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Day 156: 12/27/17  Day 2 at The Bottom of the Grand Canyon: Nankoweap Style

Miles: 0 Steps: 3,518 Vertical gain: 0 Liquid consumed: 96oz. Wildlife: A few birds on the beach. Amazingly it didn’t seem like much visited me last night in my tent, Grand Canyon is notorious for that! Faith in Humanity: Awesome group of rafters mostly Dartmouth Alumni, were super fun to hang out with, provided me with dinner and will give me a ride downriver! Also a ranger changed my permit for me and was quite nice to talk to! Well most of the day I literally did nothing. Most of my energy spent today was moving my gear about 50 yards and having it all packed up in case I got a ride downriver in a raft. It felt great to rest! Beautiful down here, too! I almost finished Desert Solitaire, listened to some music, and some podcasts and honestly that’s it! Felt pretty nice really! Two rafting groups arrived at the end of the day: one seemed a bit standoffish and passed me right by, haha. I tried to tell out about a ride but they kind of said “No”, haha. The other group that came was really nice and kind of said yes with a bit of hesitation and they might be taking a day off tomorrow. So my future is still in limbo pretty much! Good times! I’m not too worried about it though, honestly. I’m going to eat some good then go socialize with my neighbors. Knee still hurts but maybe feels a bit better? Tough to say due to my limited activity today. Given that I’m now a day behind on my permit I may exit the canyon earlier and hitchhike back to the South Rim, but I need to get there before I can make decisions like that, haha. Honestly I’m enjoying the rest. It’s kind of nice and refreshing to be somewhere without cell service and without the ability to spend money. I quite enjoy it! A little boring perhaps, but it’s nice to slow the minds pace a bit, read, and let go of the normal rat race that even consumes me a lot of the time on my hike. After I wrote the above section one of the groups of rafters left but the other group that stayed was extremely cool to hang out with! They had some leftover dinner so I got to eat a nice rice dish with veggies which was awesome! Thank you so much! They also had a fire and stayed up reasonably late which was nice too. A ranger ended up hiking down as well! Crazy! He hiked down Nankoweap Trail and came and chatted for about an hour. There were only 2 of us at camp because everyone else went on a hike... I was a tiny bit nervous because I was in violation of my permit because I hadn’t gotten a ride downriver yet, but he was super cool and changed my permit on the spot. I also changed my exit point since I am not getting a ride until Friday and my continued knee issues. He had a lot of information to share about the canyon, rafting, hiking, etc. What a super cool job! I would hate writing tickets and carrying a gun and arresting people, but getting paid to backpack the Nankoweap Trail and tons of other trails in the Grand Canyon? That’s amazing! I hung out until the late hour of 10:15pm or so with the last stragglers of rafters. So nice to be able to socialize. It’s really interesting hanging out with large groups of smart people, and these people are all super intelligent! They’re very well organized and see the importance having an evening meeting to discuss the next day, have assignments for who does what chores, set time for meals, etc. maybe every group does that, but I doubt it! One girl sang opera and was really talented. Others played chess, most talked by the fireside. Thanks so much for letting me be a part of your group, you guys (and ladies) are awesome! I set up my tent by the river, maybe 15 feet away, on a beach a bit away from their camp. Really awesome campsites down here! My knee still definitely hurts., I’m a bit sad I won’t join the other group on their cool day hike, but really excited for another day of rest and relaxation down here! Then a freaking 10 mile river trip! Yes!!!! Then the Beamer Trail and Tanner Trail out of the canyon then I need to figure out a way back to the South Rim and go from there. Up first: relaxation!

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