Tanner Trail Grand Canyon

Tanner trail-18 miles roundtrip-10,000 ft. elevation gain and loss.I am returning to Phoenix from Denver this evening and doing this tripreportinstead of sleeping for those of you that have been asking about the tripreport. You had better appreciate it as I am just mildly exhausted.After spending the week in El PAso and Las Vegas, El Lobo was ready for oneofthe planet's most spectacular destinations-THE GRAND CANYON. The Belagiowasinteresting, but overrated. I did enjoy spending some time with my goodfriends Al and Dan.Tadd Hill met me Friday afternoon at my office and we were able to get going around 3:30. The weather reports were not good but we were willing to taketherisk.Ted and I have been trying to get this trip in for close to three years andjust haven't been able to pull it off, so we were not going to let a little snow stop us. By making this trip Tadd has now removed himself from the badboy Canyon Delinquent list.We arrived at the Cameron trading post around 7:00 and did a littleshopping.This trading post has everything imaginable. El Lobo treated himself to anewcowboy hat that was badly needed. Souveneirs are very important on thesetrips.We had dinner in the trading post restaraunt that was nicely decorated forChristmas. This is a beautiful dining area and the rooms are extaordinary-andonly 59 bucks. Those who know the canyon, know to stay at the trading postrather than the South Rim lodges.Tadd and I both elected to go with the Indian Tacos. They were deliciousbutprobably not the best choice of a meal prior to doing a challenging hike.Thischoice however made us both lethal on the trail.The sky was clear at Cameron in the morning with the usual awesome Arizonaskyof stars, when we left at 6:00 A.M.We were optomistic that we had missed the storm until we got within 20milesof the Canyon. The weather was nasty with dark skies, wind and snow.Our plan at this point was to test the steep section of the trail andestablish check points for return. We started at 7:30. After the firstmilethe snow let up and we stripped off the fleece and shells.This portion of the Canyon is wide open and the views are spectacular.Thereare two very steep sections to this trail and the rest is gradual. Afterabout5 miles, large sections of the river come into view. AWESOME!!!!!We arrived at the river at 11:15 and had a nice lunch in the sun. This areaisvery pretty with great places to set up camp. There are willows andcattailsas well as sand dunes.The Beamer trail goes East 9 miles to the little Colorado and theEscalantegoes West to the New Hance trail, about 8 miles. Backpack trips coveringthisground are planned for this year.We started back at noon. We needed to get moving to avoid hiking in thedark.We were concerned that the trail was covered with snow at the upperelevation.Indeed, a storm had blown in and the last two miles was a littlechallengingto say the least. This section is a 2000 foot gain. After going for 16milesup and down 8000 feet we were a little tired. The snow was thickening andthetrail was being covered fast. After the first mile, I was sucking windaftereach switchback. Tadd was doing great. The last mile was slow, but we madeitout at 4:15 with an hour and 15 minutes of buffer time untill sunset.We spent some time at Desert view gazing at where we had been. It is alwaysfun and amazing to view your distance.Overall this hike is rated as a 9.5. We did not see a soul all day. Ofcoursewe were the only ones crazy enough to be down there! Tadd is a great hikingpartner-we really enjoyed this one. Going down and back in one day isprobablynot recommended, I believe it is close in comparison to doing rim to rim,but if you are in the right shape and enjoy a little torture blended withecstasy-then go for it!The drive back to Phoenix was a long one with many stretches of black icegoing into Flagg. We did come upon a bad broadside accident and Tadd calledinto emergency as soon as we hit Flag.Our treat for this hike was going to be a chocolate shake in Flag but thefreezing temp made us reconsider our plan and we stopped at Verde ValleyMcdonalds.This Mcdonalds has been a trouble spot for Gerry, Haanu and I. On apreviousadventure, we stopped at three places trying to get a shake and every onehada broken machine. But this time the machine was working! Sort of. Aftergetting our "chocolate shakes" and sitting down, my taste buds told mevanilla. I opened the top of shake and it was all white. I returned theshaketo the counter and requested a chocolate shake. The attendant told me thatIhad a chocolate shake, but she would make me another.The second shake also tasted vanilla, and was white. When I returned thisone,I was told yet again that I had a chocolate shake. I was told that thechocolate was at the bottom. I tried to explain that I wanted chocolatethrougout my shake but this did not seem to compute. Soo I asked if theirstrawberry shakes tasted like vanilla and looked like vanilla. I was toldthatthey were strawberry. So I ordered a strawberry shake. The strawberry shakealso tasted vanilla and looked vanilla.I took my two chocolate shakes and 1 strawberry home in the cooler forClint.Clint was delighted.On Sunday evening Gerry and I spent a very nice evening enjoying a poetryreading at Russ Mosser's home.Russ was one of our companions on the Thunder river backpack.The reading was given by one Geofrey Platt. Geofrey was a friend of EdwardAbbey's and lives in Cave Creek in a dwelling without any electricity orwater.He read some of his poems as well as others. He is a very good reader.The food was really good and we really enjoyed the company. This was a funevening for both of us.I will be going to San Francisco and Sacramento this week and we will bespending our weekend at a Cabin on the Mogollon rim with our good friendsDolans, Jaspers,and Peterrrrrr the sheep. Peterrrr's signifigant other will be out of townthis weekend.We are looking forward to a relaxing time and perhaps a little excitementinthe evening at Kohl's ranch cowboy/cowgirl bar.

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