Day 7: Bright Angel Trail head; Apprehensive descent; Mile 3 rest house attack of the squirrels; Rash ascent; Victory Burgers

Waking as ice cubes once again, we decided to drive to the Bright Angel Trail head armed with water, salty snacks, sunscreen, lunch and layers.

They should really rename this elevation dropping, switch-backing trail into the canyon to Bright Angle Trail because it is steee … eeep, sorry I got out of breath just thinking about it.

People die on this trail every year because they simply just underestimate the trail, are unprepared and over-extend themselves. The park service strongly advises people to start hiking early and stop hiking between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. so you’re out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day.

And since the Grand Canyon is so X-treme not only are you supposed to drink a ton of water, but every time you drink you need to eat something salty. Basically you can either die of drinking too little or die of drinking too much and sweating out all your salt.

Despite the danger, we made it down to the 3 mile rest house intact and decided to rest until after 4. We ate our lunch while some very vicious outgoing squirrels attacked us. I got out my watercolors, Alejandro read some of his book and fell asleep. A terrifying friendly squirrel woke him up by jumping on his head.

We still had a long time to wait until 4 p.m. rolled around. And none of the other hikers were paying attention to the time. Even overnight campers with heavy gear were stopping for a few minutes and continuing up and down the trail.

So we made a rash decision: to hike back up before noon.

We soaked our shirts with water and hiked, slowly, up the canyon wall.  About a mile in, our clothes were dry again. We made it to the 1st rest house and ran into a lot of tourists that had woken up later than we did.

They were in flip-flops and tube tops. Some weren’t even carrying water.

The closer we got to the top the more unprepared hikers we ran into. One woman with a perfectly made-up face was wearing a mini skirt. I did not envy the park service that day.

Tried and hungry we reached the top. We feasted on victory bacon cheeseburgers and redemption cheesecake hoping we’d be able to move the next day.

(Just in case you were beginning to get confused this is a very extended recap of the road trip Alejandro and I went on to get back to Oregon from Savannah, Ga. I made a few posts during the drive, but most of the time I was too busy/exhausted/without internet. We took 12 days to drive across the country starting June 3.)


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