The plan was hatched for this trip back in October of last year. 3 of the 4 original participants made the trip and I think we were all really disappointed <sarcasm> at our replacement fourth hiker. Good replacement hikers can be so hard to find...
Anyway.... The plan was (and it was executed just perfectly), to leave Vegas after work on a Thursday, head to the South Rim, hike the South Kaibab to Bright Angel Camp on Friday morning, Clear Creek on Saturday, back to Bright Angel on Sunday then out the Bright Angel Trail on Monday.
We will be down there, in the morning....
The new Bright Angel Trailhead looks great. What a great project that GCA was able to raise funds for and accomplish.
So this was Rachael's FIRST look at the Grand Canyon (other than a hike to Havasupai). It's a whole different ballgame at the South Rim.
The time had come, though, and we needed to organize gear and get some sleep before the hike in Friday morning. Jamie and Jackie decided to meet us at the Maswik cafeteria in the morning for breakfast, drive us to the SK Trailhead and hike down as far as they could before turning around and heading back for work.
We hit the trail somewhere about 7:30. Here is 4/5 of the motley crew on the trail. (L-->R: Jim, Jamie, Jackie & Josh)
View of our destination from below the 'Tip Off'. Believe it or not, this was my first trip all the way down the South Kaibab. After my first backpack in 2000, I haven't really been back to the corridor. Just so many people there. Jamie & Jackie left us at the top of the Redwall. It was really great to see them and know of their upcoming adventures! Live vicariously I will.
Ahhh!!!! I'm in a tunnel!!! In the Grand Canyon!!!! This is sooo cool!!!!
Phantom Ranch is always a good time.
After the 'Ranch, we hiked up into lower Phantom Creek. I was playing with exposure and aperture settings trying to make the water look smooth. It's harder than it looks without a tripod!
So after a nice dinner and a hike down to the River just East of the Silver bridge, we had the Ranger come by, check permits and that was that. Broke into the Knob Creek and enjoyed the stars. No tents on this trip.
***It didn't rain today***
The next morning we took our time, getting up, and using the provided facilities. I ate the biggest bag of Lucky Charms and powdered milk ever. Ever! So civilized at BACG. Too civilized. Well we could fix that. Since no one brought a watch for this trip, time was mostly gauged by the sun. We were surprisingly accurate when we asked folks the time throughout the trip. Well mostly me, I wanted to see how accurate my guesses were. Surprisingly, I was usually within 30 minutes...
As expected, the Clear Creek Trail got right down to business out of BA Creek. It was in really nice shape from the creek into the upper Schist. There is a nice traverse along the River until you hit the break through the Tapeats nearly at Sumner Wash.
Here are the 'Braveheart' girls on the CC Trail. Freedom!!! #Selfie
This is the descent into Clear Creek. According to Jim, it had been improved since his last trip here. This was Jim's 4th time in CC I believe. Probably never with a group like this... We made pretty good time, arriving around 2:30 I'd guess. There were a couple of other guys here in the upper Cottonwood-shaded camp when we arrived. They had an interesting story. Started down the Grandview, across the Tonto to Bright Angel. UP to Clear Creek UA for 2 nights, then back to Bright Angel. Then Indian Gardens, Horn, Monument and out. What a trip! Our plans were different. We had but one night.
We hung by the Creek and enjoyed the frogs. Such a nice area.
We had many libations scheduled for this day. Here I am mixing up the final ingredient of our Margarita; this was the Grand Marnier. Did I mention it was a nice afternoon? The chicken fajitas we had for dinner were off the chain (best Guy Fieri voice).
The Tonto on the North side is packed with great views!
Sunday was very windy on the trail. Very windy and Rachael had some foot problems with her boots. She's getting new boots too after this trip. Oh, another view of Zoroaster. Ho hum.
We made it back to PR in time for 2 beers before 4:00 when they close to prep for dinner service. Nice.
We grabbed a camp, then went down to hang by the River. What a glorious afternoon. Here is Rachael and Amy at the Boaters Beach.
Isn't that some Schist?
We drank the last of the Lumberyard (and the Jamo), ate some lasagna and creme brulee then enjoyed the stars. Playing with the mini tripod and the DSLR, did some night photography:
Woke up to some deer just chilling.
We headed out probably close to 9 on this fine Monday morning. Here are the girls gawking at the river from the Silver Bridge.
I took a video of the eddy on RL under Silver Bridge.
Great Views on the River Trail.
The ruins in the upper Tapeats.
Lunch (egg salad sandwiches) at Indian Garden.
3 Mile resthouse down there. Rachael's feet were killing her, so she hiked up in socks from below this resthouse. Amy joined her at 1.5 mile resthouse.
The crew. We topped out about 4:30, had a bite at the Maswik Pizza Pub then hit the road. Jim back to Albuquerque and Amy, Rachael and I to Vegas. We hit the house about 10:00 PM. What a great trip with the best people in the world.