Back to the Canyon Phantom Creek

: Back to the Canyon-The Endless Bummer "To know the Canyon is to love it? Not necessarily. Crawling up the TannerTrail some moonlight night in August, without food or water, you will hatethe Canyon. That pale rim, so far above, higher than five Empire StateBuildings piled one upon another, seems inaccessable as heaven, remote assalvation. But if you survive...Who could ask for a finer place than our Canyon to taste life deeply byrisking life?By Hanging over the edge? Edward Abbey, 1982, Down theRiverGrand Canyon Trip Plan-Phantom Ranch, Utah Flats, Phantom Creek, PhantomRanch, Indian Gardens-out.Trip Actual-Phantom Ranch-OutGroup-Steve Y, El Lobo, Frank, Dianne and Lynn.Hola amigos,Que onda?Cómo estaba su fin de semana? El mio, estaba un poco tibio.Yesterday at Phantom Ranch it was 102 in the shade. The previous eveningthe ranch area was crawling with the ORDER Scorpionida. The unseasonableheat brought out these nocturnal predators. (What Global warming?)Dingo Dan had reported that his friend Drewsky's sister had been stungthree times two weeks ago at the Ranch. I thought that Dingo was againtelling one of his whoppers. Wrong!After enjoying a couple of ice cold Bud's at the canteen, EL Lobo'sflashlight found Centuroides exilicauda all along the path back to thecampsite. His decision to not carry down a tent and to sleep under thestars weighed heavily on his mind. He knew he would be their prey thatnight. He finally went to sleep but woke up to find one of these crittersfull of neurotoxins crawling on his bag. The large harvest moon allowedimmediate eye contact. The venomous attack was successfully thwarted. Atthis point Lobo decided to forget the much needed sleep and post himself asguard all night. Morning came quickly as Steve got up at 4:00 to get readyfor a 5:00 breakfast.The previous day, we drove to the canyon and started down the all toofamiliar and boring Kaibab trail at 10:30. While having lunch on thetrail, a big horn sheep cautiously scooted past us. Seeing this magnificentcreature on such a heavily used trail seemed extraordinary.Halfway down, Steve and I elected to find the old lower Miner's trail andsent the other three members of the party down the Kaibab. Hacía caluroso!!We had difficulty finding the route and burned up a lot of time and water.After descending a steep 500' we lost the route. This left us totallyexposed to the sun with little water, so we made the decision to cut ourlosses and go back up. This drained us physically, and when we finallyarrived at the ranch we were just a bit dehydrated and extremely pleased tocross Bright Angel Creek to the campground.Diane and Lynn brought back iced lemonade from the Ranch and it was superb!They were very close to reporting our absence to the Park Ranger.That afternoon we saw a desert fox slowly meandering through the bush. Verycool! Steve was able to get us into the shower for the cabins and we wererefreshed and good to go for the next day's climb up to Utah Flats.We got an early start the next morning in an effort to avoid as much of thedeadly heat as possible. The climb up to the flats is steep and the lowerpart is nothing but scree. We had not climbed too far when Lynn exclaimed"No F%$*ing way!" and asked Steve for his car keys and wished to notparticipate in this fun. Steve held a quick meeting and it was decided ifone went back then we all would go back. El Lobo was all OK with this inconsideration of all factors. I certainly could forego the pain.On the way down, the weight of Lynn's pack was too much and she took anasty fall and was in a precarious position. Steve attempted to help herbut also slipped on the scree and somersaulted into Lynn and they both camewithin inches of going over a a large boulder. The rest of the party wasable to carefully assist and we all got back down OK.Steve and Lynn were bruised and cut, but no broken bones. We were lucky.After administering the proper first aid, the group headed back to the rimvia the Bright Angel Trail. It was a long, hot arduous 4500' climb that weall grinded out. Both Steve and I have come out on this trail so many timesthat it's familiarity makes us loco.We showered at the top and finished the four hour drive to my house around6:30. A long day. When we arrived at Lobo's den, Lobo discovered that hisbag of changed clothing and other good stuff was missing. It was left atthe shower. Estúpido!Some days go better than others. The Canyon is always tough. Some canyontrips are more painful than others. Some are actually enjoyable. It's beena while.Overall this trip is rated a 7.0 High marks go for cold beer at theranch, great company and time that our group shared. And, after all, we areprivileged to be able to explore this wonder of the world.Thanks to Steve for organizing and to Frank for driving.

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