Rim to River

It’s eight degrees when I wake up in the Backcountry Information Office parking lot on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Even Siri says “brrrr!”img_0419

There are three Hiker’s Express shuttles that go directly from the Backcountry Information Office to the South Kaibab Trail at 7:00am, 8:00am, and 9:00am.   I figure I will shoot for the middle shuttle, and that will still allow me one other chance if I miss it.   Halfway through my morning routine, I vacillate between slowing down for the 9am or speeding up for the 8am.  I am having a tough time cramming all my belongings for a two night stay into little more than a day pack, so I think maybe delaying another hour later won’t hurt. But then I remember the magnitude of the hike and shortness of the Continue reading

Black Canyon Kayak Trip, Day Three – “Reading the River”

Weather-wise, our third day on the trip is the best yet!  There is not a cloud in the sky, and we have a nice 8 to 10 mph tail wind.  The remaining eight miles down the Black Canyon River Trail should be a joy ride!  And with the sun finally out, I will get to see some of that emerald green water BJ and Kathy have been telling me is “So beautiful, you won’t believe!” Continue reading

Black Canyon Kayak Trip, Day Two – “How to Cure an Internet Addiction”

I had a few concerns about my first overnight rafting trip.  As a left-brained analytical, will I be able to “do it right?”  Can I get my gear and myself down the river to arrive at the same time without embarrassing myself by turning over and sending the dry bags bobbing downriver without me?   Or worse, the kayak?  Did I remember to bring not only my Snowpeak mini-stove, but do I have the right blend of fuel canister to go with it?   But not the least of my concerns is “How will I go three whole days without the internet???”  Continue reading

Black Canyon Kayak Trip, Day One – “Miserable to Memorable”

It’s a balmy mid-January evening in Mesa, Arizona when John Schroder, his wife BJ, and I first discuss the prospect of a kayaking trip down the Colorado River through the Black Canyon.  It has been in the mid 80’s for several days now, and the night is so pleasant that we choose an outside table at one of their favorite restaurants, Red White & Brew.  John talks about timing for the trip, and suggests that the first week of March should be just about perfect.   Continue reading