Grand Canyon (well sort of)

So I started looking into hikes to do in the Grand Canyon when we are out there in a couple of weeks. It will be our first trip out there and the very first time I’ll ever even see it. There’s been a number of times I’ve flown west to Vegas, California, etc… and I always look down hoping to see it from the airplane window. Either I just have very bad timing or the planes just don’t go over it – I don’t know which one. However, I’m pretty excited about it. We are going to spend one night in Sedona before heading to the Canyon for four nights. We won’t be able to hike all the day down – we’ve been warned NOT to try to do this all in a single day – no matter how early you start. Apparently inexperienced hikers (like us) try this all the time since it is easy going down – the hike up several thousand feet however is a real ass kicker. Yesterday morning I did a hike in RMNP that had about 600 feet of elevation change from the trailhead to Emerald Lake. It wasn’t bad – somewhat of an easy hike but the Bright Angel Trail is about a mile down and a mile up. Again, going down – not so hard but coming up…different story.

I read earlier that some people are disappointed with their first trip to the canyon – I hope I’m not. I’ve been thinking about it for a number of weeks and can’t wait to watch the rocks all change color as the sunrises and sets.

Photo of the Day – Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

I took this on my first trip out west – it was with one of my best friends and it wasn’t any Broke Back Mountain stuff (not that there is anything wrong with that — Seinfeld anyone?) but it was an experience that changed my life for the better. We took one backcountry hike – very novice hikers mind you – not sure either one of us could read a topographical map but we knew the general direction and followed the path of least resistance. It was a beautiful experience and in spite of the fact that I passed out within 20 minutes of setting up the tent (at like 6 PM mind you) it was amazing to just be alone (or somewhat alone) miles away from anyone and anything. My mom earlier mentioned she couldn’t understand why anyone would go out alone on a hiking trip in relation to the hiker who was found today dead (from a bear attack) in Denali Park. Tragic really but I can’t help but say I understand what he was doing and why he was doing it. It’s good to just get away from it all occasionally – to slow down and just be – not worried about email, text messages, Facebook or whatever it is. I feel awful for his family and ultimately (unfortunately) they will probably find out that the hiker was too blame and somehow provoked the bear. There was evidence on his camera that he was taking pictures of the bear within 50 yards or so for 10 – 15 minutes. That seems a bit close and the bear probably gave off warning signs of having enough paparazzi. To be able to take pictures that long (in my mind) indicates the bear wasn’t the aggressor and blood thirsty but rather just had enough and did the only thing it knows to do when it feels threatened. The bear was also put down earlier today by rangers in the park who shot it from a helicopter – unfortunately, nature and humans don’t always mix perfectly.


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