|Coolest T-Shirt design ever, courtesy of my friend and co-worker John G.|
By Thursday afternoon, we all had arrived in Phoenix, ready to head to the Grand Canyon National Park. Rich had arrived earlier and I had already been there since Monday, so we picked up Dan at the airport and took off straight from there. We arrived at the halfway point in Sedona, AZ just in time for a late lunch. One of the Phoenix locals had recommended this quaint little town a little off the beaten path but definitely on the way to the Grand Canyon as a great spot for lunch. After refueling on sandwiches and soda we continued on our trip, eager to make it to our destination. After another couple of hours, we finally arrived.
|Upon arrival, we found a friendly group of German tourists to take a group shot. Vielen Dank!|
|First view of the Grand Canyon from the South Kaibab trailhead.|
|Gear & Food List|
|Me running on one of those trail sections.|
We arrived at the Colorado River at the bottom of the Canyon about 2 hours after we started around 5AM. Just before we arrived at the bridge crossing the river, a caravan of hikers started to kake their way up the South Rim. They had started their hike just minutes earlier at the Phantom Ranch and already the majority of them was soaked in sweat and breathing heavily. Oh great, so this is what we'll get to do on our way back during the hottest time of the day. This is gonna be fun!
|The South Kaibab Trail bridge crossing.|
We had just completed the first of four legs of our double crossing, making our way down the South Rim in just over 2 hours. After we crossed over to the North Side of the Canyon via one of the two hanging bridges, I realized that the sun still hadn't come up. These two trail bridges near the Phantom Ranch are the only bridges crossing the Colorado River within 200 miles. I hadn't snapped a single picture yet, but that would change as soon as the sun came out. We would reach Phantom Ranch in about a mile to refill our water bottles and hydration bladders before continuing our trek up the North Kaibab Trail.
|Approaching the hanging bridge across the Colorado River from the North Rim on our way back.|
|Dan and Richard crossing one of the many Bright Angel Creek bridges on the North side of the canyon.|
|Richard and I climbing to the North Rim.|
|The obligatory North Rim picture at the North Kaibab Trailhead.|
We took a 30 minute break to refuel with the snacks we had packed and to top off on salt. I had been taking salt and gels quite regularly during the entire duration of the run so far, but it seemed like I wasn't taking in enough salt. I devoured my first bag of Fritos and ate a cereal bar. Once Richard caught up to us, we adjusted our packs, stowed away our trekking poles (Rich and I, Dan was using any) and started the second leg of our adventure.
|There wasn't a lot of snow, but just enough for a picture:-)|
|Dan charging ahead down North Kaibab Trail.|
|Breathtaking views everywhere we turned, waterfall as seen from North Kaibab Trail.|
|Dan exiting the tunnel just past the ranger station.|
|Dan opening our ¨lunchbox¨ at Cottonwood campground.|
|Richard nearly at the bottom of the big ditch.|
|The whole gang during a brief break.|
|Another spectacular view. Can you spot the trail on the right side of this picture?|
|The South Kaibab Trail snaking its way up from the Colorado River.|
|The neverending switchbacks up to the South Rim.|
|One of my favorite views.|
|Final switchback to the finish. Can you spot me?|
|I guess we were supposed to take 4 days rather than do this in half a day;-)|
|Too tired to smile, but super excited to have made it:-)|
|RunningAhead.com statistics based on Garmin FR 310XT readings.|