Color of the Day:
I like to coordinate my nail polish to my current event or adventure. (Really, what don’t I like to coordinate?)
It’s nice to feel like you are prepared top-to-bottom for extreme experiences and aligned color therapy-wise.
These are my Grand Canyon toes (before) our rim to rim to rim run: A bright, spring, canyon-esque shade, with a spot of gold sparkle.
After several international feats, it was time to do something classically American.
Last fall we planned to run the Grand Canyon rim to rim. That would have been a great distance, around 20-25 miles. Enough of a challenge, but totally doable. However, the government shutdown interrupted our plans. Not wanting to wait until the north rim opened again in May, we decided to just go for the full south rim to north rim of the Grand Canyon and back to the south rim on a Saturday during the second weekend in April.
The South Rim
Here we are for an early morning start via the South Kiabab Trail: Stephanie, Jeff, Jennifer, Mike & Greg. Photo by my mom, Debbie, our driver.
View of the Colorado River at first light.
I was looking forward to seeing this river, because I just loved its color. So green and intoxicating.
My dad and Greg on the trail.
Taking in the scenery. (I did a much better job on this than usual since I wasn’t racing and could be a little more relaxed.)
The North Rim
Things started to get tough as the day heated up and it got hot. We all were dealing with water shortages due to some of the camp pumps being off. We needed a regrouping once we reached the other side, and if someone would have been there with a car, I would have been happy to jump in, no questions asked. However, since the north rim is completely closed with no access this time of year, there were no other options but to get it together, manage the water situation, and get back down.
Me and Steph overjoyed that a water pump was on and we could all fill and hydrate up! After being so many places with no or terrible facilities these national park restrooms felt very luxurious.
Making our way through the box area with the goal of Phantom Ranch. I would say things were OK up until then, long going, but OK.
The hardest part was going seven miles back up via the Bright Angel Trail after Phantom Ranch. It was very slow going and seemed to take for-ev-er. You would think you’d gone at least three miles and you would have only gone a half mile. I’ve never felt like so little forward movement was happening on a climb.
The South Rim Finish
Our full run/trek ended up being about 50 miles due to some route additions. Being in the desert and with limited water supply, it was hard to stay hydrated enough and to eat enough.
Overall, it was a very long day that ended in exhaustion, and elation, in the dark, just as it began.
The Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim wasn’t all suffering. Here’s what we did to make it fun:
Cold, complimentary water at the rental car place. Major points. This is how to do things in the desert.
Arizona license plate colors on the transport van – love that purple.
I saw too many movies growing up where people would get stranded in the desert without water. Rule number one of driving in the desert: stock up.
I liked the feel of 1950s Americana at Grand Canyon National Park.
Friends and books were always going on family vacations there and I was so happy to get to do so myself with my mom & dad.
Pre-run we got cookies from Potbelly.
Post-run it was cupcakes from Sprinkles.
Tumeric is also really big right now, so I got some at Whole Foods. I was sort of craving it during the run (anti-inflammatory) and also kale salad, so I got that too.
Recovery continued poolside with a view of some desert palms (on palm Sunday :)
Iced tea for three at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
Good Mexican food for dinner after shopping with my mom at some of our favorite Scottsdale spots.
When I retired to rest, and sleep had closed my eyes, my mind still retaining strong impressions of my past sufferings, made them the subjects of my dreams.