Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 21. Grand Canyon

Day 21. 25th

Somehow, without an alarm, we managed to wake at 5am, time to race to our first breath taking view of the Grand Canyon.

We missed the sunrise, but still, no amount of photo viewing or documentary watching can prepare a mind for the scope of grandeurs there.

I had a stumble on the top in my excitement & was told to sit, take some time to breath in the magnificence& think about my actions.

Before long I was joined by another.

Then the two became three.

It seemed I wasn’t the only one with silly actions to contemplate.

We went for breakfast once we’d come to terms with our humanity at Bright Angel Lodge.

When Paul spoke to the staff about what we were doing, our one breakfast to share, magically became two & our host told us all about the laws in Arizona protecting a person who asks for a cup of water, as the proprietor is obligated to give you one. He mused on who the poor person was who caused such a law to need to be passed.

We hiked – but honestly, I’m not sure I can do the hike justice with words or picture.

However, here’s some pics anyway, coz it’s easier than trying to write it up while I’m super tired. Forgive me.

We weren't the only ones in the canyon.

And it seemed we weren't the only asses on the trail.

Once again we got in trouble by the authorities. A trail worker took exception to our abuse of rock carting equipment, obviously overloading it. We returned it, but we swear the tire was burst before we put Paul inside.

The temptation to cool off a hot headed monk got the better of Ben.

We found shade where we could.

There was rejoicing...
And despair...

But eventually Sock Slide Ben reached the tip of the 12 mile return trail. It seemed to sneak up on him & he only just stopped in time.

We met some South African troopers. They’d walked from Kaibab trail, 18 miles away. Poor Christopher had blown out his knee & was suffering from exhaustion.

Fortunately Oksana had left her trailmix in my capable hands, so I off loaded the weight to help Christopher get his strength back. I offered to pray for his knees, to which he gladly accepted, laughing when I was done about how surprised I’d be if he beat me back to the rim.

We met another guy about half way up, who was heading down & asked us if we’d seen anyone who looked like Borat. He’d lost his buddy. I couldn't help but wonder what his buddy would say about such a description. Pride would swell in his heart I'm sure.

I gave him my Vegas flashlight, hoping perhaps it would help, should he not make it back before the nearing sunset.

He met us again, Borat in tow, returning the light to me just before one of our crew peed from the canyon rim, not aiming for, but possibly not missing either, other trampers making their way up from below.

Nate & I talked profundities & on the things we've learned so far on the trip of life & managed to catch up with Ben & Oksana.

Our South African comrades in the struggle to the rim, caught us up & chatted for a while, before taking off & leaving us to make it to the top alone.

We ate at the rim top cafĂ© – Nate & Ben being the food providers for the mooching monks this time.

Then we crashed, not taking more than a few moments to admire the twinkling sky above our tents.


Robert said...

Actually it's called Bright Angel Lodge, and I remember you guys at the Yavapai Cafeteria while I was working there, I saw your site name on the back of your laptop. I wish you guys the best of luck!

Robert said...

Also, its Kaibab. Sorry to pester, but I live here and LOVE your site, so I think you'd prefer accuracy as well.

SocialMonks said...

:) Love your work Robert. Thanks mate. I need all the help I can get when it comes to details. Wish we'd got to chat with you while we were there.
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