Friday, May 22, 2009

Grand Canyon traverse

It's been a while, and I'm still not going to be able to give a respectable update.

Lovebarge invited me to tag along for a remote Grand Canyon adventure, complete with illegal permits and bushwacking, and I knew that I couldn't say "no". We met up in Kanab where I was allowed to stash my bike in the local outfitters garage for an indefinite amount of time, and started the hitch south to the North Rim of the G.C. At Jakob's Lake, the road down to the North Rim is closed until May 15th, and since we were there earlier than that, we had planned to hike a mix of roads and part of the Arizona Trail to get to the Nankoweep Trailhead. We got to the rim quickly, and hiked for a couple of days until we got to the Colorado River. Hitched across the river on a raft. Hung out at the turquoise-colored waters of the Little Colorado River for hours, completely amazed with that beautiful water. Hiked many hot hot hot days near the bottom of the canyon where it was consistently 100 degrees or more. Hopped in the river everytime that we could to cool off. After 6 days of hiking, we got to the South Rim to resupply and experience the zoo that is the South Rim. Surprisingly we hadn't seen very many people for those previous 6 days other than rafters at the river. Now there was an annoying amount of people and RVs and such...but at least we got a shower, clean clothing, and an amazing dinner.

6 more days down in the canyon. A hitch across the river. Hiking across seriously sketchy scree-slopes, off-trail, down beautiful and wild side-canyons. In Saddle Canyon, we were surprised to find some really steep slickrock that we had to negogiate. We would sit on our butts and slide down the rock into pools of cold water that were sometimes chest-deep. Had to carry packs above the head to keep contents dry. A few 10 to 15 foot drops off of huge boulders to get down-canyon.

Great great adventure.

I'll make another post, hopefully with pictures, when I get back to my bike in Kanab on Monday.

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