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Day 10: Hiking out


June 20, 2004

We woke up with sunrise at 4:30am. That night we saw the most beautiful sky we had seen in the whole 10 days of hiking in the Canyon. The temperature is lower the further up in the Canyon you are. In the deepest parts of the Canyon, the temperature is very high, even at night, and we hypothesized that it is more difficult to see a clear sky because of the hazy effect of light crossing hot air. Whatever the reason, that night, we bivouacked more comfortably and we saw the Milky Way clearly up above. In the last days, our desire to bivouac was more determined by our reluctance to build the tent, rather than by seeking the comfort of the wild.

We set up for our planned exit point at around 6am, following the properly named Grandview Trail. Well before noon we made it out of the Canyon into a flock of Grand Canyon Rim visitors, who were gathering around Grandview Point, from where the sights are spectacular.

Seeing us come out of the Canyon with our beards (only Jaime and Guillermo), filthy, sandy, scrubby, and I guess smelly too (we could not tell anymore), people looked at us in awe and asked about our trek. Naturally, at this point, we were so happy and proud of having made it that we were eager to tell our story. Two gentlemen with whom we talked for a while about our adventures were very kind to give Elisabeth a ride back to Grand Canyon Village, where we had left our car, so that she could drive back to pick up the gear and the team.

The rest can be summarized in a happy and long shower, a hefty three-course meal, and some shopping at the gift-shops. All of this with the calm and happy faces that tiredness and accomplishment brings.

We spent a couple days driving around in the area, through Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, and Phoenix, before catching our flight back to the City that never sleeps. Somebody asked us at Grandview Point how it was possible to like New York if we liked to expose ourselves to nature like we had done. Well, after our 10-day trek at the Canyon, New York seemed more beautiful than ever. Long live civilization!