• Tag Archives grand canyon
  • Running the Grand Canyon

    If you think you are a little bit fit and get it in your head that running the Canyon in a day would be a good idea. Just don’t. Take it from me. Don’t. Do. It.

    Right, with that disclaimer out of the way…..
    Freddy and I headed out there a few days before the run to kick back and spend some time together since I have been away so much due to travel.
    Photos of those few days coming – soon – I hope…..In the meantime, here is one of us at the rim.

    Ok, so we got up at o-dark thirty and got dressed.
    I had looked at the forecast, but still figured it would be cool enough for the leggings. It wasn’t. Ended up pulling them off less than halfway down and carried them the rest of the way… Glad I went with the shorts over the top!

    Considered also taking a flashlight, but eh, it’s just more to carry for the bulk of the trip, so skipped it and just took it easy for the first bit.

    It was soon light enough to see what I was about to step on (or not step on as the cliff edge case might be).

    Turned the major corner and it was blowing a gale. Almost lost my hat and so turned it around for a good while.
    It was still a bit cool at this point, so needed the hat as a bit of a beanie. (The heavy overcast meant that I really didn’t need it and thus ended up carrying it for way too long)

    Things settled down and we are making good progress. Not as fast as I want, but I am keeping an eye on the watch and know that its too easy to go too fast and tap out, so we are watching the heart rate and steps per minute pretty close as I know my numbers I need to keep things even.
    This is my first view of the Colorado River. Im pretty excited.

    Half way and we meet the Tonto trail. I badly want to run this one at some stage as well.

    Also at half way is a long drop dunny and temperature gauge.

    It really was perfect weather for the run.
    The overcast and breaze was perfect.

    Check out the switchbacks we are running!

    You know you are there when you hit the tunnel.

    So, here we are at the bottom.
    1 hour 20 min.

    Bright Angel Creek runs into the Colorado and is always worth a look.

    I even took a moment to enjoy some of the local plant life.

    For the most part I am enjoying going uphill……

    Once I hit mile 14 things took a turn.
    I just ran out of everything. Cold, clammy skin, vomiting and cramps.
    Totally unfun with 3 solid uphill miles to go and tons of tourists to battle my way through…. yuck.

    But we made it.

    Beat up my feet. Again.

    Wanted to do it in 4 hours. Took me 5.
    Disappointed? No. I gave it all I had and left nothing out there.
    I got to know my limits.

    Totally worth it.

  • Rafting through the Grand Canyon

    At very late notice, Lloyd, the guy from work that took me into the Canyon for the very first time all those years back, had to bail his trip of a life time (you have to book 2 years in advance). At such late notice, his fully paid trip was non-refundable, so he asked if I wanted to be him for 8 days.

    There is zero signal of pretty much every kind at water level of the Colorado River, so I will be out of the loop for about 8-9 days.

    This page here is the best description of the mob I am going with and about the trip, if you only look at one thing, flick through this page;

    This page has a lot of the nitty-gritty about the trip prep and stuff;

    I have a few blog posts on auto pilot, so you will not miss me at all.


  • Solo in the Grand Canyon

    Super busy at work.
    Busy at home getting our water filter/softener sorted.
    How busy? I forget the last time I had a nice cool refreshing glass of Vodka.
    Yeah, I know, woe is me.

    But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel…. In a few days I take off 4 days for hiking in the Grand Canyon!
    Super excited.
    Back on Jan 1st, I was up at midnight faxing my hiking application to the National Parks Service.
    Broken hearted when it was rejected…. No space they said… I had applied for 2 people in the usual (aka popular) campsites.
    Not to be deterred, I had 2 weeks to reapply, so I grabbed a map and planned out a solo trip….. Since I was on my own, I could go a little further, a little deeper and forgo a few comforts…. No staying on the beaten path, no staying at the usual camp ground….. So I did.
    Yah! I was accepted this time around.

    So. We have the usual training at Opto today, which I teach. Then tomorrow is a half day for me. Around lunch time I will head off and drive 7.5 hours to the small town Tusayan just outside of the Canyon. We have a motel room reserved.

    Up at o’dark thirty the next morning and hike in. In my (slightly) overweight backpack I have everything that we will need (hopefully) to keep myself alive for the next 4 days…. Oh, and some camera gear… of course….
    It will be very different going solo this year, my first time doing this. It means that I have to have everything in the one pack. Last year, we could split it all three ways.
    Oh, and I will have you all know that I have been watching the weather for the correct location like a hawk. Super excited (and VERY relieved) to say that the weather is looking almost perfect. Hot and clear (there might be some clouds some days – hope they clear as I want to take some astro photos).

    Anyway, sorry the blog has been bumping along the bottom for a while now. Got a head full of stuff that I just can’t figure out myself, so really can’t blog about any of it…. It is so full it is just crowding out everything else. Hopefully 4 days in the Canyon will bring some peace and quiet.

    [And yeah Matt W. I hear ya, I will do my best to blog about said adventure in less than a year this time around!].