OK, so it's been one month and a couple days since our hike, but alas, the photos...The memory is too good to skip the photos.
The plans for our South Kaibab to Bright Angel journey began a week after Spring Break when we took the whole fam to the big hole for their first time. I got the itch to hike it again after playing around on the rim and only venturing down a short ways (it was icy and mushy in March).
So we decided to do it, made our reservations, put it on the calendar, and here we are. We took our first born along for the ride. What a great decision that was!
Here we are at the South Kaibab trail head at approximately 5:45 am on Saturday, May 5th. We spent the night before in the Maswik Lodge on the South Rim and arose bright and early to catch the 5:00am hikers shuttle bus. It left from the Back Country Information Center, about 100 yards from our hotel room so we were able to just leave our car parked right there. It took us right to where we needed to be. Perfect. We rode the bus over with some hard core running tri-rimmers who looked like they were going to eat the trail for lunch. One of the Australians had his sandwich stored in his hat because he didn't want any extra bulk. A sweaty hot head sandwich. Nice.
But I digress...back to us.
It was very cold and super duper windy at the top of the south rim at that early hour. We bundled up tight and kept our glasses on to save us from the dust. As this was my first time coming down the South Kaibab trail, I didn't know how steep it would be. The decline seemed much steeper than the north rim, and I was so glad I had my hiking poles for support. We all did great on the descent, although it was a little slippery in the loose dirt and Barrett could have used some better traction on her shoes. But she had her poles too, thank goodness, and did great.
Yes, we oohed and aahed. Truly, it was so beautiful. The pics don't even do it justice.
Barrett and I took a few silly pics while waiting for Ryan to use the facilities. I have no idea what I am doing here, but we were having fun.
Just a glimpse of the trail coming down the South Kaibab.
When we looked down and saw this a couple hours into the hike, Barrett asked, "Do we have to hike that?" I said, "Oh yes, and there's so much more where that came from."
When we turned this corner and saw this drop off, both Barrett and I gasped a little. I don't know if you can really tell from the picture, but seriously, right in back of where Barrett is standing, is the craziest drop off to the bottom. Really, a crazy steep drop. Sure footing would be highly recommended here.
We waited for a few mule trains during the morning. Trail side etiquette says you move to the side when the mules pass. We gladly obliged.
Another glimpse of the trail...we're getting close to the river! Hooray! Almost down to the bottom. I love the river. Something about watching the rapids and those boats makes me happy.
It was cool crossing through the South Kaibab tunnel for the first time. There's no tunnel going north to south, so this was something new for us.
Isn't she so cute? I was so proud of her for doing such a hard thing and doing it at 13!
Crossing the South Kaibab bridge. Yes, we took a lot of pictures on the bridge. Good thing I'm only sharing a few of them...
We crossed the bridge at 3 hours into the hike, but by the time we actually finished all our river gazing and picture taking and hiked about another mile to Phantom, it was 3:45 into the hike.
After eating some lunch at Phantom Ranch, partaking of a Snickers bar and lemonade, using the facilities, and filling up our water supply, we were about ready to head out again. Barrett decided to rinse off her caked on red dirt feet and go for some fresh socks too. Ry and I just gave our feet a little breather sans shoes. No blisters...yet.
And alas, after about 50 minutes at Phantom, we are ready to start the trek out.