"No Country For Old Men"
John Hance (1840 – January 26, 1919) is thought to be the first non-native resident of the Grand Canyon. He opened the first tourist trail in the canyon in the late nineteenth century.
He later abandoned this "trail" in 1895 and built what is now known as the "New Hance
Trail. Little remains of the original trail, landslides have covered much of it. It is now referred to as a 'route', and that term is generous.
I have wanted to do this remote, historic off trail route for the past 10 years and when the opportunity presented itself, I had to go for it. Bill Orman, a Dr. from Tuba City and master of off trail routes, (particularly in Marble Canyon) offered to accompany us on this weekend.
So, 2 weeks ago Zo and I started training, not wanting to miss the opportunity. We underestimated the difficulty and lazily
did not get into industrial strength shape, adding to the adventure. The terrain was extremely steep, brush choked, boulder strewn, and tormented us with prickly, spiny, stabbing flora and dangerous rock slides to negotiate.
Very few exceptionally strong hikers that possess excellent navigation skills have attempted this route. Bill Orman is one of these people, having previously explored and completed the route. He patiently lead us down and out the Tonto/Grandview.
It was one hell of a day of scrambling, climbing, boulder hopping and hiking that included 7400' of elevation gain/loss. We started at 6AM and finished an hour before dark. (5PM) It was truly a Canyon Tough! Tough! Tough! route!
Today, we are Licking our wounds, my hamstrings are shot! But.......... we got er done!!