April 18th --Grand Canyon, walking back from the bottom--

It was still raining when I woke up. I was still lying in a sleeping bag, thinking about packing. On the way down, I couldn't pack the sleeping bag, tent, and mattress inside my backpack. I tied all these items on the back of the backpack. But this time, I didn't want to put the sleeping bag outside because it would be extremely heavy when it get wet. I got up, and tried to squeeze my sleeping bag into the backpack. Although I had consumed almost all of food, there were still propane cylinder, stove, kettle and so on. I couldn't put it inside. So I tried to cool down and thought a little bit. I decided to put the highest priority on this sleeping bag. I took all the items outside the bag and put the spongy guy inside again. I could do it this time. And I still had some space to put the cylinder, stove, and kettle inside. A water bottle and some stuff were left outside but I could manage to carry them outside.

Fortunately or unfortunately, it cleared up when I went outside to strike a tent. Of course, I should call this fortunate although it took long time to put my sleeping bag inside. I packed everything and get ready at 7:40. Although I had consumed most of food, the backpack was still heavy. I walked along the river for sometime. It was a beautiful trail. I really enjoyed the view. Then I came to another stream and the trail went along this stream. I said good-bye to the Colorado River. It was not so steep along the stream and I got a good pace. When I came to the first rest point, I was not tired at all. I took a rest, enjoyed the view.

After walking for some time, the trail turned steep. But I still kept a good pace. I felt hungry when I came to layered rocks. For me, it looked like a pie and I even got hungry. I kept on walking until the Indian Garden, the half point. I took a long rest and ate crackers. Then, I met a group of mule tour. What a wonderful tour! Later, I knew that the mule tour needs a reservation of about a year advance. All at once I had a hail. I put on my snow jacket and left the rest point. It cleared up soon and I got really sweaty. When I met another mule tour on the trail, I stopped and gave a way to them. I took my jacket off and started again. It was a long way along a stream. I got really tired. When I came to the red layer, the trail turned steep and muddy. I took a break every 30 minutes. It was a long long way. I couldn't think anything but my step. One thing for sure was that I got closer by each small step. When I get closer to the top, I met many people hiking up and down with small backpacks. I really envied their small load.

I was still on the red layer. The top tan layer was almost ahead of me. I took many breaks until I got to the top layer. When the red color turned tan, the trail turned less steep and I walked with my last spirit. At last, I found the sign of the trail entrance. Hoo! I did it! It was about 13:30, about 6 hours trail! It was hail storming at the top. I asked someone to take a picture, and took some rest. I walked on the paved road to my Jeep. I took off my heavy shoes and put on another light shoes. I changed my cloths and went to a cafeteria. I had hot soup, hot sandwich, cake and hot coffee.

It was still 15:00 when I was ready to drive my Jeep. So I decided to go to the Desert View, the eastern part of the Grand Canyon. I drove along the road, dropped by many view point and reached Desert View. It was also a great view. I climbed up a watchtower.. Then, I really wanted to drink coke. I got it in a market and went back to my car. I decided to see the sunset. I knew the best point to see it, the Lipan Point. I drove back to the Lipan Point and parked. I took some pictures and wrote some postcards. It was a beautiful color of sunset, although there were some clouds. After a long refreshment, I drove to the visitor center, posted the cards, and drove back to the motel in Williams. It was a long day.

Beautiful trail along the river

Just look down the trail

Rocks like a pie

Almost at the top of the trail

At last

At the Lipan Point

Sunset from the Lipan Point

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Copyright (C) Tadao Hashimoto