Monday, October 12, 2015

Grand Canyon 2015

     Have you ever been to the big ditch?  If not, you should go.  This was my 3rd trip. Once in 2011, 2014, and now 2015.  After 2011 I fell in love with this blonde beauty, who didn't return my affections.  However the last two times I went because of my step brother Jason.  But since we're not really step-brothers anymore, I'll just call him my brother.  Last year, he completed a Rim 2 Rim and took the shuttle back.  This year he went down South Kaibab to Cottonwood, Ribbon Falls, and back up the Bright Angel trail. 
     The "funny" thing about the Grand Canyon is that once you drop off the rim, you're fucked. Mostly because you gotta get back out, on your own.  And brother, it's killer.  This year was also special because my friend and confidant, Gina made the Rim2Rim2Rim trip with me.  After last year Jason wanted to go back and complete the whole enchilada.  However, due to work and kid obligations, he was not exactly ready for an out n back. Kinda like all of us who've aspired to run big. And do big stuff under the power of our own locomotion. 
     When we were kids we'd watch wrestling and then go out in the yard and wrestle for hours, to see who was a tuff mutha phuka.  Hacksaw Jim Dugan and Ric Flair, you know.  4 thousand horseman. hahah.  Can you say choke hold? 
     We parted ways at Cottonwood.  Gina and I up to the North Rim and Jason to Ribbon Falls and back out.  Gina and I ran like hell to make it to Phantom Ranch before last call which is at 1530, and we made it with 3 minutes to spare. We met up with a buddy named Jay who also ran with us at Vol State. Us three ran together from Supai Tunnel up to North Rim and back to South Rim via Bright Angel Trail.
     When the cashier at Phantom Ranch Canteen said, "You can't take those with you." After I ordered five Budweiser thirty minutes before close, I replied, "Yea bruh, I got this."  We also bought Gina a headlight since she forgot hers, again. 
     We reached the 3 mile water stop as I was singing George Strait and quoting lines from Cool Hand Luke.  We heard a faint voice, "Hey John, is that you?"  I replied, "Well yea bro. Who else would it be. You alright?"  Jason said, "Yea man, I'm good, just tired."  I sent Gina and Jay along and hung with Jason for a bit, checking on his status.  All was well. 
     The crux and crucible of the Grand Canyon was apparent.  We chatted and he said he was okay, so I went ahead.  Was he in a bind?  Gott dammed right he was.  But, it was his time.  He suffered with the best of anyone who's ever suffered doing big stuff. 
     About an hour after we topped out, here came Jason.  In my view, he got more out of the trip than we did.  He got to stare into the abyss, and come out the other side with a new found confidence in how much suffering he really can endure. 
     We hit the pizza place for shitty pizza and shittier service, and then made our way back to the room to finish off the Fireball and fall asleep.  The trip was awesome,  I mean, if you can excuse the shitty "Mexican" food we tried all over the state.  Hey Arizona, if you wanta learn how to cook, come to San Antonio.

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