One of our guides leading the Grand Canyon hike suggested that we call Cacti “Cactuses” instead. He said that “Cacti” just sounded weird. Quite frankly, they both do.
But they are definitely cool looking, especially when they’re flowering.
We made our descent into the canyon at a rather rapid rate for all of the rocks we were trekking through. Like a landslide of rocks down into the canyon, the piles upon piles of rocks we were navigating seemed like perfect places for snakes to hang out to me.
I asked if there were no rattlesnakes in the canyon as it seemed that it would be difficult to keep an eye out for rattlesnakes while moving at such a rate. I was told that there most definitely were rattlers in the canyon but told that they don’t attack unless they feel threatened. That wasn’t reassuring; I keep my eyes a little more open so that I didn’t threaten any unsuspecting snakes.
Apparently, the rattlesnakes in the Grand Canyon are PINK! I find it fascinating how animals can make such adaptations in order to blend in. I wanted to see it…kind of.
The opportunity arose when we were camped at Cottonwood Creek. I caught wind of the rattlesnake sighting but decided I’d rather not see it myself. A little bit later, after a few of my trekking companions talked about how cool it was that it was pink, I changed my mind.
There is a feeling you get when you choose to leave everything behind and go out into the great outdoors. It is empowering. It is freeing. It is backpacking bliss.
Speaking of bliss, I somehow managed to land an overnight permit for Mount Whitney in late June. I’m stoked but a little nervous too.
From what I am reading, there seems to be a high probability that we will encounter some snow on our journey — possibly A LOT of it. This California girl doesn’t ski, or snowboard, so I don’t have much experience with the snow.
If any of you have helpful advice on snow hiking skills, or hiking Mt. Whitney, I’d love to hear it.
It was the night before our big adventure. There we were, sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon, taking in the vastness of the canyon itself. I had examined our itinerary against the map many times and still could not wrap my head around how much of this huge expanse we were to explore — especially now. It was the first time in the 48 years of my life I’d set eyes on it and I was impressed. Scared even.
On Day 1 we were to trek down to the bottom of the canyon. If that wasn’t enough, the weather prediction was for rain and snow showers! I’d brought along everything I could think of that could keep me warm in cold temperature but still wasn’t sure it would be enough. I’m a wimp when it comes to cold. California born and raised, and spoiled rotten by our nearly always warm weather.
Then there was food. Our information said they would provide us with breakfast and dinner but how much food would be provided was not known. Would it be a 300 calorie allotment? Or more? I wanted to be sure my lunches and snacks would supplement the provided meals adequately.
There were too many unknowns and my pack was already getting heavy. We would be given some of the group gear and food to carry. The question was: How much?
The participants and leaders met in the market parking lot where our load was inspected and trimmed down to 35 pounds or less. Much of what I had brought with me was left behind. Then, me and 10 other hikers were off for our grand adventure.
I hoped and prayed I’d be warm, have adequate nutrition, and was trained well enough to pull me through the trek’s entirety without incident.
In my year in review post, I mentioned some plans I’ve got cooking to cross off another item I’ve had on my Bucket List. My list has grown in a cross-off-one-item add two sort of way, but this particular item has been on since the very beginning.
Originally, I envisioned just visiting this place with my boys. After my backpacking trip to hike Half Dome, however, merely visiting this majestic place seemed inadequate. BoBo stopped by there to gawk at it’s grandeur on his drive across the states. He snapped a photo, sent it to me, and drove onward. I hardly seemed adequate but he was on a tight deadline with orders to check in for his new assignment in only a couple of days. I decided that I wanted to do it differently; I want to trek into the backcountry and really experience the canyon from inside and out.
I began making longterm plans which included sending YaYa to backpacking camps each summer for the past few years. I feel like the time is now for him. High school will soon be demanding everything of him and hanging out with his mom will be of less importance. As for me, I learned as much as I could from theMAN on our backpacking adventures. I also started collecting my own gear so that I wouldn’t have to buy it all at once when the time came to go. I’ve learned a lot, but I still don’t feel like I can go it alone…
So I’ve signed up for a group trip where the itinerary, meals, and even much of the gear is provided — along with a fearless leader. Now, all we need to do is get there (airfare and hotel for before & after), oh yeah, and TRAIN FOR IT.