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Trip Report - July, 1989 - Rim-To-Rim on the Bright Angel and North Kaibab Trails

Now I had been on two hiking trips to the Grand Canyon but I had still yet to get to the bottom, to stand next the Colorado River and those rapids I had seen from Plateau Point. Robin and I had been planning a trip out to the Southwest with her sisters, niece, and brother-in-law to share with them some of the wonderful things we had discovered over the past several years. The trip was going to start in Phoenix and end in Albuquerque and was supposed to take in both the north and south rims of the Grand Canyon. Light bulb goes off in head. Let them drive from rim to rim and I will walk across and meet them on the other side. Her brother-in-law thought this was a good idea and he decided that he would do it with me.

I knew I could do this. It would not be any more difficult than anything I had done so far. Even though I would be going all the way to the bottom and back up again, I would be doing it over two days, spending a night at Phantom Ranch, at the bottom of the Canyon. The first day would be 9½ miles down the Bright Angel Trail and the second day would be 14 miles up the North Kaibab Trail.

Once planned, I spent several months getting in shape for this trip. I wanted to be in the best shape possible because I knew it was not going to be easy. All of my prior hiking in the Canyon had been done during the late fall, in November and December, but this trip was going to be in early July, one of the hottest possible times to be hiking in the Grand Canyon, with temperatures in the inner gorge going well over the century mark. So work at getting into shape I did and I was in the best shape of my life for this trip, slimmed down to a nice 165 pounds.

Robin's brother-in-law ended up bailing out on the trip before we were very far along into the planning stages, not just the cross-canyon hike, but also the whole trip. Since I already had my heart set and my mind made up there was no way that I was not going to do it, just because I would be doing it alone. I actually enjoyed getting out and being by myself once in a while and I figured this would be a good opportunity for me to do some more bonding with the Canyon. Solitude is not very good when it is imposed on you against your will but it's not that hard to deal with when it is a personal decision. And after all it was only two days and I would likely meet lots of people along the way.

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Day 1 - Bright Angel Trail to Phantom Ranch
Day 2 - North Kaibab Trail to North Rim

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