In a word: Fabulous. In two words: Not Stinky. In five words: I even took a nap! I'm not talking about the hike, I'm talking about the dreaded shuttle ride from the South Rim to the North Rim. I was not looking forward to that at all since the last trip when I was trapped in a super stinky, too cramped van for four hours. But this time, we got the NEW van that had not gotten stinky yet, AND Kevin and I had the four person back seat to ourselves! So I took advantage of the situation (not the one from the Jersey Shore) and laid down and fell asleep. Our driver's name was Steve and he had crazy eyes, but those eyes came in handy when a deer darted in front of us. There was rain along the way. And a rainbow, which Crazy Eye Steve kept pointing out and swerving off the side.
Before we started out trek as we were waiting for the shuttle to load up, an Italian woman was fascinated with the new hiking poles that Kevin had bought this summer. They are super light weight and collapse to smaller than other poles. She spoke to him in Italian and then she called all of her Italian friends over so they could admire them too. It was quite a sight to see him explaining to these people in English and they responded in Italian.
So, it was chilly when we got to the North Rim. I know that's all relative, but I was not prepared. Fortunately, I had a husband who bought me gloves and ear warmers.
There he goes! I had a fellow hiker ask me if someone was chasing me because I was going so fast. I told him "No! I'm trying to keep with that guy!" I did twist my ankle pretty bad and heard a crack, but kept going. What were my options? Sit?
At the next usual stop, there were workers doing some tree trimming. Kevin talked to one of the workers and discussed the trees that were there and what needed to be done to take them down, etc. Then we came to a group of hikers that yelled out "Who wants to see a rattle snake?" What are you supposed to say to that? Yes, but not too close? Kevin told them it wasn't a rattle snake (they were from New York, so they probably think that all snakes in AZ are rattlers) You be the judge.
We traveled a little further and some other hikers paused to admire a plant that looks like a giant morning glory
It's hard to tell from this picture how big it is, but it is about the size of a softball. As the ladies were admiring it, speculating as to what kind of flower it was, Kevin breezed by and said "That's a datura plant. It's poisonous and a hallucinogenic." I'm sure they were shocked to have this drive by expert just spout off that information. I dubbed him the "Ben Driggs of the North Kaibab Trail" since he knew all of the flora and fauna. Only Mountain View members will get that reference.
We got to Phantom Ranch, had a quick bite then left. I was hitting the wall, and had to mentally gear myself up for the task ahead. I don't think I've felt like that for a while. But I drank my Perpetuem (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) and took off. Devil's Corkscrew was next and I HATE the sandy part leading up to it because it is not easy to walk through sand in hiking boots, but thanks to the recent rain, the sand was packed down. Whooppee
I got out at the top, all sweaty, disgusting, dirty with my pack on and hiking poles and some older man said to his wife "Here comes a serious walker." If I had the energy, I would have told him all of the serious WALKING I had done all day long.
I checked in to the Maswik Lodge, and it was lovely to have a bath and clean up. We ate at the Maswik Lodge as well, and Kevin and I couldn't decide if it was because the food was so good or the fact that we were so hungry, but it was the best meal we had on this trip. Hands down! AND to top it off, the Utah vs byu game was on!! We kept saying what a perfect evening it was. Sad for the team that lost very badly though. Lucky for us, that wasn't who we were cheering for!
Thanks to the McKellars for keeping our people safe. Olivia did suffer a minor head injury when she was jumping up to see Dillan's snake and hit her head on the edge of the cabinet and she has a small gash in the top of her head, but that could happen anytime, even if I was looking right at her.
***NOTICE*** Sisters and Brother, This is NOT the hike that we will be doing next fall. That one will only be 17 miles of hiking. This one was a little longer at 24 miles. Oh, and the crack in my ankle? I don't think I broke it or anything, but it stills hurts. I put myself on mandatory Kindle reading until the end of the week. Then I will stop reading. Maybe. Unless I find another good book to read. Why are there so many books I want to read? Will I ever get them all read? If not, please put some in my casket. Seriously.