Alarm clocks came early on departure day. We had a 5:30am breakfast scheduled and we wanted to maximize the energy we filled our bodies with before our hike back out of the canyon. It was still pitch black outside so I went out and grabbed a few last shots of the stars while my brother gazed at the early morning sky and the smell of bacon filled the air. The weather was probably about mid 5os and the skies clear so we anticipated a warm day ahead of us.
We awoke on day 2 with clear skies, warm temperatures and achy muscles. All the stoves were fired up to get some coffee going and some breakfast so we could get outta camp and explore. But we were all having such a good time just hanging out in our little back yard that we didn’t do much exploring till later in the morning. Our first expedition was about 30 feet away at the canteen where we ordered more coffee, played a game of No Thanks (Joe picked up a hat trick with his win on this game) and sent off some postcards. We finally got up enough oomph to head out of camp on a little walk (we decided there would be no hiking today, just walks).
Thirteen months ago my Uncle Rick contacted me to tell me that he had scored 2 nights at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and that I was invited! With about 50% of my life already behind me I quickly accepted the invite, put it on my calendar and readied my pen to mark this off my bucket list. Those thirteen months flew by and it’s time to do this thang! Friday night my brother and I drove down to stay with my folks in Colorado Springs to save us a couple hours driving the next day. We awoke bright and ugly on Saturday morning, snarfed a bite of breakfast down and threw back a couple cups of java before picking up my brother-in-law Todd, life-long friend Tom and Uncle Rick. Two rest stops, one lunch break, 3 filling stations and 12 hours later we rolled into the Highland Country Inn in Flagstaff AZ to rest up before our long trek into the canyon.