Ooh Aah Point!
After a short hazy afternoon taking in the grand display of the canyon from the upper heights of the south rim; Tyler and I were ready to descend into the great abyss. Wednesday morning broke early with a beautiful array of... freezing cold hail. Walking to breakfast while freezing under our raincoats was certainly a time to rethink our day's outside activities. Fortunately for us; we are both very stubborn!
Shortly after 9 AM we were broaching the South Kaibab trailhead on the shuttle and still wondering if we were going to get much hiking in at all. We slowly walked to the trailhead and were welcomed with a beautiful view that would indeed follow us on our journey.
The next day, I asked Tyler to journal about our very unusual hike, and after much arguing that he "cannot" write - absolutely ridiculous! He did indeed write a wonderful dialogue of the first part of our journey into the canyon...
At the start, looking down was a bit scary, but we either became accustomed, or stopped paying attention to the drops.
Part of the fun of hiking down, is enjoying the view above us. What a great way to see the canyon closer!
Me by the little colorado river, most of the time we hiked right through it, there was no where else to put your feet!
"22 April 2010
I am writing today from the Grand Canyon! It was quite a challenge to get here, but very much worthwhile. Yesterday was the big day. We hiked the South Kaibab trail down to skeleton point.
The beginning of the journey started off with hail. Next we experienced rain followed by a gorgeous rainbow and periods of shining sun and what we call "sunshowers"! What a variety of weather. Almost as unpredictable as Maine! We approached the point with great anticipation of seeing the 'Great' Colorado River only to find it was missing! Had it eroded deeper and out of view of our tiny little eyes??
Nay! It was right where it was supposed to be. We actually had to hike only a slight distance further to another, more revealing pinnacle. To Lori's surprise, we indeed saw an apparently very thick homogenous mixture of "mud" and what is supposed to be uncommon in a dessert... water! The view was... shall we say "grand"? Absolutely! It is quite amazing what God had created once, then reformed by flooding the earth and receding the waters, over a year later, back to the ocean by way of this grandiose gorge!"
Our return voyage up the canyon was not as light, warm, and beautiful as our descent. However, it was still wet, wet, and more wet. We hiked our 3 miles back up in pouring rain, and 50 mph gusts. As you can imagine there were a couple of spots - ooh ahh point- where I was more than a little nervous about falling off of the edge. By the grace of God, the wind died down as we again reached our starting elevation of 7000 +/- ft. In fact, the wind was in direct relation to the temperature; for as the winds slowed the temperature dropped and we ended our 3.5 hour hike in snow. Cold, wet, accumulating snow.
The view from just below Skeleton point. You can see the muddy river behind the rainbow. This is pretty much the half-way point down into the canyon, and as far down as we went.