Planning the Hike
In my humble opinion, anyone that has any link to or enjoyment of the outdoors has probably dreamt of
traveling in the Grand Canyon. Since moving to Arizona, the question became, not when, but
which trip to take into the Canyon.
Fear of Heights
On my first trip to the Canyon (as a native of New Jersey) with 2 carloads of guys out here
at a conference, I discovered that I had an acute fear of heights. Not only couldn't I get
close the the edge, it made me nauseous to watch someone else go near the edge (go figure!).
After that, I resolved to beat this silly fear and I started hiking. I hiked trails and mountains to stress
myself (like Squaw Peak and Camelback in Phoenix) and slowly beat the fear down. Even better than that, I
discovered that I loved Hiking.
How to Start
Several guys at my office also wanted to trek the Canyon, but none of us really knew how to start
(safely, that is). I, for one, have never even camped out overnight. (Really, not once, never!)
We discovered a Trailguide service on the web named
Sky Island Treks that could assist us and guide us safely. They provided us with
all the gear (tents, sleeping bags, packs, food) and most importantly, a fine guide in the
person of Eb Eberlein.
We started the trip planning in April for an October hike. The backcountry permits required
to stay overnight in the Canyon are applied for 5 months in advance!
We decided on a Rim-to-Rim hike starting from the North Rim, down the North Kaibab Trail,
with overnight stops at Cottonwood Campground and Phantom Ranch. Then up the Bright Angel Trail with
an overnight at Indian Gardens. Finally ending at Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim.
The crew consisted of me, Alan Morgan, and Ryan Allen. We are all fellow geeks at
Direct Alliance Corp. based in Tempe, Arizona.
The picture to the left is the obligatory before picture. This is where we
are clean, still smell good, and have all the energy in the world. (This picture was taken
at the Desert View overook on the South Rim. In the large view, you can see the watchtower
in the background.)
Interestingly, we each trained for this hike differently. I hiked lunchhours on South Mountain with
longer hikes on weekends; Alan played (and coached) basketball; and Ryan worked out at the gym with
many miles on the Stairmaster.
Join Us on our geeks tour of the canyon.