Thursday, December 28, 2017

Desert View - Day 48 - the Bright Angel

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8:02 am - Thursday - December 28th - Grand Canyon - 16º F, 45% humidity, wind 1 mph out of the south by southeast....sunny skies with a forecast high of 57º F.

TLE and I both had Wednesday off this week so we decided we needed to take another hike.  I contacted our friend Art Young and arranged to meet him at the Bright Angel trailhead (6,850' elevation) at 10 am.  We weren't sure how far down we would hike, but we figured at least 3-5 miles down.  We left earlier than normal (9 am) to be sure we arrived early enough to get a parking spot somewhat close to the trailhead......this is a very popular trail.  We arrived just after 9:30 am, so we both decided to take advantage of the nearby restrooms prior to beginning our hike.  When we emerged we saw that Art had just arrived so we got an early start (9:45 am) on our hike.....



......we decided initially we would hike to the 3 mile rest station and see how we felt and then go on to Indian Garden if we felt up to it......there is a rest station at the 1.5 miles mark, the 3 mile mark, and then at Indian Garden at the 4.5 mile mark.....there is water at the 1.5 mile mark as well as restrooms, restrooms only at the 3 mile mark, and then water, camping, and restrooms at Indian Garden.......


.......it was a beautiful, clear, windless day with a forecast high of 57º F....perfect hiking conditions......



.......we stopped occasionally to take in the view, and, of course, take a few pictures.....

Still smiling at the 3 mile mark, so we decided to go all the way to Indian Gardens at the 4.5 mile mark


......because the sun is so low on the horizon these days we spent 90% of our hike in the shade, and it felt sort of like hiking in a 'walk in' refrigerator.  We were passed by a mule pack train going down the hill.....


......and one train going uphill with people as the cargo......


......we reached Indian Garden about 12: 15 after 2.5 hours of walking.....I noted my Strava was at 5 miles, not 4.5 miles as the sign had advertised.  As I have written before when hiking in Yellowstone and Bryce, the mileage markers were off on occasion, and it appears that in this case they were also off slightly.......

 Relaxing and eating a snack at Indian Gardens



.....we had descended some 3,131' into the canyon at this point......we began our return hike about 30 minutes later back to the rim, now some 5 miles away via a twisting, winding trail.....as the crow flies, about probably about 2 miles....

 Looking up the trail as we begin our return to the 'rim'.....seems like a long way, huh?

 Water pipeline

  Beginning of the switchbacks

 3 miles to the top


 About a mile from the top.....getting tired, but still smiling!

 At the top looking back down at Indian Garden (see red arrow).....a long, long way down!

......we made it back to the top about 3:15 pm, some 5.5 hours after we began having covered about 10 miles.....I say about because my Strava stopped recording distance with 1.6 miles to go because the location finder on my phone somehow got turned off at that point......


This is where the Strava drew a straight line after the 
location finder turned off
......it kept track of moving time (3 hours, 32 minutes, 42 seconds), and total elevation gain from Indian Gardens at 3,131', but drew a straight line from the 8.4 mile mark to the top, and showed our total mileage at 8.8, so from the 8.4 mile mark to the rim as the crow flies was .4 miles, although we actually walked another 1.6 miles of switchbacks.....we averaged 2.8 mph.

After stowing our Camelbaks in the the hatch of the VW we headed directly to the Yavapai Tavern which has now become our official post hike destination.  Art and I ordered their 'build it yourself' hamburgers, and TLE a hot dog.  We all downed a couple of pints of their Piehole Porter.....a great way to end the hike.  By the time we finished unwinding from the hike it was after 5 pm and time to head for home.  We were home about 5:50, and showering a few minutes later.

At the beginning of our hike we thought we would be hiking about 9 miles at the most if we went all the way to Indian Garden.  Because of the mileage discrepancy we ended up hiking an extra mile, and that last mile really took it out of TLE and I.

Thanks for stopping by!

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