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Another Trip to the Grand Canyon

Off-Season Fun

Thu, May  25, 2006 - By Ken Dawson

Another grand trip to the Grand Canyon. With our 3rd trip to the south rim, we have now hiked most of the trails with the exception of some the far eastern trails. My wife Karen and I, our son Lance, and his girlfriend Jodie went on this trip. (Lance and Jodie are in the pictures below). [Ken and Karen are both esteemed members of Team NordicSkiRacer - ed.]

Starting in May the weather gets a little hot, so the one thing I planned was being around water. In the GC that is not always an easy task. Initially, my plan was to take two days to hike down, meaning the 1st day we would be without water. We arrived at Yuma Point (5 miles) just as it started to get sunny and hot. Up until that time we were hiking in the early morning and had the south rim shading us for the first few miles. Our plan was to start hiking at 6:00am, however, the cafeteria did not open until that time and we wanted to get a good meal before heading out. Having hiked the canyon previously, the rule is not to hike between 10:00am-4:00pm. If you apply that rule, you can manage the heat. The key is to find shade when the sun gets the highest, and that is not always easy.


The Grand Canyon, near the top rim

We arrived at Yuma Point, which happens to be rated the best place in the US to see the sunset. As great it is to see the sunset over Lake Michigan, it is doesn’t come close to the spectrum of colors displayed in the GC. Every turn, every minute brings a different view and perspective.


One of hundreds slots canyons that dissect the canyon shelf

After spending all day at Yuma Point we decided to start hiking again at 4:00pm and get down to Boucher Creek. At 4:00pm it was very comfortable to hike and we descended down what turned out to be the hardest trail off of the southern rim. That was the bad news; the good news is there were no people to be seen the next two days. We reached Boucher creek at Dark and hiked the last mile with our headlamps (it gets dark in AZ by 8:00pm). We could barely make out slot canyon below us; however, the chorus sound of the frogs echoed throughout the canyon and helped guide our direction.


An interior of one of the slot canyons

We were greeted with an awesome campsite and plenty of water to drink or even bath in. An hour later we had quesadilla’s made with fresh portabella mushrooms, onions, chicken, green chilies, cheese, hot sauce and tortilla’s. Sipping a little Crown Royal looking at a starlit night I remember one of Natalie’s poems titled “take a picture” so I did and it is stored in my memory that will be replayed over and over.

To think that this is only our first day and despite the difficult trail I could relate to a quote from one of my many adventure books:

“It doesn’t’ have to be fun, to be fun”.

 


A view at the Colorado river. This happened to be a slot canyon that ran from our campsite at Boucher to the Colorado