Day 155: 12/26/17 The Bottom of the Grand Canyon
Miles: 8 Steps: 19,969 Vertical gain: Strava Knows!!! Liquid consumed: 160 oz. excellent day of rehydration! Wildlife: a couple of birds and that’s it. Hopefully won’t get visited by much tonight! Faith in Humanity: Cool kayakers from Germany and Switzerland at the Nankoweap granaries The Grand Canyon has consistently been the most amazing place I’ve ever been, over anywhere. Seriously. It’s so incredible here. There are so many colors, so many views, so many canyons, so much wonder. I need to spend more time here in my life. I love Flagstaff, too! This area tops the list so far of places I’d like to live! Just want to move here now kind of! Wow, I woke up and the view was awesome. I enjoyed watching some colors change from within my tent for a bit, then got up and hit the trail at 7:45am. I only had a liter of water left, so I needed to get to Nankoweap Creek and drink up! The trail lost a ton of elevation, and quickly! One cool thing about the Grand Canyon is that it’s so deep that you drop through layer after layer of different types of rock. All different vegetation, colors, surfaces, it’s really neat. Down I went and man my knees felt it! I’m not sure if they’re just feeling the loss of 6,000(!!!!) feet of elevation or this is my cycling injury making itself apparent but damn my left knee really hurt today! Hopefully it’s nothing serious and I’m not causing permanent damage! Just has me concerned as this trip has been almost entirely pain free so far! After a couple of hours I had dropped 3,500 feet and I was at Nankoweap Creek! I was so excited to have flowing water! I hung out for 45 minutes purifying and drinking tasty water! So nice! I was in an incredibly good mood at the creek, even did a little dancing by myself! Haha, to Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” even! So cheesy and awesome! I enjoyed my long break, drank and ate food and then continued down the creek to the Colorado River. It’s funny to me that there’s a clearly drawn trail line on my map. Sure, there are some trail segments, and I’m sure I missed some, but there’s really not a trail: you hike down the creek in whatever way seems easiest to you. As I approached the river I took a side trail as I wanted to see the “graineries” which are these amazing Anasazi ruins down here. It’s a 750 foot steep climb up to the ruins but it’s totally worth it. Not only is it really neat to think about people living IN a cliff on the side of the Grand Canyon, but the view is absolutely amazing! I just looked at my photos again an it’s honestly one of the best views I’ve ever seen! I explored around the ruins and ended up hanging out up there for at least 3 hours, haha. Nothing else to do, and it’s absolutely amazing up there! I was hoping to meet some people today that would give me a ride in a raft 10 miles or so downriver so I can continue my hike, but that didn’t exactly work out. There were 3 people with kayaks who climbed up to the ruins and chatted a bit. Can’t ride in a kayak with them, but they were still cool to chat with, from Germany and Switzerland. The one guy said I was the coolest hitchhiker he’s ever seen. Haha, I do feel very adventurous and awesome trying to hitchhike on a raft on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, for sure! Not an adventure unless there’s some uncertainty in the days activities either! After a long while I painfully and slowly made my way down the steep trail and headed for the beach! I washed clothes, washed myself, lounged, and generally gawked at my surroundings. I drank more water, had some soup for dinner,,and eventually set up my tent, sans rainfly, on the sandy beach. No other river groups ended up coming, so I’ve got the place all to myself. Hopefully I can hitch a ride tomorrow, but who knows! I’ve got a bunch of food so I’m not overly concerned. All of the downhill today irritated my big toe nails, which already look quite disturbing! Certainly a casualty of this type of trip! Short day felt nice! Not sure how quickly I’ll get a ride tomorrow (if at all!), but I’m really not worried. Really not a bad place to rest at all!