Sunday, May 22, 2011

Grand Canyon Report

Hey y'all. I was supposed to write this a few weeks back, but I've been busy. A whole, big group of us from Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and some other places met up and decided it would be a fantastic idea to run all the way across the Grand Canyon and back in one day, about 50 retards. We all need medication.

Flew out with the San Antonio group, Tom, Kelli, Joe T., and Brian. Had fun BS'n. Waited around the airport b/c Kelli's luggage was misplaced. Finally, Jamie from Houston showed up at the airport in Phoenix about nine A.M. He was traveling up to the canyon alone, so I rode with him.

Stopped and picked up a sixer for myself, since I wasn't driving. Probably about 10AM. Jamie and I rode up to the canyon, hit the grocery store for supplies and a phone charger in Flagstaff, and some more beer. The lady at the Verizon store gave us all the details about the park, she used to be a ranger there. It was like hanging with family! Anyway, went in the east gate, and drove along the canyon up to where the hotel was.

Met up with Naresh who drove in from Cali. Crazy Indian! We spent the afternoon, shootin the shit, and drinking beers. Bedded down about 8 or 9 PM.
About 3:30 AM we hit the south rim trail head, all of the other folks had taken off so Jamie, Naresh, and I began our descent into Hades.

It was dusty as hell, I was in the back of our group eatin dust. The trail has erosion prevention posts all over, I can't see shit. My lights not good. Either bad batteries or I'm just getting old and need more light. Never fell down, but was worried about it as we were running down.

Got to Indian Springs, tripped on a rock which tweaked my ankle, let out a boisterous yell of "mother fucker". I didn't realize there were folks sleeping in tents about 10 feet away. Some guy yelled at me, go figure, it happens all the time. Stopped to fill up my handheld, and drain it. Jamie split off at this point, and it was Naresh and me. Got down to the river (about 7 miles in) as the sun was coming up. Made a few video recordings with my flip recorder.

Naresh was pushing the pace into Phantom Ranch, and then on to Cottonwood. I was having trouble hanging, cause I drank a shit load of beers the day before and had only run once since we were out at the Guads the second week of April. Oh well. I hung back. Naresh paid for his treachery.

I wasn't really into being at the Canyon. The whole time, I was still all compressed from the last few weeks of work that have been running me ragged and have been stressful. Never did get over that. Shit happens.

Once you get to Cottonwood, its 14 miles round trip up to the North rim and back and there is no water till you get back. I was going to turn around and go back, but my ego won the fight. Thanks ego, I was needing a good ass whippin.

Spent most of the time with big Roger. We always have a good chat, when we're running. Naresh was suffering, so I let him suffer on. Too bad, I got my own problems here buddy. Saw all the folks on the turn around, kinda lifts your spirits, when you realize that all you have to do is run/walk all the way back! Yippie!
North Rim was uneventful, except for the huge biting flies and the snow I put into my water bottles. Ummmmm, Ummmmm, good! It wasn't yellow, at least it didn't look yellow. Was having trouble breathing, one b/c we were at 8K feet and the other because I'm about 195lbs, so I'm feeling pretty fat. Especially at 5'6.

Started heading down, grabbed a samwich outta my bag, chowed down. My quads were hurting, so I walked quite a bit. Actually I probably walked 80% of the whole return trip. Most of the day I spent alone, I liked that. Put in a dip of snuff, man it really picks up your heartrate. Ooops. Plus it was hot as hell, about 110 degrees I heard.

Made it back to Cottonwood and filled up on water and grabbed another samwich. Started heading back to the big river crossing. This whole section is runnable, but I didn't feel like running, so I just walked and ate jelly beans. No thoughts really crossed my mind, you know like those "ah ha" moments where you figure out answers to the important questions in life like, "Who moved my cheese?" or "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

Listen folks, one hand can't clap and nobody gives a damm about your cheese. Hell you'll just throw the cheese out when it gets moldy. I used to think that running would bring me closer to me or some crap. Maybe it did. But I was really having an issue being motivated out there. I came to the realization, that running is just a hobby, something to do. It coulda been fishing, hunting, collecting stupid trinkets and putting them in a curio cabinet or, you name it. Oh well.
The suckie part was, I've still gotta get out of this canyon. Shit man. It was a trek.

SO 21 hours later, boom, I'm at the south rim trail head. One step at a time baby. Kinda like life, one step at a time.

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