The Grand Time

Tom's Journal

June 21, 2007 - Day 37

View A Different Day

Of course it would be the longest day of the year that I end up hiking in one of the world’s hottest places on a trail that has no water.

Jim and I awoke before dawn; to shorten the trip by about two miles, we had decided the day before that we wanted to hike the Kaibab Trail from the South Rim down to Phantom Ranch instead of the Bright Angel Trail we had taken on our way up.

I defy any 75 year old (or 50 year old for that matter) to keep up with Jim, either going up or down. Despite a fall that could have happened to anyone during the last, very dark miles coming up 36 hours earlier, he was down the trail faster than all the people who had struck out earlier than we had. I’ve run more than twenty marathons-some pretty fast-and it was all I could do to keep pace.

In fact it was apparently more than I could do, because for the last hour of our three-plus hour hike, I was increasingly light headed and dizzy.

By the time we reached the rest of our group at the bottom, I had no confidence in my ability to balance. It was a sensation like no other that I’ve had, and certainly not the way you want to feel when you are about to go through some of the largest rapids in the Grand Canyon.

Fortunately for me, Gary’s son Mason agreed to row one of the rafts while I came along as a passenger-mostly horizontal. We didn’t get away until noon, but Mason did a fine job and got the boat through two of the most dangerous rapids, Horn Creek and Granite.

We were all pretty worn out and I still was not feeling normal, so we stopped after only seven miles just above Hermit Rapid. While the day for me was somewhat of a blur, we had an enjoyable evening and Loren, Steve and I actually stayed up a little past dark figuring solutions to the problems of a world that at the time seemed so distant.

I can’t overstate the impact that these vast surroundings have on all senses. With each passing day here, you can’t help but feel more and more a part of the place while with increasing frequency you realize that the typical (at least for me) daily concerns and worries are not worth expending the mental energy that could be spent absorbing what is right in front of you. The real lesson is that this is true no matter where or who you are.

Enough of the philosophical babble-tomorrow is a big day.

View A Different Day

Mile by Mile Photos

June 21, 2007 - Day 37
Mile 758 through Mile 764

May 16 2007 - Day 1May 17 2007 - Day 2May 18 2007 - Day 3May 19 2007 - Day 4May 20 2007 - Day 5May 21 2007 - Day 6May 22 2007 - Day 7May 23 2007 - Day 8May 24 2007 - Day 9May 25 2007 - Day 10May 26 2007 - Day 11May 27, 2007 - Day 12May 28, 2007 - Day 13May 29, 2007 - Day 14May 30, 2007 - Day 15May 31, 2007 - Day 16June 1, 2007 - Day 17June 2 - 11, Day 18 - 27June 12, 2007 - Day 28June 13, 2007 - Day 29June 14, 2007 - Day 30June 15, 2007 - Day 31June 16, 2007 - Day 32June 17, 2007 - Day 33June 18, 2007 - Day 34June 19, 2007 - Day 35June 20, 2007 - Day 36June 21, 2007 - Day 37June 22, 2007 - Day 38June 23, 2007 - Day 39June 24, 2007 - Day 40June 25, 2007 - Day 41June 26, 2007 - Day 42June 27, 2007 - Day 43June 28, 2007 - Day 44June 29 2007 - Day 45June 30, 2007 - Day 46July 1 - 13, Day 47 - 58July 15, 2007 - Day 59
The last day; The river’s end