Saturday, January 29, 2011

honeymoon road trip: day 6

day 6 of our road trip was (if i'm totally honest) my most favorite and my least favorite day of the trip.

we woke up early in anticipation of running a few errands and heading up to the grand canyon for hiking.  i had big dreams of hiking down to the bottom and back up in one day.  which, we probably could have done.  it would have been a long trip, but we had been working out prior to the wedding, doing a program here in wichita called "shocker fitness" a group of runners led by the wichita state university track coach.  so we knew we were in good shape.

nature, on the other hand, had other plans in store for us.

on october 6th, 2010 flagstaff, arizona was hit by a series of tornadoes and hail storms at 5:30 in the morning.  FIVE THIRTY IN THE MORNING, PEOPLE!!  what the crap?  arizona, you must be confused, when it storms in kansas, it's always at a decent time when people are awake and doing normal things.  like eating dinner.  duh.  get your stuff together, arizona.

but i digress.

true story: arizona usually gets about four tornadoes a year.  and they got 8 in a day.  and flagstaff isn't really up-to-speed when it comes to tornadoes.  and nothing there is built withstand that sort of wind and weather activity.  at least in this commercial-interior-designer-architectural-nerd-who-happens-to-be-from-kansas girl's humble opinion.  i mean, crap, the week before our wedding, kansas had record breaking hail.  an 8" hail stone fell in wichita that week.  it punched holes in people's roofs.

by the way, i am not making fun of arizona...i'm merely stating that i they aren't prepared for these sorts of things.  for good reason...they don't usually have them.

for example:

this amount of damage was done by an EF-2 (some say EF-3) tornado.

so, needless to say, kyle and i were pretty much the only people out and about in flagstaff that morning.  we were all, "ppshhh, just a little bit of rain!" 

we went to the grocery store across the street from the hotel to pick up some lunch.  completely empty.  the manager of the store checked us out.

we went to walmart to pick up some hiking boots for me.  i had brought hiking shoes, but with that much rain we had the forethought to think that JUST MAYBE it might be a little muddy at the canyon.  thank god for that forethought.  i also picked up a waterproof jacket while i was there.  again, thank god for that.

walmart was almost completely empty.

so then i'm all, "hell yes, the canyon is going to be way empty!"

yeah, right.

we drove through lots and lots of tree damaged national forest barely seeing anyone along the way...and pull into the south rim parking lot to see it completely full of people.  and hail that looked like snow.

a very blurry picture of downed trees...sorry.

yup, that's hail.

and the canyon was clouded over.

i'm not exaggerating, you couldn't even see the canyon.

okay, you could kind of see it.....and i admit, it was gorgeous.

we walked around the (brand new) visitor's center and along a few of the rim trails while it rained/sleeted on us and finally just decided to go for it.

we walked about a quarter of a mile down the south kaibab trail and TADA!

we were beneath the clouds!  and you could see for miles and miles!

here's a map from the NPS website i reference above of the trail we hiked:

we went about 2.5 miles down into the canyon and since we had a late start, decided we wouldn't be able to make it down to the river and back before night fall, so we turned around and headed back up.  on the way down we stopped at Ooh Aah Point, to um, oooh and aaah i suppose.  we got a few great shots of both of us there...




and then we stopped again at Cedar Ridge for the ever important potty break and lunch.

 it was raining.  again.

this little guy decided to join us.

during our lunch (which was rudely interrupted by two of the most annoying children i've ever been around and their equally annoying parents) a park ranger blew past us on her way to camp down in the canyon.  she said she was going to stay down there for a couple of days and then hike back up to the north rim from there.  (the south kaibab trail has a north kaibab trail that goes to the north rim's visitor's center.)  i was in awe.  even though i hate camping, i think i might camp down in the grand canyon, just because that seems pretty bad ass to me.  don't you think?

and now, for the picture heavy portion part of the post...

this was our turn around point.

we were about a half a mile in when we stopped to take this one.  it shows the trail going down the side of the cliff.  it's a switchback trail...can you see the people?!?

definitely one of the best days of the entire trip.

have you ever hiked the grand canyon?  did you love it as much as i did?  how weird do you think we are that we enjoy hiking?  because people ask me if i'm crazy a lot, but i LOVE to hike!

1 comment:

  1. I love that you went did a Grand Canyon hike for part of your honeymoon. Sorry the weather was so miserable. You should go back in the spring and do the overnight hike. I'm considering doing a rim to rim hike because anyone I talk to that has done it says it's unbelievable. Plus a lot of my friends have used a local Phoenix company, Just Roughin It, to go on the hikes with. It's great because they supply a lot of your stuff like food and all, but from what I hear it's the way to go. BTW congrats on your wedding!


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