The Arizona Trail Day 71: I Could Leave Today or I Could Never Leave

Monday, May 27, 2013

When I went to the lodge this morning for breakfast, a family invited me to eat with them. Some of their relatives were attempting a rim-to-rim across the canyon, hiking the entire distance in one push. Previously I had thought that was something people did if they couldn’t get a permit to camp, but now I see that it can also be an accomplishment, and it’s cool that they made it into a big event with so many family members and friends. Plus the guy who was spearheading it sounded comically intense. A mockumentary could be in their future.

I wasn’t thrilled about moving on from the Grand Canyon. Firstly, it’s beautiful and I would love to just wander around inside until being forcibly removed by park rangers. Secondly, if you’ve been following this journal, you’ll know that I haven’t been a fan of most of northern AZ and I wasn’t expecting that to change. Therefore I strolled around for awhile after breakfast. Near Bright Angel Point, I encountered an older man who asked whether I found my hiking poles helpful because he kept falling and hurting his ankle. A KINDRED SPIRIT! I was touched. I told him that yes, they’re helpful for maintaining balance, and he should also consider hiking boots. He said that he owns hiking boots, just wasn’t wearing them because he wasn’t going hiking today. Huh? You mean that people wear garments other than their hiking clothes?

Taking the Transept Trail back to the campground, where I was planning to rejoin the trail that leads to North Kaibab trailhead, I found… Pops! He had just arrived. Crazy timing again. He had done a rim-to-rim starting yesterday and was zonked.

We talked for awhile about our trips across the canyon and water sources for the upcoming passages. Eventually I decided that it was too late to walk the 20 km out of Grand Canyon National Park before dark. So tragic…

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