Miles: 12 Steps: 26,727 Vertical gain: Strava Knows! Liquid consumed: 128 oz. Wildlife: don’t think I saw a single animal today. Faith in Humanity: Met 3 really cool fellow backpackers near Hance Rapids Beach. Another beautiful day in the Grand Canyon. Felt pretty warm this morning, but I still took my time getting ready since I wasn’t in a rush at all. The day started with the “sketchy” part of the Escalante Trail. I didn’t think it was bad at all, thankfully. First up was a portion along the Ricky shore of the river that was quite beautiful. Next up, climbing some ledges. The holds were huge and I found the exposure nowhere near as bad as described by the Park Service description. The scree field gully, however, is a tiny bit sketchy. Definitely a good reason it’s the Escalante Route, not Trail. Still, with caution, it’s really not so bad. Next I met a cool Hiker from Pennsylvania and we talked for quite a while. He had done a ton of trips and we had a lot in common. We hiked together for a little bit and ran into another group of two backpackers who worked and lived at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We chatted about that and they were super nice. The Escalante Route was now conquered! What a beautiful hike, highly recommend! Next up was the Tonto Trail. Quite a big series of climbs combined with long flat stretches along the rim of Hance Canyon. The last part of the day was steep. Up to a spring, then a final up to Horseshoe Mesa. Really beautiful scenery, as usual in the Grand Canyon. It’s 6:30pm and I am just exhausted! I was really sore when I woke up today and that really never went away. The consequences of taking 3 plus weeks off then hiking in the Grand Canyon. For some reason I just couldn’t go to sleep last night, then it was really windy and blowing sand for a while in the middle of the night. Off to bed at 6:30pm on a Friday night: living the dream!