Wednesday ,  March 21 ,  2001 

 

We awoke at 6:00 am with great expectations and  1,000  yards of moleskin,  we prepared for our 7.2 mile, 4700 foot descent down the South Kaibab trail. After fortifying ourselves with a wonderful breakfast at Yavapi cafť we arrived at the Back Country office where Patís pack was creaking and weighed in at 32lbs. Terriís also was 32lbs exactly and Anna Marie doesnít give a flip because her pack left this morning at 2:00am on a mule!

We boarded the green shuttle bus to the Kaibab trail head around 8:30. We each strapped on one ice cleat as an insurance policy against the first thousand feet of ice.

While most trails in the Grand Canyon follow ancient Native American routes, this trail was constructed the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC during the 1930ís.  This government organization also built all of the trails in the Smoky Mountain National Park.

As we hiked we compared spring flowers to the more familiar varieties back home and guessed several correctly. Later study of Terriís field guide verified that we spotted Globe Mallow, Desert Trumpet Flower, Brittlebush, White Geranium, Western Whole Leaf Paint brush, Yellow Tack Stem, Wood Betony, Apache Plume, Pussy Toes, Purple Vetch, The Century Plant, aka Agave, Mormon Tea, and all those Yucca things that bit us for the next several days.

Our trek lasted from 9:00am to 2:45pm due to frequent rest stops, Kodak moments and general sighs and sobs at Cedar Rest, OíNeil Butte and the Tip Off.  At approximately 1:30 pm Pat informed the group that as soon as they saw the tunnel they were home free.  Anna Marie screamed, "TUNNEL?"  We never knew she doesn't do tunnels or bridges very well!  Her antics at the South Kaibab black suspension bridge and tunnel kept us entertained all the way to Phantom Ranch. 

Arriving at our wonderful cabin #11, we immediately took advantage of the shower facilities as Terri called Gary; again! Terri and Anna Marie stood in the icy waters of Bright Angel Creek and gazed at the snow tipped rim of the canyon. Pat and Anna Marie passed out cold on the bed and after only 20 minutes were rejuvenated enough to want dinner and attend a ranger presentation with Terri.

Ranger Pamís "Search and Rescue" discussion generated more apprehension and the story of "Poor Bob" motivated us to purchase powdered Gook-n-aid for our Clear Creek adventure and trek across the waterless Tonto. Terri bought a Phantom Ranch T-shirt and we were fast asleep in our bunks by 10:00pm.

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