Grand Canyon Adventure--Part One


I can't say it enough.  This was an AMAZING trip.  A truly awesome adventure!  What better way to see the GRAND CANYON than to go for a 20 mile RUN through this beautiful 7th wonder of the world?! My runs along the dreary canals here in the desert will seem boring compared to the exhilarating sights from the Grand Canyon.  We ran down the South Kaibab trail, and ran/hiked up the Bright Angel trail. Let me break down the experience for you.

(I apologize in advance for the long post... but there's just so much to share! I'll break it up into a two-parter. The adventure DOWN, and the challenge of getting back UP! )

We drove up on Saturday morning, arrived in the late afternoon.  Just enough time to set up camp,
do some small sight seeing, and eat at the cafeteria near the campsite (you know, really "roughing it").  Then it was a small glass of wine/beer before bed.  Because we're classy that way.

 


It was warm during the day, in the mid 70s... but at night it got COLD!  I was bundled up enough to get a little sleep in, but next time, I'm going to bring more layers.  It would be the same for our run the next day... chilly in the morning, much warmer as the sun rose.  Thankfully I had my arm warmers and were easy to pack away as soon as it got hotter.


We woke up around 5am to get all our gear ready.  The main thing was to make sure we took plenty of water.  The trail down there would be no chance for water, but plenty of water stops on the way up.  Also, we'd be burning through calories fast... so we packed plenty of GUs, bars, etc.

 I fueled up with some PocketFuel Cold Brew Coffee, and hydrated with my Cocogo. Then we were off to take the bus to the trail!



The view on the way down was AMAZING! The trail wasn't too treacherous, but there were still some unsure footing and the decline was steep.  We were already booking it down... any faster and we'd risk toppling right over the edge.  The views put all other runs to shame.  It was cool and breezy and the perfect weather for a run down the canyon.



At the major "sight seeing" points we'd stop, snap a few pics, grab some water, and then it was back to the trail!


THIS was the trail... check out just how DOWN it went!  Scary but fun!




Doug was our fearless leader.  Guiding us where we needed to go.  HE is the TRUE beast!  
Just keeping up with him was tough!


One of my favorite parts was the bridge over the Colorado river.  The water was green, the cliffs red and brown... and it was just spectacular.  Plus, I just have a fascination with bridges. LOL




We "rinsed off" our clay-covered feet in the river,  drank plenty more water, and headed over to "Phantom Ranch".  A little shop at the very bottom of the canyon. There, we re-fueled with bagels, coffee, lemonade, and re-stocked our dwindling supply of cliff bars and trail mix.  I thought I'd brought plenty of food but we were burning through calories so fast I was downing as much as a could stomach!  Next time, definitely gotta bring more to eat!





After we re-fueled and had rested a bit. It was time for the REAL challenge: going back UP!  I'll save that for part 2! 


Hope you enjoyed the experience thus far... I know I sure did!
 Stay tuned for more awesomeness!



Comments

  1. What a cool experience! I would definitely be the beer drinker the night before...for all of the extra carbs, of course. The scenery looked beautiful and I'll have to try the java energy shots. Can't wait for part 2!

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    1. I had wine... so it would help me sleep. 5am wake up call was way too early. LOL. And I'm totally addicted to the PocketFuel java shots now. I'm going to need to buy a whole case of em! Part 2 coming soon!

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  2. WOW!!! that looks AWESOME!!!!!!!

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  3. That looks amazing! From now on all your other runs will have a lot to live up to!

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    1. I said that same thing when we were done. Basically all other runs are going to seem just plain boring! lol

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  4. I'm heading to the Grand Canyon this weekend- didn't even THINK about running it. You have me inspired! (Not this trip, but soon!) Can't wait to hear about going back up!

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    1. When you're out there just enjoy it. It's so great. Just being out there and climbing around is enough of a workout. Maybe next time you can run it! Have fun and share some pics of your own! (part 2 coming soon)

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  5. This just looks so cool, Jeremy! The last time I was there, I was a little semi-overweight kiddo. My parents wanted to hike it and I kept freaking out. "EVERY STEP DOWN IS TWO STEPS BACK UP!" Seriously. It was my mantra. Obviously I celebrated surviving the ordeal with a hefty serving of ice cream and fettuccine alfredo.

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    1. hahaha the last I was there I was 12 and it was freezing outside. All I cared about was getting back inside the car. So we snapped one pic and then were back on the road. So THIS time around I wanted to do things right. Best experience ever!

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    2. OH, and I totally had ice cream afterwards. LOL.

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  6. This is great! Is this guided something you sign up for, or was it just a group of you that decided to do it? I'd love to see the Grand Canyon this way!
    Carolyn
    http://www.ccmcafeeperspective.com/

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    1. Well the friend who led us, Doug, has been a guide for many hiking tours, so it might as well be, but it was just a run with friends. I'd suggest hiking it first to get familiar with the trails then running. If it wasn't for Doug I'd be lost out there (albeit a lot less sore! lol)

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  7. LOVED all the pics! How in the world did you get a pic of the 4 of you on the bridge like that? Was someone flying? :)
    Can't wait for part 2. I might have to add this adventure to my bucket list!

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    1. We passed off my camera like a baton. A friend ran ahead and took the pic on the ledge. Loved the bridges. That's why running the Golden Gate Bridge is on MY bucket list! Part 2 coming soon!

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  8. Oh goodness - so beautiful! Other than short 4-5km local places, I've been hiking in the Canadian Rockies aka: the most beautiful place on earth. So less fitnessy because of the hundreds of stops to take photos and not die due to difference in elevation/air pressure between S.Ontario and Alberta.

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    1. the elevation/altitude is going to be rough in a month when I do the Ragnar Trail up in Snowmass. We start at 8000ft! Lots of pretty pics will be taken there too though, so I'll use that as an excuse why I don't have a fast time. LOL. more Grand Canyon goodness to come!

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  9. All I can say is WOW!! Awesome!! Looks so beautiful there! I'm gonna have to go there someday! Looking forward to more pics!

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    1. More pics are now up! and thanks, it's a truly awe-inspiring place, I highly recommend it!

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  10. Such amazing views of the Grand Canyon, what a thrill! Love your picture on the bridge :)

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    1. Thanks, the bridge was definitely one of my favs!

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  11. AWESOME!!! No other words... camping, the outdoors, hiking, and RUNNING!!!! Jus awesome!!! Great post!!!

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    1. thanks! more pics now up from the CLIMB out of the canyon!!

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