I couldn’t sleep. I laid awake in my sleeping bag from 3am to 5 am. I was anxious to complete the journey. I packed my gear up and was out on the trail at 5:30am. It was still dark and the trail hard to follow so I ended up just sitting in the dark eating some trail mix and energy bars.
As the sun rose I began hammering out the miles along the Tonto Trail. I was so ready to be back. It wasn’t that I was getting sick of the canyon, but that I craved the finish line, to break the tape, and to complete the quest.
I arrived back to the South Kaibab trail after hammering out about 15 miles in the early morning. I still had about 5 miles of hiking and a few thousand vertical feet to climb out but the adventure was over. There was so much commotion along the South Kaibab corridor: perfume scented tourists, tent cities, smelly mules, chainsaws, construction, and 10 foot wide graded surface which the park service calls a trail. It didn’t feel like the wilderness that I trudged through the past week. The trail felt fake. At this point the trip was over; I was just trying to get the heck out.
I finally made it back to the south Kaibab trailhead, the same place I started the journey 6 nights and 5 hours earlier. It was suprisingly anti-climatic. I did the following things after the trip ended:
1. Drank the Old Chub brew that I carried for 56.3 miles from LCR, thanks for that one Ron.
2. Got in bus, rode to backcountry office, weighed pack=18 pounds total, went to truck
3. Texted family to tell them I made it out alive. (I would have called but my phone was about to die.)
4. 2x hot shower, cost me 4 bucks total for 16 minutes of pure bliss
5. Ate food at Market Plaza…It was good but not what I dreamt about… I should have waited until I got to a better restaurant but I was ravenous so I gorged myself on pretty crappy food.
6. Drove to Flagstaff
The horns above must have come from the grandson of this big boy. Such a large creature living in such an inhospitable place. Amazing.
Final view of the canyon from the South Kaibab Trail. So beautiful.
yea yea yea yea yea yea yea
good Old Chub