The day cooled off a little as the sun set. I set about making dinner with the jet boil and the rest of the troupe just chilled as best as they could.
As we got fluid and food (both were important) into Freddy and as the sun set and the temperatures dropped, she started to perk up.
Two important things happen that night.
As we were packing our packs back at the house, I threw in an old pair of runners. Freddy and Terry both really gave me a sustained hard time about carrying an extra pair of runners (shoes) to the Canyon and back… I just want that to be noted!… My plan was to use them in the hike up Clear Creek to the waterfalls and back. I did not want to get my main hiking shoes wet, they may not dry out overnight and I did not want to hike out of the Canyon, or any part there of, in wet hiking boots! (See, there was logic to my perceived madness).
So, important thing number 1. Freddy needed to pee.
She was in the tent when the need arose and our shoes were lined up outside the door, rather that fight with her hiking boots, she put mine on and the visible relief of putting her size 11 foot in a size 13 boot was very clear for all to see and hear.
Important thing number 2. It became very clear after a few hours that Freddy was not going to be able to hike the 6 miles to Clear Creek and that we would have to stay where we were for the following day… Why is this important? I had planed to filter water from Clear Creek to drink and to re-hydrate our meals…. There was no water where we were. None.
I knew what was going to be required and so was not too worried…. We simply settled into the night and watched the sun go down.
With a view like this on your front door step… it sure makes everything look small.
(Do me a solid and click on this one to view it full size).
Just check that out!
Even as the sun fully set, it just did not stop!
This is why I like the hike to Clear Creek. You get up out of the valley that Bright Angel Creek and Phantom Ranch are in. Even Indian Gardens does not have a view like this.
Next morning, before the sun came up, I loaded up the empty water bottles and drink bladders, grabbed some cash out of my wallet and headed back to Phantom Ranch to get water and ice.
You can see the trail we are walking on… Its much more narrow and unmade than the main two trails that most people take to hike the Canyon.
The day was heating up really quick and thankfully Freddy had the idea to remember that we had taken two space blankets with us. They are so light and compact, that there is almost no reason not to take them…. Anyway, we needed the shade, and pressed them into service on the side of the tent.
I joked that we looked like a Martian lander or something, but the fact is, they made a massive difference to the inside temperature of the tent!
So there we hung out of for the day.
I went for the odd hike up and down the trail a bit to just get some alone time, but for the most part we just hung out and talked in the tent.
If you know me, you know I love gadgets. The thing with gadgets however, is that they require power.
Is that going to stop thebaldgeek?? Naaaaaahhhhhhh.
Just a quick word about this….. When you charge a battery it gets hot. When things get too hot they go bang and so to stop this from happening, gadget makers put temperate sensors on their batteries and reduce the rate of charge if a battery gets too hot.
Solar panels are put in the sun. That’s how they work. Things in the sun get hot.
So, you have a solar panel with a short cord and a ‘pocket to place the device under charge’ on the back of the panel.
Enough to say that I was in a viscous circle of trying to keep the battery cool and the solar panel in the sun. Next time, I am going to take a nice long USB cable so I can put the battery in the tent and the solar panel outside!
By the time evening came around, we ran the water numbers and yup, we were going to be short for dinner and the following days hike back to Phantom Ranch, so Terry and I gathered the empty bottles and headed off to get water.
I did not say anything to him, but on this hike I deliberately dropped back a long ways so that Terry could have the experience of ‘hiking on his own’. He latter commented that he really was grateful for the experience…. The Canyon is like that. You get in the zone and are just captivated by the silence and the agelessness of everything you see. With no other humans in sight or sound it changes the mind and after a half hour or so there is a zone that few people get to enter. It’s pretty sweet.