May 21st, 2016 ~ Day 57
Today I finally did rim to rim! Five years ago or more, this became a dream, and today it finally came true. It was really windy at the north rim the night we arrived, and freezing. We saw what there was of a sunset. There were just too many clouds that covered the sky, but the moon on the other hand was bright and beautiful.
The north rim has a different vibe than the south. It’s not as crowded, because it takes that much longer to get there. The colors are amazing, more vibrant if that is at all possible.
We started out hiking around six thirty in the morning. Going slowly down the steep canyon and stopping often to take pictures, my friends soon left me in the dust! It wasn’t as cold as it was the night before and soon I began to warm up. Hiking alone was just as enjoyable as hiking with friends. I always have God with me and I had a lot to say to him today.
It was still windy when we stared and gusts of wind would come and go. Having never been on the north side I didn’t know what to expect. So when I heard what I thought was wind gushing through the canyon, and it turned out to be a waterfall, I was just amazed!
That waterfall was just the beginning. From that point on, I followed the sound of a river until I reached the Colorado.
My first stop was at Cottonwood. I sat next to the river to eat my snack. The sound was amazing. Along the way, anytime I had the opportunity to sit next to the flowing water, I took it! I would just sit and stare and the wonderful beauty all the canyon had to offer. Be it the color of the canyon walls, the blue in the sky, the fluffy white clouds, the flowers and the trees or the the water flowing rapidly over the rocks…it was all overwhelming beautiful!
My next long break was at Phantom Ranch where I ate my lunch. The wind picked up at this point and dust was blowing everywhere. I had planned on changing my socks here, but guess what, they were in my car. A very disappointing moment.
Shortly after Phantom Ranch we come to the Colorado River. A massive body of water, a beautiful shade of green. Crossing the bridge, the wind was still going strong, it shook the bridge. Which in turn, shook me. I got scared and ended up running over the bridge.
At this point we are hiking in sand and the wind was blowing sand everywhere. A couple miles up, I got to see the rafts. I made it in time to see them take off from the beach. Another dream I need to make come true. ☺
The trek from Phantom Ranch to Indian Garden was not as long as it was the last time I did this portion of the trail. I was able to keep a good pace while taking small breaks to enjoy the beauty.
Once at Indian Garden, my last long break, I reveled in the magnificence of how far I had come. I wasn’t looking forward to hiking up hill. Immediately after leaving the garden, I ran into a deer. A little scared of him as he was of me, I continued on hiking. The four and a half miles up hill didn’t seem as long. I must be getting stronger. I ran into Juli shortly after the mile and a half house. We hiked for a little while together, but she kept going when I took a break. As I was reaching the end of the trail, the sun was setting. It was a beautiful ending to an amazing day!
23 miles across the Grand Canyon! What an amazing journey! Smiles, tears, dirt, sweat, heat, exhaustion, tired and sore….I wouldn’t trade it for anything. So grateful to have the chance to experience something so amazing in this life. TYG!