One Month After the GC 2012 Hike …

by Jean on July 15, 2012

Reflections on GC 2012 …  another great Grand Canyon hike is in the rear view mirror.  The blisters are healed, and it’s back to work as usual.  It is hard to believe this was my 9th year in a row hiking, and I miss the Grand Canyon already.

GC 2012 was an awesome year.  I think this was the year was the year of the Family.  We always end up as the “Grand Canyon Family” as a collective group of new friends, but this year the veteran hikers brought along new hikers with titles such as best friends, niece, son, son-in-law, daughter, and sister.

I love watching a hiker go through the Canyon, truly “get” the experience, and then return the next year and bring someone close to them that they know will love the adventure.  This year was full of Bucket List type dreams come true.  The joy on a father’s face, the pride of a sibling, a niece who flies through the Canyon with the Iron Woman, and the anxious worry of a good friend.

For me, this was the year of the bad shoe.  I did not train on rocks with my minimalist shoes and this was a big mistake.  By the time I was on the bottom of the canyon I realized I had bruised my feet.  This kept me from hiking the second day, the second way, which was at first a personal disappointment.

But sometimes the best hiking decision to make is the one to not hike.  No matter how many years you have hiked Rim to Rim, each year is different and a serious ongoing self-evaluation of your physical abilities is necessary as the hike goes along.  I had absolutely no business stepping foot on the trail to go North to South, for the safety of my fellow hikers and myself.  As expected, with a hiking date close to mid-June, the second day hikers hit high temperatures along the 2 mile river trail in deep sand with the sun overhead.  It was 120 degrees in the sun, and 117 degrees in the shade.  There was brutal heat in the inner canyon.

I must shout out a big Thank You to Katie, my trusted long time hiking buddy and good friend of over 20 years.  After we left the Pumphouse and I started to fade, she told me children’s book stories (who knew that Larry sitting on an old tree stump would ignite this discussion?).  In other words, Katie kept talking to get me past the moment and past those miles.  Sometimes the veteran hiker still needs another veteran hiker, and I am grateful for her endless support.

Congratulations to all the GC 2012 hikers and thanks to our wonderful Rim Wrangler on a great year.  I hope to see you all soon at the reunion parties and again at the Grand Canyon !!!


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