Up at 7:00. Shower--$.75 for 5 minutes. The water is hot. I smell clean again. Breakfast at the cafeteria. We stop at the backcountry office and get the backcountry guide that we should have had for the Escalante Route. At the visitor center, we buy a couple of books, including a guide we'll use next year. We say our good-byes to Wes. We then head east and north, leaving around 9:30 am. It is a straight through drive, with some reflections on the trek, but mostly just book tapes and silent thought. Home at 11:00 pm.
|Doug at the New Hance trailhead|
After-thoughts and Observations.
We planned this trip using several guides. We pretty much relied on the Sierra Club Totebook, HIKING THE GRAND CANYON, for our hike on the Escalante Route. We have used this guide, along with several other books on our some 130 miles now hiked in the Grand Canyon. This was the first time when the description of a route let us down and had a major impact on our hike out of the canyon. Granted, one member of the group was not as strong this year, but if we would have known the true distance, we would have materially changed our second day, from an exploration east to the Tanner Mine, to hiking at least 5 miles west on the Escalante Route. In essence, we planned on a 10 mile hike when, in reality, the distance was approximately 15 miles. We ended up having to camp at 75 Mile Canyon rather than at Red Canyon, as planned. This added 3 hours to our last day and a headlamp hike out for the last 600 vertical feet of the New Hance Trail.
Even given the last struggle, it was the best of hikes. It challenged us at all levels, physically and mentally. We believe we are now true Canyoneers. The terrain was varied. The views both humbling and inspiring The nights were long, giving time for inner perceptive.
The total mileage:
Total vertical feet (includes both ups and downs)--13,670 feet.
The Grand Canyon is indeed GRAND!