Day 3 Monday Recovery Day

Doug and I discuss options. Wes tries to not fall down laughing. He slept the night without tent and had just his own very warm down sleeping bag, just like the ones we have in Doug's car on the rim 3.2 miles away, plus a 30 minute (each way) drive. Should we:
Continue on hoping that the temps on the Tonto and River will be significantly warmer, or
Go up, get down bags come back then go down Cottonwood to Grapevine. The Tonto around Horseshoe Mesa would have to wait for another trip?
We choose to be safe and smart.

So at 7:15 we head to the rim. Wes will explore the Mesa. Doug powers up the trail, apparently trying to warm up from the night's experience. I puff along behind. At 9:00 we reach the rim, pretty fast for us normally slow old farts. We end up spending 1 1/4 hours on the rim; then its back down. Going down this trail is tough, for in full daylight it takes us 2 hrs. 10 mon. to get down.
Wes meets us back at the campsite. While we were gone, Wes explored the Mine at the Junction of the Grandview and Page Spring. The air seemed bad so he only went back in a few yards. Then he found the mine at the head of the trail to Page(Miner's) Spring. He explored it back some 400 yards following the tracks of the ore cars. He then decided to head on down to Page Spring. So he has been active. Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Mine on Horseshoe
Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Camp 2 - Horseshoe Mesa After re-packing, we head down the Cottonwood Trail at 1:30. Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Down Cottonwood Trail to
Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Angel's Gate - north rim At 3:45 we reach the Tonto. From here to Grapevine, the Tonto offers a wide variety of views and trail conditions.
Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Wotan's Throne on the north rim Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Vishnu Temple on the north rim
Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Colorado River - inner
gorge Grand Canyon Hike
Colorado River Gorge panorama I really love the views of the inner canyon where the trail slants toward a major drop-off. I walk on eggs, due to my acrophobia, and with a very high "pucker" factor ...then later get to repeat these wonderful feelings along parts of the trail to Grapevine. I am told by Wes and Doug that I miss some wonderful views. I do stop sometimes to look. But I do not walk and look.
In addition, this is our first hike where the "cat claws" (black bush) add to the fun of the hike. This bush which dominates the Tonto grabs at you, tracing white (and not Grand Canyon Hike
Cat's Claw on the Tonto trail Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Cat's Claw scratches on Brian's
leg Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Cat's Claw grabs Doug's shoe
infrequently - red) marks on one's calves. I plow through them not breaking stride. Wes is more careful and does a sort of dance as we move toward camp. Only my legs show the results of the cat; Wes's being cautious pays off. (He is even
smarter, as he wears his long pants the next couple of days.) I learn to not flinch too much but both Doug and I are too stupid to wear gaiters).

Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Grapevine Canyon - south rim Around 5:30, with still a mile or so to go, Doug heads on out to locate the campsite. Wes and I lose the trail in the Grapevine Spring area for a bit. It seems to be getting darker earlier than normal and I debate when it will be time for the headlamps. When we stop for water, I remember I have my sunglasses on! No wonder it seemed dark out. Then dusk does begin to turn to darkness and the headlamps are once again used. Doug appears, telling us that camp is just 15 or 20 minutes ahead.
We reach the campsite at 6:40 and set up in the twilight. The creek is not running as the Ranger indicated yet we feel we have the right location. There is a small pool just below the campsite. A few small frogs and other things I did not want to identify share this pool (Doug's excited - more protein; Wes wonders about drinking frog pee). Hopefully Halizone will do all it's supposed to do and the Emer'g'c and Gatorade will cover any taste problems. But still. The sunset paints the butte's in reds. Dinner is in the sleeping bag. It's been a long day 13.6 miles plus the 2600 feet required to go back to the rim. The full moon lights the clear skies and the temperature drops to 44 degrees. Our sleeping bags are very cozy. Grand Canyon Hike Photo: Camp 3-Grapevine Canyon - south rim

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