30 Jul Actually Exploring the Canyon
Working here has been such an honor, and I have loved every minute of it. I do love my weekends, though, because it gives me time to explore the canyon. I did not bring my car here so that is not the best situation when I want to travel, but I have plenty to do at the canyon. On the weekends, I explore the canyon by visiting all the museums and restaurants, and on Sundays/Mondays I go on a hike deeper and deeper into the canyon every week. I do this to prepare for the rim-to-rim hike that will happen soon, and that will not be easy.
Hiking into the Grand Canyon is nothing like hiking in any other place. Usually you do the hard part first of hiking up a mountain, but that is not the case here. You do the easy part first of going down into the canyon, and then comes the hard part of hiking back up. There is a saying here at the park that goes, “What goes down must come up and going down is optional, coming back up is mandatory.” That is so true for this park; going down is not even half the battle. It’s coming back up. During my first week here, I did the mile and a half house which is down the Bright Angel Trail and, like the name, it is only a mile and a half. When I was going down I thought to myself that this was going to be the easiest hike of my life. But soon as I started to hike out it was kind of rough. At the time, I was not used to the altitude. In North Carolina my house is at about 600 feet above sea level, while at the Grand Canyon it is about 7,000 feet. Granted, I made it up without a problem, but it took me longer than I thought. I kept exploring the canyon and doing these same hikes every week. Every time I would go farther than I had gone the week before. I could tell that I was getting stronger and fitter, and my calves currently look fantastic. There was one spot that I hadn’t explored yet, and that was Hermits Rest which I heard was a great spot to see the sunset. My friend, Hailey, came to visit me from California for the weekend, and one day when plans fell through for going to Flagstaff, I decided that it was a perfect opportunity to go see the sunset at Hermits Rest. We were supposed to be there earlier, but I took a nap and woke up around 5:15 p.m. When we got there it was around 5:40 p.m., and we were just going to go see the sunset at a point but then we were wondering if it was possible to beat the darkness of hiking down 7.8 miles. Sunset was around 7:40 p.m., and we decided to take the challenge of walking 7.8 miles in two hours. We did stop at one point to look at the sunset and, oh mylanta, it was so beautiful. I took some pictures, but it honestly doesn’t do it justice. If you go to Grand Canyon, I highly suggest you check out the sunset at Hermits Rest Trail. The picture that I took is from the Hopi Point on the trail. In case you were wondering, we did manage to beat the darkness. We did 7.8 miles in about two hours, and it was so fun. I don’t know how many miles I’ve hiked now, but I feel ready for that rim-to-rim!