WE DID IT!! It was nerve-wracking just anticipating a hike of this magnitude – I knew my friends were getting me into another hair-raising adventure!
Just to get you up to speed:
Beginning on June 17, we embarked on a 2-day, rim to rim, 24-mile hike of the Grand Canyon. We started at the North rim early Monday morning and hiked to the bottom of the Canyon. Then, we camped out for the night and set out early Tuesday to cross the Colorado River and start the grueling trek up the Canyon.
Details & difficulties:
As we arrived at the north rim before our journey, it was the first of many spectacular sights that seemed to be straight out of a National Geographic magazine – amazing fields filled with buffalo herds, elk, and even a coyote (of course, I was hoping for some carnage right out of ‘Wild Kingdom’, but alas…it was not to be).
There were a few hurdles that made our hike even more challenging than we thought. Our first obstacle proved to be the heat. At one point, I could feel myself on the edge of passing out so, with my clothes on, I jumped into the Little Colorado River (the actual Colorado River runs way too fast and has claimed many lives. I felt I had come too far to cease living now). When we got to the bottom to set up camp for the night it was a whopping 120 degrees! The rangers had warned us about scorpions, however we were more concerned about melting, so our tents stayed undisturbed on our mules and we slept out under the stars. Thankfully, although we did see lizards, squirrels, deer and rattlesnakes, the scorpions stayed hidden.
Another challenge we had to overcome was sore feet and fatigued muscles. Our hike down into the Canyon in particular, was extremely hard on our feet and toes, while the hike up rendered our muscles virtually useless by the end. The last five miles continued to go up, up, and up, then when I thought I’d just about had it, it went up some more. There were many points that I thought I couldn’t go on (but then I remembered that I bought a T-shirt telling everyone of my journey and there’s no way I could wear it having chickened out). I still haven’t fully recovered!
The realization of how high up we actually were was something else we had to contend with. At certain points on the left side of the trail it was a 3,000 foot drop with no railing to give you any semblance of comfort. I thought, “I’d better talk to God, because if I fall I’m going to see Him real soon!”
Overall, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, both on a physical and mental level. But God got me through it all and gave me a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the most spectacular views, in the most spectacular hole in the world, made by His hand.
Thank you to all who were praying for my friends and me. I have included a few pictures that don’t quite do the landscape justice, but nonetheless you get the idea! If you’d like to see more of our harrowing experience, please visit our Facebook page!