Day 2 Sunday - Arrive and Descend into the Canyon

We wake at daylight, pack up the 4-man and our night's bedding and hit the road around 7:15. Breakfast in Blanding after a couple of coffee stops. We reach the park around 1:00, having completed the third book tape and listening to my Grand Canyon tape as we drive through the park to the Village. We have not been able to get any reservations at Phantom Ranch for any meals prior to leaving, so our first stop is at the Bright Angel Lodge to see if there are any cancellations. We luck out!!! We are able to get a stew dinner, breakfast, and a lunch for all three of us. We meet Wes at 2:00 at the Back Country Office where we check on water conditions on Grapevine, Boulder and Lonetree. Good news - the creek is running at Grapevine. Doug and I go off to shower and pack our backpacks. A TV is in washing machine area - the Broncos are winning big in the 1st quarter. The men's shower is to the left.
Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Packing at Mather campground shower I have yet to pack my gear in the pack I had borrowed from Doug. Nothing like waiting to the last minute. So with Doug's help I get everything in. I am not sure, however, where all the 17 pounds of water will go on Tuesday. The three of us eat at the cafeteria around 3:30, tanking up so to speak. We drop Doug's car off at the Bright Angel trailhead, with a cooler inside packed with ice to keep 4 beers cold for the coming out celebration.
Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Late Afternoon from
Point We go with Wes out to Grandview arriving at 5:30. We plan to wait till dark to head down. We watch the canyon along with people from every country in the world. Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Vishnu Temple - north rim Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Wotan's Throne - north rim
Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Moonrise over the east rim The moon rises at 5:57 and at 6:15 we cannot sit any longer. We head down in partial darkness. As we descend it slowly gets darker which just adds to the views and fun. At 6:35 we see the first moon glow. Wes and I turn on our headlamps. Doug, following, does not. Even with headlamps the trail is tricky so we take our time enjoying the shadow play of lamps and moonlight. We arrive at the campground around 9:30. We check out the established sites, all seem full. We find an open area and set up.
Thus begins the flannel sheet fiasco... It will be a    V E R Y    L O N G    night.

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