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8:01 am - Saturday - November 25th - 32º F, 49% humidity, wind 2 mph out of the south by southeast......clear blue skies with a forecast high of 67º F today....perfect weather!
During this current work week (Monday to Sunday) TLE and I have only one common day off, Friday, so we decided to do our first hike since arriving here at the GC*. On our initial site seeing foray two weeks ago we identified a trail that we would like to use as our inaugural hike, the Grandview Trail, whose initial destination, just 3.2 miles away, is Horseshoe Mesa. It seemed like a moderate hike with which to begin our Grand Canyon hiking quest. The sign indicates the trail is not well maintained, and if that was all we could have lived with that, or I should say TLE could have lived with that......we began our hike from the Grandview Vista parking lot about 10:15 am.......
.....I took about a 10 minute break eating a Power Bar before I began the 3.2 mile trek back to the Grandview Vista Parking lot.....I knew it would take me more than the two hours it took to descend to that point, but it was only 12:30 pm which gave me 3 hours to make the return trip, so I set off at a steady pace. Let's be clear.....there are really very flew flat spots in this trail, and you are either going down 99% of the time, or you, in my present situation, are going UP 99% of the time. The initial grade from my turn around point is about 5-6%, but within 1/2 mile it increases to 8%, then stays over 10% the rest of the way.....it is a grinder.
I covered the first 1.9 miles in about an hour, but then my pace slowed considerably as it took me another 80 minutes to cover the remaining 1.3 miles.....I found myself stopping every 100 yards to slow my breathing and heart rate a little. I reached the Grandview Vista point around 2:45 pm, gave TLE a call to get her on her way to pick me up, then took a selfie to memorialize how I felt......
.....I was gassed to say the least......my t-shirt, outer shirt, and pants were soaked with perspiration. I sat down for about 5 minutes to catch my breath.....as I sat there I began to realize the parking lot was gridlocked with people trying to get a parking space late in the day......I thought it would be unfortunate for TLE to get there to pick me up and then have to wait 30 minutes just to exit the parking lot, so I decided to walk the .7 miles back out to SR-64 to meet her there and save her from the experience of the gridlocked parking lot.
I arrived at the intersection just after 3 pm, and she arrived 2 minutes later.....we were back home in under 25 minutes, and I was in in the shower within minutes taking a much deserved long, hot 30 minute soak. By the time I emerged it was close to 4 pm, and within a couple of minutes of that I was ensconced in my recliner getting some weight off my sore feet and legs.
In retrospect, this was not a trail for TLE.....while I know she could have made it down to Horseshoe Mesa, it probably would have taken 4 hours for her to make the hike out, and she would not have been happy with me one little bit.
So, here are the Strava results of my first hike into the bowels of the GC*.......
* GC = Grand Canyon