“I’m going to make it to the bottom.”
Those words kept running through my head. My inner monologue had been arguing with itself for at least the past hour, debating on when I was going to turn around and return to my car. I had arrived at the trailhead early that morning, shortly after sunrise and had been hiking for about 3 hours. I was well past the halfway point but anxious about how strenuous the hike back up would be. You see, hiking in the Grand Canyon is different than most hiking, as the way back up was twice as hard as the way down. One would have spent hours hiking down, becoming tired on the way down, only to have to turn right back and now go uphill for hours. With a length of 6.8 miles one way, this is no easy feat. I was in pretty good shape and well prepared, or so I thought. By this point, my water had run halfway out and I hadn’t planned on following the rangers recommendation of camping at the bottom. At this point I decided to stop along the side of the trail to assess my plan.
This was the second time I had been to the park. The first was about a year ago when I had first started traveling on this voyage. I had a dog with me at that point and wasn’t able to really get out in the National Parks to explore. This time I was on my own and trying to explore the depths of the park. Had I bitten off more than I could chew? I almost thought like I had. Before the hike, I had run into a group of elk and spent time enjoying their sense of wonder while they sniffed at my car that made no noise.
“What is this thing.” I told myself they were thinking.
That seemed like a distant memory at this point though. Now the sun beat overhead and the walk back up grew longer and longer the deeper I hiked into the canyon. I was determined though. I would make it to the bottom.
After what seemed like a lifetime, I made it! Sitting near the river with the canyon towering over me was an experience I can’t give justice to with explanation. Never in my life had I ever felt so small. The cliff rose miles over my head, hues of brown and orange merged together into rust colored horizons. A Scrub Jay landed on a rock next to me. I was amazed that life would travel down this far, but if I had made the journey, why wouldn’t the others? I watched him hop around for a little bit and then decided to head back to the top. I still had hours of hiking in front of me and wanted to try to get to the top before the sun set.
After what seemed like forever, I reached the top and I could see the sun slowly setting beneath the canyon. I had been here all day and boy was I tired, adding up a total of ten hours and 13.6 miles. My car was going low on battery and I knew from my previous trip that there was a slow charger in the village that I could plug into while I ate. To my astonishment, when I looked at my computer, a supercharger popped up in the village. I checked to see when it had opened and it had only been there for two months. What luck. This would make things much easier. I set off a mile down the road to find it, already dreaming about the next time I could return.
Closest Supercharger The Grand Hotel: 1 mi
149 AZ-64, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023
Grand Canyon National Park