River.
It has amazing light and it is a bit of a tradition for me to take a selfie as I go though….
This means that we are close to the first major resting spot. Phantom Ranch.
Here is a shot of the three of us crossing the bridge.
One look at Freddy’s face pretty much sums it up for her.
Not long after getting over the bridge and half a mile along the river, she called it and said that she really needed to rest.
By this time it was hot, really hot. Like around 100 def F hot (37 C)……
We got Freddy to the junction of where Bright Angel Creek meets the Colorado, there is a little shelter there with some shade. We sat her down, took her pack off, wet down her hat and scarf and told her to stay put.
The plan was for Terry and I to go up to Phantom Ranch cantina, drop Terry and my pack off and then I was going to come back and get Freddy’s pack and walk back up to Terry (who was resting under the big trees).
Once the three of us were all there, it was always the plan to rest up for an hour or two, have a solid feed and refill the water bottles before heading the two miles to the first camp spot toward Clear Creek.
So that’s what we did. Terry and double timed it up to the cantina, dumped my pack and then I ran back down to where we left Freddy.
When I got back to the little hut, she was no where to be seen.
Here is my log of the trip into the Canyon.
The blue line is our pace. It is in miles per minute. It is pretty clear the bump in pace around the 7 to 8 mile mark where first Terry and I went double time, then the big jump up where I ran (yes, ran) back to get Freddy.
So, there I am, in the heat, looking for my heat affected wife… She had one job to do, sit in the shade… Just felt the need to point that out. One. Job. Sit. Stay.
Turns out, she thought she was feeling better just a moment or two before I got back and so she got up, hoisted her pack and started to try and find the right path (there are a few since it is the entrance to the Bright Angel campground) that would take her to where she (thought) knew we would be.
After a few minutes of me jogging around looking up a little of each of the trails, I found her wondering around looking slightly lost, but better. Her face had a little color in it.
It was a shortish walk back to Terry and we caught a seat on one of the picnic tables under the tree and started to cool off and eat some real food.
As expected, a few hours latter, she was feeling much better, but still had some sore feet.
The camping permits are pretty clear, you must camp at the grounds marked on your permit, for us, that was Clear Creek. About 2 miles away, a solid but very very beautiful climb away.
She is a little tough to spot, but here is a shot of Freddy on the trail.
We got to the point where, since there was no one on that trail (one of the many reasons why I like it), I would quickly march ahead, drop my pack off, then jog back to Freddy, grab her pack and walk with her up to my pack.
This really took a load off her feet. And so before long we got to the first spot where overnight camping is allowed along the trail to Clear Creek.
And thus we made camp.
(Terry’s tent is just to the right of ours).
So, there we were. 3 hot ‘happy’ campers.