Grand Canyon – Part 1

To start, you have to go back.
4 months back.

Around 4-5 million people per year visit the south rim of the canyon.
Around 100,000 people go to the north rim.
Of those, around 400,000 hike to the bottom each year.
Most of those stay a night.
There are not that many camp sites at the bottom of the canyon, so there is some demand, as such, you need to book your spot.
4 months in advance.

Now, to be fair, most of the demand is for summer (why, I don’t know, it would be too stinking hot for me).
Point is, I’m told that all the sites can be booked out in a matter of minutes for summer, and in up to an hour for winter.
But no matter when, they go quick.

My co-worker Lloyd and another co-worker, Ken, decided 4 months back that they wanted to go hiking and camping for a few nights around the fall. Lloyd had gone to the Canyon a few times before and more than once in the summer and agrees, its just too hot.
So, 4 months ago, they tried their luck for Autumn and scored.
3 nights in the bottom…. Not all in one spot, but three different camp sites, so it really was a score. Big time…. 3 different sites in the one weekend was just gold.

4 months latter and Ken has a scheduling conflict, so he had to bail.
Lloyd asked another co-worker and he could not make it, so I was Lloyds 3rd choice. I was at the trade show in Las Vegas and so got the invite via text message.
A quick check with Freddy and we are in!

It was a crazy few days getting everything we needed together.
Thankfully Lloyd had most of what we needed as far as a backpack and food (dehydrated) goes. That left a sleeping bag, clothes and some sort of tent (the forecast had rain and cold in it). Freddy was a real trooper and drove all over town and picked up a few things. I grabbed a sleeping mat (one of those thin self inflating types) off Amazon and paid the extra few bucks for one day shipping.
For the most part. We were ready.
canyon stuff

I knew I was going to be on the heavy side because it was all pretty low tech, but here it is all laid out so I could question each bit.
Layers of thin clothes (mostly running stuff that has proven to keep me warm and comfortable while moving), running gloves, hat, beanie, camera, gopro on selfie stick, trail mix, tissues…. well you can see pretty much everything in the photo.
The good news is that I used everything (except the tissues – they had toiles at most of the sites – all but one), and needed nothing more, so in that regard I was really happy with my selection.

Getting it together in 3 days was ‘fun’, but when the time came to go I felt I was ready, nervous, and excited.

Read Part 2 here.