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Planning My Hike (July 2021)

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

Hello, it’s the end of week two of my journey to prepare for my challenge hike of the Grand Canyon. I would also like to wish everyone a wonderful Independence Day commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4th 1776. This week I continued my daily walks at the increased four miles per day and I again hiked the Colby Trail, Glendora California on Tuesday. I am starting to break in my new hiking shoes and my newly purchased hiking stick, Distance Z Trekking Poles purchased at REI CO-OP ( I would have to say that the hiking sticks or trekking poles are essential especially for a beginner like myself it saved me from sliding and falling a few times. My progress to climb this Colby Trail seemed to not be any better than last week so I was somewhat disappointed in myself. My friend Pam who was hiking with me just kept giving me encouragement saying “it will come, and you can do this” she always seems to stay positive. My suggestion to anyone attempting to challenge yourself, whatever the challenge may be, there are two things that I have found to be incredibly helpful. First, announce your challenge and goals, that way it is a bit harder for you to give up easily, and secondly surround yourself with positive people that will encourage you and cheer you on because trust me you will be full of self-doubt about whether you will ever successfully achieve your challenge. My plan for the Grand Canyon Hike in October 2022 is starting to come together. We will have our backpacks and whatever camping gear we need packed down into the canyon to Phantom Ranch camp by Mule and the following day they will be packed back up to the South Rim Trailhead. That way we will only need to pack our day hike packs with just essential items like water snacks, first aid etc. a much lighter load. see outlining Grand Canyon hiking tips and recommended essential items to pack along.

· Well-fitting pack.

· Food and water.

· Hiking sticks carry two collapsible, one for each hand if necessary to take stress off your legs.

· Wear well-fitting and broken-in hiking boots.

· Small lightweight flashlight and a change of batteries and bulb.

· Sunscreen.

· Sunglasses, and a hat.

· Map.

· Compass.

· Signal mirror.

· Whistle.

· First aid kit.

· Water purification tablets.

· Something to pack your trash in as all trash needs to be carried out of the canyon.

We’ll begin our hike at South Kaibab Trailhead which begins south of Yaki Point on Yaki Point Road. We will proceed down to Ooh Aah Point then to Cedar Ridge, and on to Skeleton Point before passing through the tunnel leading to the Kaibab Suspension Bridge over the Colorado River to our destination for the night Phantom Ranch. As there is no water along the South Kaibab trail, we’ll bring plenty of water. This trail even though mostly downhill I am told is still very strenuous on the knees and ankles as your body is not used to hiking downhill for this distance, the canyon is one mile deep, and the South Kaibab trail itself about 10 miles long. So, I will prepare by doing exercises to strengthen those muscle groups (more on exercises next week). Our plan is to stay for one night at the bottom of the Grand Canyon at Phantom Ranch. The following morning on day two we’ll have breakfast and having packed our sack lunch into our packs head over to the Bright Angel Suspension Bridge passing back over the Colorado River and begin our trek up the Bright Angel Trail to the south rim trailhead.

To help prepare myself, in October 2021, we will hike down the South Rim Bright Angel Trail to the Mile and a Half Resthouse and back that will be a 3-mile round trip and a good trial test to allow us to get the sense and the hang of the trip. The following spring 2021 we will hike either to Three Mile Resthouse (a 6-mile round trip) or possibly to Indian Garden and back (a 12-mile round trip). There is water at both stops along the Bright Angel Trail, but we’ll take plenty of water just in case!

See you next week for my post on week three activities.

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