Wednesday, October 25, 2017


We left Zion National Park at about 11 a.m., and a good thing, too.  I have never seen a park so busy! The lines to get on the shuttle bus looked like Disney World!  The key here, as we learned from our shuttle bus driver is to get in early, do a hike, then get out!  We traveled through a 1.1 mile tunnel through a mountain as we made our way out of Zion.  Pretty neat!  Then on to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, about 2 more hours.  The North Rim is pretty different from the South Rim!  I liked the smaller atmosphere - just one lodge and small cabins.  There were also some rock peninsulas that jutted out into the canyon you could walk out onto.  We ate a good dinner in the restaurant there, overlooking the canyon, and caught the sunset.

The Grand Canyon hikers got up at 3:00 a.m. for a 4:00 start.  No need for me to get up yet, although I really couldn't sleep!  The rest of us left at 6:00 a.m. to see the sun rise.  We dropped off The Runner at the trail head, then each found a solitary place to watch the sun rise, and I took advantage of the time to take communion.  It was beautiful and not too cold!
One of my favorite shots right before sunrise!

We met back up in the Lodge to eat breakfast, and got a text from one of the climbers.  She had felt sick and fainted, and she and her husband were coming back up to the trailhead.  We would pick them up.  She was okay, just disappointed.  

We now were a group of five driving around to the South Rim.  We started off, and enjoyed the Vermillion Cliffs for miles!  We also stopped at the Navajo bridges, and walked the bridge.  As we got into the National Park, we took a break at the Desert Tower.  

We had gotten a call that The Runner had finished!  He had beat us over to the South Rim!  WHAT. Pretty amazing!  It took him 5.5 hours.  He needed ice for an ice bath, so that was our next chore.  We  found some bags at the General Store in the park and found him waiting outside Bright Angel Lodge on the sidewalk.  Only one of our rooms was ready to check into, so we got him in there to recover.

The rest of us enjoyed the rim while we waited.  Some wanted to hike down Bright Angel Trail to try to meet up with the group, but my legs were so sore, I did not!  I wanted to see Hermit's Rest, so I rode the free shuttle bus to the west end and enjoyed the stops. I did that for 2 hours, then got back to the BA trail head at 4 p.m.  I got a text that they were 1.5 miles away, so I went on to explore Kolb Studio and The Lookout.  Both are historic buildings on the rim that now have various functions.  Kolb is an art gallery and bookstore with views of the canyon.  I went in there and in talking with one of the workers, found out that the record for running the canyon was 5 hours, 13 minutes.  The Runner barely missed the record!  He's a humble guy who doesn't really even care about that stuff.

So the group came up at 5:00 p.m., 13 hours after starting.  The trek ended up being 26 miles(they weren't exactly sure how much it was, opinions vary).  The Hubs had a bloody big toe but other than that they were doing well.

We celebrated after a quick clean up with a yummy dinner in the Bright Angel Dining Room!
 Someone may have drunk an entire pitcher of Dr. Pepper!  He earned it, I think.

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