Friday, January 16, 2015

Canyons...

Yesterday, Leo and I woke up to this view just outside of Page, AZ.  Pretty fucking awesome for camping off a random side road. While Leo made breakfast, I entertained my inner child and climbed on some nearby rock formations. Afterwards, we headed for the Lower Antelope Canyon, which one of Leo's friends had suggested. We weren't disappointed. I won't fill up the blog with a ton of unnecessary pictures. If you google antelope canyon you'll get enough pictures to almost make you sick of the place. None of them do it justice though. Go. You have to go with a tour guide, but it's less than $30/person. Our tour guide was super cool too. He knew plenty about the canyon and enough about photography show Leo how to get some really cool pictures utilizing all the neat features on his fancy camera.
Right after our tour we made a B line for the Grand Canyon. We started to use old hwy 89, but it was closed due to a big landslide a couple years ago, and because I'm a horrible navigator, I didn't realize that there's an alternate hwy 89 that would have been super short for us to detour to. Instead we went back up into Utah. But hey, along the way we found a nice boulder to climb around on. So that's a plus. On the flip side, Leo is currently driving to I don't even know where, using his GPS as his only navigation. 
We finally made it to the Grand Canyon national park last night and got a room so we could clean up. Camping is awesome, but I fucking love showers. Hot showers. Long, hot showers. Our plan this morning was to step onto Bright Angel Trail by 8, but sleeping in was just too tempting. We made it to the trail and caught a glimpse of this sign. 
Immediately after seeing it, we both said something along the lines of, "Fuck that sign! We got this shit!" We made it to the Colorado river by 1140 (we started at 0850), and took a 30 minute break to have lunch and chill out. Btw, the water in the Colorado River is fucking cold. We started our trek back up the mountain and made it to the Indian Garden (3 miles from the river) in just over an hour. We picked up the pace a little after that and made the next three miles right at an hour. As we got higher up the light was better for pictures (the shade on the way down in the early morning wasn't the least bit conducive to our efforts at photography) so we slowed down and took in some kick ass views.  The closer we got to the top the colder it got. Apparently, in the 75th Ranger regiment they have a saying that says, "travel light, freeze at night" so Leo basically only carried a light jacket, water, and sandwiches. Well let me tell you something, I'm a fucking civilian and I hate being cold more than terrorism. I wore a Patagonia base layer, a t-shirt, a Nike pullover, and a hoodie. On my torso. I shed all but the t-shirt by the time we got to the bottom, but I put my Nike pullover back on on the way up. And my gloves. I would have donned my beanie and hoodie as well, but my fingers quit working and I couldn't open my bag, and Leo had already gotten out my gloves for me. I suffered through the rest of the way to the top. And there was snow. Fucking snow.  I hate snow. If I'm not snowboarding in it, I don't want anything to do with it. But shortly thereafter, we made it back to the top, coming in at just under seven hours. Of course, this was necessary.  We were both soaked with sweat. Freezing sweat. It's been almost 3 hours since we finished and my fair weather ass is just now beginning to warm up. Ridiculous. I'm really not sure where we're going tomorrow, but I'm sure it'll be a kick ass time! I'll let you know how this mystery venture goes when I get the chance. Until then..