Day 159: 12/30/17  Leisurely 5,000 vertical Foot climb up the Tanner Trail and adopted by a Brazilia

Miles: 8.6 Steps: 25,551 Vertical gain: 5,346 Feet! Liquid consumed: 128 oz. Wildlife: Quite a few ravens circling. Some deer, whole ton of tourists! Faith in Humanity: An amazing family from Brazil brought so much awesomeness to my day! Thank you so much! Wow, what a day! So much variety! Lady start to a crazy climb to rejection after rejection to amazing joy with some super cool people! I awoke quite slow today. I knew I could stay another night on the canyon so there was no need to rush. I read for quite a while and eventually got up, packed up, and hit the road. I was still in debate whether to climb out today or wait until tomorrow. I turned onto a Trail that I wasn’t sure if it was Tanner or would lead me back to the beach. It climbed without turning back to the beach: I was on my way out of the canyon! I love a good, steep, long climb! Today I got one that was over 5,000 vertical feet even! I met a cool ranger on the way up who was really interested in my trip and very supportive. Thanks! I took only one break on the long climb to the rim along the Tanner Trail and felt really good overall. I got to the top: lots of tourists at the viewpoint. I needed a ride about 30 miles away. Here were my pitches: “Hi where are you from? How’s your trip? Is there any chance you’re going to Grand Canyon Village and could give me a ride?” “Oh would you like me to take your photo? Sure no problem. I just came from an 8 day trip below the rim and I need to go ....” To those about to get into car: “Excuse me are you headed to Grand Canyon Village? Id there any Way I could catch a lift?” There were a couple more, but you get the idea. It’s a bit awkward for sure. The worst part? Rejection, rejection rejection! I prefer an honest “NO” to some BS about not having room when there’s clearly only 2 of you in a large car. It sure complicate the issue somewhat with so many international travelers who don’t speak much English... After an hour and a half or so I saw a man with a Mountain Guide shirt on in Portuguese. I thought: a mountain guide knows what situation I’m in and also isn’t foolishly afraid of me like many others seemed to be. I asked pretty directly and he said “I have to check with my family.” Typically that response is a polite way of saying “No” but he came back and said “YES” !!!!! Yay!!! So I Meet Rodrigo (pronounced Hodrigo), his wife Kenja, and their two daughters Sophie and Nicole. They are awesome! They immediately gave me a Sprite and sandwich, and even the front seat! Thank you so much! There is a small, but fun, language barrier. A combination of English, Portuguese and Spanish is spoken and all is well! We stop at a museum and a couple view points on the way, which is fun. The family is cool and chatty and interested in my adventure which is cool! I love this! Upon arriving at the showers, my requested destination, they offer to share their campsite and give me a ride into town to eat dinner and access internet. Ahh, that’s so incredible!!!! They drive off to catch the sunset at a viewpoint while I rush to get my clothes in the laundry and take a shower ($2 for 8 minutes). I meet a nice couple from Ohio on their first big move of their lives to California, another couple from Germany exploring the US for the first time, and an inquisitive woman who’s interested in my trip. Social butterfly: engaged! Now I’m rushing to get to the campsite as I don’t want the family to have to wait for me in the campground. I’m at the site about 2 minutes before they pull up, which kind of amazes me since the stereotype for all South American culture is that they say 5:45, that means 6 or 6:15. Now we’re off to town. We go to McDonalds as the kids love it and the parents like it because in American culture you get kicked out of sit down restaurants too fast as they try to flip tables. I agree! McDonalds may disgust many, but it’s cheap, tasty, and you can hang out forever: essentially the perfect Hiker hang out! We were there for a long time and it was great to talk, catch up on emails, etc. I think I was the only American in the busy restaurant too, very interesting! Next it’s back to the campsite and to enjoy more fun! A fire, roasting marshmallows and eating s’mores, and the kids, 8 and 10, finally open up and start speaking in English to me and they’re really good! We have some laughs by the fire and I end up taking to Rodrigo until past 11! I love this family! They’re so nice and cool! Now I have my lost of errands for tomorrow. Exciting times. I truly love the Grand Canyon.

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