Finally, a brief report on our emergency family adventure trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We were gone for 6 days. We spent Saturday night on the rim of the Canyon, descended (2 by mule, 2 by hiking) on Sunday, spent two nights at Phantom Ranch in Bright Angel Canyon at the bottom, and came back up on Tuesday. We spent a luxurious second night on the rim and half of Wednesday in the park before we finally drove off for a brief but fun family visit in Prescott on our way to Phoenix (and our Thursday AM plane home).
It was all really, really fun and a thorough getaway in feel. The canyon is beautiful, of course, and even more astonishingly so when you are IN it rather than just looking into it. We all had fun, and it was interesting to be together and apart in different family configurations throughout the four middle days of the trip.
Because it was a way to get housing at Phantom Ranch, Will (15) and I signed on for the mule trip down and up; Eric and Jesse hiked. Jesse (12) was a great hiker…7.5 miles down on Sunday and 10 miles up on Tuesday. Will and I enjoyed our mules and the feeling of riding on a sure-footed animal on narrow precipitous trails. The mule-train guides were friendly and we saw a lot on the way down and back (but no longhorn sheep).
I think I could have hiked, because my radiation fatigue went away on Saturday! but I suspect the hike out of the canyon would have pretty much worn me out. On Wednesday Eric, Will, and I went down the Bright Angel trail 1.25 miles in search of petroglyphs, and then up again of course…so I got a little vertical hiking in. (I hiked down and up in 1993 too.)