After viewing the Grand Canyon from the North Rim and wondering "Does this look as cool from the bottom up as it does from the top down?" Lindsay and I decided to conduct "The Great Experiment" to discover the nature of viewing the Grand Canyon.
First we had to go consult with the Ranger Lady in the Backcountry Office as to how we could determine an answer to our quandary. After much discussion we came to the conclusion that an expedition must be assembled and a team of the most rugged and adventurous yahoos in the west be found to man the expedition. I volunteered to be the expedition leader and Lindsay volunteered to be the yahoos.
We left Sunday morning on father's day which we thought would be the most appropriate day to begin such an effort (do not read into this statement, it is just random nonsense). The following is a series of journal entries taken from the expedition's log books and edited specifically for this blog.
Day 1 (Father's Day):
0705 -- The expedition leader left his bandana in the car and ran across the parking lot to retrieve it.
0710 -- The yahoos inquire as to whether or not the expedition leader brought along the extra fuel for cooking, at which point he dropped his pack and went running back up the trail one more time.
0800 -- We come to Coconino's overlook and witness the rugged trail that we must descend. The expedition leader quivers a little bit but says nothing. The yahoos are unfazed and remained unconcerned with the difficulty of what lies ahead.
0820 -- We come to a tunnel through the rock face.
0900 -- We discover strange monuments that we believe to be either an attempt at communication from alien life forms or the flowers of yucca plants.
1014 -- We have an unfortunate encounter with a black widow spider. Sadly, one of the yahoos dies from battling the creature. (Don't worry, Lindsay was not really bit by the spider. It just sounds good.)
1103 -- We pass Cottonwood Campground and determine to make camp there on the return journey.
1147 -- The expedition makes temporary camp at ribbon falls to escape the midday heat which reaches temperatures above 115 degrees Celsius. The waterfall's peculiar rock formation provides a perfect shaded area behind the waterfall where the expedition members eat lunch and take naps. The expedition leader showers in the water fall on top of the 40 foot moss covered rock but the yahoos are opposed to showers. They are only interested in naps.
1429 -- A vicious and most devious rock squirrel is attempting to steal our food. The expedition leader has bravely thrown rocks at it and even hit it a few times but the beast refuses to relent his torment.
1559 -- We return to the trail with the bottom of the canyon as our goal. We prepare to enter "the box" where Bright Angel Canyon narrows to a small gap and the exposed rock is the rare black Vishnu Schist.
1856 -- We pass through Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon. Apparently our expedition was not the first to make it to the bottom. There is a lodge and a dining hall and bathrooms and old people and donkeys.
1930 -- The yahoos are so distressed by the old people beating them down into the canyon that they become sick and nauseated. After an exhausting 14 mile trek dropping over 6,000 feet in elevation, they can not stomach to eat more than a few bites of a fabulously prepared dinner and everyone goes to bed early.
... excerpts from days 2 and 3 will be posted shortly.