05.17.2013 - 05.17.2013 96 °F
We woke refreshed, having gained an extra hour of sleep from switching time zones, and gulped down a cold breakfast. Armed with lunches, sunscreen and high energy we struck off for the Rim Trail, a 9 mile trek offering stunning views of the canyon, with the highest elevation point at 6,800 ft. The last time T and I were hiking at this altitude, I admit to feeling a bit winded. This time around, I handled the altitude fine as we meandered along the rim at the doddering pace of 33 minutes per mile, which afforded us ample opportunity to stop and marvel at every scenic outlet.
I noticed that T was so engrossed in the journey he nearly walked into a bush on the edge of the cliff, I laughingly pulled him to safety, successfully avoiding potential disaster. T has pinned me with a reputation for clumsiness, so it was particularly satisfying that, this time, I was the one saving him. After some rigorously scientific calculations, we decided that about 10% of our conversation was specifically allocated to me talking T out of committing very dangerous acts. Damn him and his over confidence; although, honestly, I like watching him saunter up to the edge of a mile + long drop, stare down and laugh like the world hasn't just dropped out from under his feet. Me being the more risk averse of the two of us, I crawled on belly to the very edge of the Grand Canyon and peered down. Afterwards, I scribbled three words in my journal: vertigo, breathtaking, dazzled.
We passed the evening with card playing (tying 375 to 375 in rummy) and laundry doing. Dinner was cheesy potatoes, asparagus and onions roasted over the fire. Dessert was a delicious half gallon of chocolate milk; we justified this calorie splurge as our reward for being counted as being part of the very small portion of tourists to complete the south rim trail entirely on foot.
I feel asleep remembering the days little delights. In the bathroom of the Grand Canyon South Rim Shop and Mountain Museum a sign over the toilet bowl gave me pause. In big, bold letters, it read: “WARNING: Recycled potable water. Do not drink.” I wonder how many people took a sip before posting a sign became a necessity?