|Start and finish.|
My moving time was 8:48:53 which means I was not moving for three hours. My average pace was 30flat and my average moving pace was 24:04. The min elevation was 2413 and max was 8247.
North Rim to South Rim:
- Garmin Stats HERE
I moved from Georgia to California in the summer before my 8th grade year (1976 I believe) and we drove across the country to do it. This was the only time I have ever been to the Grand Canyon and I remember very little of it. It was only in the past decade that I had even heard of people hiking across it in one day.
I heard that the Bagels and Blenders runners did it and figured someday I might give it a try. Then in 2010, Diana and I started talking about doing the Rim to Rim and began planning for it. Soon others decided to join us and in the end nine of us made the trip of a lifetime.
My journey began at 4am when I awoke on Saturday for our journey to the Grand Canyon. we were meeting at Diana's at 6am but I was wide awake and decided to get my infamous endurance breakfast at Del Taco. For some reason their steak and egg burrito is a great pre race meal for me so I am sticking to it. So I got one and then headed to her house to read my kindle and wait for Frank and Evy to pick us up.
|A little after 6, we headed out to Arizona|
|Our first view.|
|Frank and Evy.|
|Last minute gear check.|
- mile 1 at 3127 up 343 down 1046
- mile 2 at 2833 up 99 down 761
- mile 3 at 3052 up 0 down 662
- mile 4 at 2850 up 104 down 813
- mile 5 at 2503 up 0 down 397
- mile 6 at 2301 up 234 down 602
From miles 2 to 5, I saw quite a few backpacking groups and they looked very tired going up the trail despite most spending the night before on the trail. The idea of going back and forth in 2 days seemed ambitious when I saw how bad these people looked but I figured I could do it and at least i was not backpacking.
When I got to Indian Gardens, it was time to refill the Camelbak and eat a little. There were a number of people at this water stop and it was a good place to get some intel on what laid ahead. It was nice to be in this green oasis and having the creek nearby was nice and I saw a number of mule deer as well.
|Backpacking never looks fun! Day hiking is the way to go.|
|Almost to the river.|
|View from the bridge.|
|Looks like a light load.|
- mile 7 at 2459 up 80 down 719
- mile 8 at 2556 up 360 down 481
- mile 9 at 2456 up 184 down 260
- mile 10 at 3608 up 214 down 23
PR is at 2560 and the North Rim Trailhead is at 8250 so that is 5700 feet of climbing in the next 13 plus miles.
- mile 11 at 1600 up 1363 down 1239
- mile 12 at 1956 up 525 down 281
- mile 13 at 2231 up 1795 down 1631
- mile 14 at 2426 up 357 down 109
|Backpackers always look miserable.|
- mile 15 at 3705 up 353 down 0
- mile 16 at 3305 up 366 down 135
- mile 17 at 3326 up 314 down 49
- mile 18 at 4101 up 488 down 16
- mile 19 at 3749 up 730 down 94
- mile 20 at 3902 up 1684 down 1035
- mile 21 at 8728 up 2549 down 973
- mile 22 at 9247 up 627 down 15
|Big thanks to this two for helping get up this beast.|
|Looked like we were going straight up.|
|A happy new bride!|
|Light at the end?|
|Only aw two mule teams in two days.|
She was with a large group (ten plus) that was planning on backpacking across the Canyon over the next couple days. We chatted about what was ahead for her and her group and I also found out she taught at York which is a world famous cross country school. They have won over 25 state titles.
Finally I saw the end and it was pretty anti-climatic because it was just a trail head with a couple people hanging out waiting for friends or the shuttle. They did give me a little cheer when Miss Chicago told them that I had just completed the Rim to Rim.
|One last view of the climb.|
I stayed there till 6:30 or so and decided to walk back to the trailhead and wait. But by 7pm, the bugs were out and they were biting. I also knew if I did not eat, I would have a hard time hiking the next day. So I reluctantly left and hike to the hotel that was 2 miles away. I hoped my phone might work there as well and I might find out what was going on.
After a really long walk to the hotel with some great kids from Phoenix, I finally made it to the hotel and ate. Everything was expensive so I ended up getting two slices of pizza, a bag of chips and Dr. Pepper. This was my first real meal since 6pm the day before and it was good. I drank about six glasses of Dr.Pepper and then I set out to find my other hikers to tell them the others were still out there.
By now it was after 8pm and I was concerned because it was getting dark . The good thing was they were going up hill so you can not get in too much trouble but still hiking in the woods in the dark is not fun. So for the next hour I spoke to the hotel staff and asked them to be on the lookout for them. Finally after 9pm they arrived via some French hikers who gave them a ride from the trailhead.
Diana, Frank and Evy finished the South Rim to North rim hike but after eating and getting to our cabin, they decided to take the shuttle back the next day. It was almost midnight before we all got to sleep and I was meeting the gals at 5:30am the next morning and the shuttle left at 7am.
|My North to Southers!|
5am came quickly and it was time to hike again. I grabbed a bagel with the gals and we took a shuttle to the trailhead where it was chilly. We spent some time filling our camelbaks and rearranging our packs and then it was time to head out at 6:22am. The first miles went quickly because from the North Rim to Roaring Springs, one drops 3000 feet in five miles.
- mile 1 at 2539
- mile 2 at 3808
- mile 3 at 2152
- mile 4 at 3253
- mile 5 at 2124
|Just before I had to leave them.|
- mile 6 at 2219 up 60 down 576
- mile 7 at 2343 up 0 down 308
- mile 8 at 2428 up127 down 371
- mile 9 at 1830 up 0 down 311
- mile 10 at 2144 up 46 down 250
|80ish and it was still early in the day.|
- mile 11 at 1910
- mile 12 at 1704
- mile 13 at 2036
- mile 14 at 4600 (moving was 2019)
This was good news because I ended up seeing them in a few minutes. I gave them the kit and took so photos and headed off. My detour took an extra 26 minutes and an extra mile of hiking but it was good to see them. I wish I could have stayed with them but I knew I needed to keep moving. I also figured some of them would catch me because there was a mile of climbing in the last 7 miles and it was getting hot.
|Colorado River Bridge|
|Rafting is fun but going on shore must be really hot.|
- mile 15 at 2148
- mile 16 at 2250
|So wanted to sit in the creek for awhile.|
- mile 17 at 3459
- mile 18 at 4413
- mile 19 at 3519
- mile 20 at 3439
|These were fugly!|
|Canyon leading to Indian Gardens.|
|Almost a hundred in the shade at Indian Gardens.|
- mile 21 at 5916
- mile 22 at 3707
- mile 23 at 3736
During the last half mile, I felt great and was really proud of my accomplishment. To be a 240 pound 48 year old man and hike the Rim to Rim to Rim in a little over 48 total hours was a great results. I did the South to North transit in under 12 hours and then came back the next day a little faster. Some day I hope to come back and do it even faster and maybe do it all in one day.
|Almost to the top.|