Friday, November 12, 2021

Back From Adventuring

Thanks very much for your patience as I was away.

So what did I do?  Perhaps easiest to demonstrate in pictures.

We went from this (Note the small river view in the upper center):


to this (same section of river):


to this:  

to this:


to this:



Yes, I hiked in the Grand Canyon.

Not the whole thing, of course (one of our guides told us of a couple that did it, experienced hikers - it took them 70 days).  We descended 4600 feet or so to the Colorado River (1.25 days, 6.5 miles), tracked the Colorado river track (2.25 days, 12 miles), and then climbed 4650 feet back out (1 day, 9 miles) for a total of 25.5 miles or so, 4 days/3 nights.  We walked on tracks that seemed literally no bigger than two individual feet feet on the sides of canyons.  The colors were amazing:


Overall I held out well:  other than three blisters (one on each heel from the downward descent and an additional one from just walking), no torn muscles, broken bones, strained ligaments.  Still a little slow getting up (we flew back to The Ranch yesterday) but that will pass.

It was glorious. I did things I simply did not imagine I could do:  hike down heights, climb up heights, complete a two mile straight up climb on the last day.  I saw stars the way I have not seen them since I was young, with no ambient light at all.  I drank (filtered) water from the Colorado River and dipped my feet in it.

So.  Much.  Fun.

I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 pictures, so I will beg your pardon as I try to collate them and my thoughts to give you an actual account instead of a photo dump and rambling text.  It was meaningful for me, but I need to make sense of  what I learned.

I was specifically reminded of one thing though:  that thing you are thinking of doing, but are either scared to or are putting off until a more "convenient" time?  Go do it. Now.

It will change your life.

25 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. HB - Thank you. I am glad to be able to share them.

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  2. Anonymous4:15 AM

    Beautiful photographs - thank you for including them in this post. My Wife damaged her right side foot big toe toenail when we hiked some major hills and she did not tighten her shoestrings. Foot slid forward and she lost the toenail.

    I've been to the North Rim, but never hiked down there. Gorgeous.

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    1. Anonymous - You are most welcome. I can understand the risk of shoes misaligned in a way that I did not before. Honestly, I cannot fully grasp how I got two similar blisters on the outer side of each heel in almost the same place without it being something to do with how I was trying to hug the hill on the way down. Knowing what I know now, I might just put coverings on both heels before I start down. Fortunately no toenail loss, although my brother-in-law let me know that this often happens to him.

      It has been 40 years since I have been to the Grand Canyon. Stunning hardly describes it.

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  3. Welcome back! The photographs are beautiful and I'm looking forward to more, as well as your thoughts about your adventure.

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    1. Thank you Leigh! I was uploading them to my computer yesterday and I have over 200 and I still think I missed a lot of things I should have taken pictures of.

      Fortunately I have a pretty quiet day today and a flight back tomorrow to organize my thoughts. I am grateful I had a day between finishing and having to go back to work to start to get them together.

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  4. Beautiful. I always wanted to go there. I never wanted to hike it, but looking at it is lovely. And I miss the dark sky stars. We used to lay on yard and watch the Milky Way rotate above us....

    Your tales of derring do remind me of The Big Sleep. General Sternwood watching Philip Marlowe drink brandy in the hot house. I don't know that I will only enjoy these type of things by proxy or vicariously, but it's that way right now.

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    1. I recommend the North Rim. We stayed in Kanab and drove in. More scenic than the South Rim. The park cabins are excellent and the Lodge is absolutely fantastic. If you can get reservations on the North Rim, jump at the chance.

      We didn't hike down during the summer, but would for a fall trip when the weather is bearable.

      Kudos for the Big Sleep reference, one of the all-time greats.

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    2. Watching Bogart go fluffy vibrant in the first bookstore solidified his acting ability in my mind. "First Edition Ben Hurr with erratum!" Man, I cannot see that scene enough. What an actor!

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    3. STxAR - if that is the way it is right now, then I will have to fill your bill! Hopefully things will be better soon.

      I have not seen The Big Sleep - only heard of it - but now will have to look it up. Anything with Bogart is a masterpiece. I recently saw Treasure of the Sierra Madre for the first time. So well done.

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    4. Just So - I will definitely keep that in mind for next time.

      The weather was amazing - 70's during the day, high 40's to low 50's at nice. They said it can get 115 to 120 on the Canyon floor during the summer. I simply cannot imagine hiking there then.

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    5. Here's a link to the pre-release:
      https://archive.org/details/the-big-sleep-humphrey-bogart-lauren-bacall-martha-vickers-regis-toomey-john-ridgley-1946

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  5. TB that's amazing!!!! I'm so glad you went, and it's so true, some adventures are certainly life changing. I've been on 15 hour hikes in the mountains where I never thought I could accomplish things I've done...it's marvelous! Lovely photos!! :)

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    1. That is exactly the thing Rain! And looking back and seeing all that you did...truly amazing.

      Thanks for the photo compliments - although I probably should thank Apple, who made the phone. I just aimed it.

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  6. Anonymous10:12 AM

    Mole Skin for blisters and hot spots.
    What were the names of the trails you hiked? We did the Bright Angel Trail down to the river and the Kaibab Trail on the way up. Camped overnight along the waters edge, Deer would wander right past our tent door on their way for a drink.
    Polimath

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    1. I had some, but did not use it fast enough. I will certainly do it the next time!

      We hiked down the New Hance Route to Hance Rapids, then along the Escalante Trail to Escalante Beach, then continued on the Escalante to Tanner Beach, then up Tanner Trail - so two nights by the beach.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Well done TB - looking forwards to reading more of your adventure and seeing the images.

    Looking likely wife & I will have a lot of time on our hands very soon, which we were definitely not planning on. The positive side is we will be able to live our dreams with our eyes wide open. A lot of adventures I've wanted to do since childhood, were unlikely due to fiscal realities & age. Suddenly they appear possible without the burden of debt! The words of the Pardeys - "go small, go simple, go now" mean more to us than ever. We'll be going extremely simply - BUT - we'll be going.

    Update on physical improvement program - now appear to be on a plateau, losing ~1/2kg per week, but don't care - kaizen works for me. Down a measured total of 15kg, so half way now. Love handles shrinking. Fat loss has slowed, but regaining physical abilities at an astonishing rate. Now able to jog very slowly. For the first time in nearly 15 years I was able to jog a few kilometres. An old injury made it impossible to continue in karate or even run more than 15 metres (ie from one side of the street to the other). Obviously something in my old diet was causing massive inflammation and my physical condition is responding accordingly.


    Warm regards,

    KA

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    1. KA - Thank you!

      You had mentioned that you thought more free time might be a thing - so it has arrived then. You should absolutely do it now, and as much as you can even if it is small and simple. That is one thing this trip taught me - there is no time but the present.

      That is is fantastic news on the weight loss and physical improvement - and very impressive! Glad that you are seeing such significant process (it does make it easier, does it not?). One thing this trip did convince me of is that I need to drop a little more weight myself - if I could shed 5-10 kg without significant strength loss, I would be immensely happy.

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  8. Congratulations, TB!
    You all have a blessed weekend!

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    1. Thank you Linda! It really does feel like an accomplishment.

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  9. I have not done that particular hike but have done dozens in the Grand Canyon and loved every single one. You are too recent to my blog but I have written of the one trip I did that has forever been the trip on which I measure all others. That trip was where I set forth in a wooden dory boat beneath one dam and ended up in the stagnate waters of the other dam.

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    1. Ed - We saw one of those dories on our hike! It looked like quite an adventure - apparently per our guide, they are actual on of the better boats to use: more maneuverable than a raft.

      This hike was perfect. The weather was absolutely fabulous, the trail largely to ourselves, the company good. I do not know if I could replicate it ever.

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    2. I agree with your guide. There were a few reasons why I went that route. The biggest reason is that they offered 23 day trips with lots of hiking along the way. None of the raft companies offered anything nearly that long. The dories also got to start their season two weeks earlier so we had the river mostly to ourselves and a few private outfits we saw in those 23 days. I also liked the element of risk in that dories can and do tip over on occasion. (I whitewater kayak so I wasn't too scared at the thought.) Alas, none of the four dories in our group ever tipped over though we came close a handful of times.

      It is in my mind to republish those stories again since I haven't done it in well over a decade and have mostly new people reading my blog. Perhaps a winter project.

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    3. That sounds like quite an adventure Ed. I would welcome the opportunity to read them.

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