VIDEO DIARY of a first time Rim to Rim participant- un-edited, uncensored for your viewing pleasure

After a night of little sleep due to my anticipation we began our descent into the Canyon from the South Rim. Come join me as I take on this adventure for the first time and experience the sights, sounds and horrible commentary I experience along the way.

When we started it was pitch black outside, of course it would be as it probably has to do with the time being approximately 2:30am. We pick it up at mile #2 where we are still together as an entire group and making our way into the Canyon via the South Kaibab Trail. Spirits are high and there is much laughter amongst the group, I’m not sure if it was out of pure excitement, or the fact that we were all happy we couldn’t see the shear cliffs that are only a few feet away- personally, it was a little bit of both.

At mile #4, we start to get our first glimpse of the enormity of the Canyon as the sun peaks up over the rim. I couldn’t help but notice how the sun bounces of the rocks and reflects a beautiful color of red for all of us to enjoy. Everyone is still feeling good at this point as we all start to shed layers of clothes to adjust to the heat of the sun. Little did we know, that while I’m shooting this video, Dr. Buckeye is still up in the hills about to get down on one knee and propose to Jean!

After we stopped by the hitching posts and took some group pictures where Sal decided to injure his ribs, we start to creep closer and closer to mile #5 and  to one of the most sought after views of the week for me, the Colorado River. I’m still not sure what it is about the anticipation of seeing rivers for me, is it the idea that in this land of sand there is something that represents life for so many people…water; or is it the thought of how long this natural resource has been carving it’s personality into the walls over the years, I’m not really sure but I’ve always had a special place in my heart for rivers.

After making our way down to the river and a quick stop at Phantom Ranch, we embarq on our approximate 7 mile hike of relatively flat trail. This is where I separated from the main group and was able to spend a lot of time hiking by myself. You’ll start to see my competitive side come out here as I try and keep a mental ranking of where I am in comparison to other hikers, sorry it’s what keeps me going when I need a little kick. As you will see, this section skirts along a some rock walls and continues along a feeder stream from the Roaring Falls spring branch. I’m still feeling really good at this point

At mile #12 is where  my first problem kicks in, which I didn’t realize at the time. The balls of my feet were burning really bad. Considering I have never walked more than 12 miles across the Grand Canyon in a day I chalked it up as the ground being really hot- uh, not really dummy, that’s what is the start to blisters… ooops

The reality of actually hiking back out of the Canyon starts to kick in at mile #15. At this time, I was feeling a little down and started to second-guess my decision to make this trip. The reality is, I don’t really have an option and have to keep moving forward as I know the next few miles are going to be the most difficult so far. Even as down as I was,  as you can see the scenery and surroundings still make this a beautiful experience.

We pick it up again at mile #17, where I was pretty sure I may not make it out. The last few miles were by far the most challenging part of the hike so far. My favorite part about this section was the ability to take a look back and actually see the progress I had made. It was uplifting to know I only had 4-5 miles to go and I could say I hiked from Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon! It’s obvious from my ramblings and inability to string a sentence together that I may have been getting a little delirious at this point.

Only two miles left, but as you can tell I’m just slightly winded I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel at this point. The past few miles have now been the hottest I have hiked in all day. I am just below the Supai tunnel and you are exposed to the sun bouncing of the Canyon walls during this stretch. The group is very spread out at this point and it begs the question I’m sure many of us asked along the way- “I hope everyone is OK”

 I did not take any video from here on out- but that was on purpose. I did not want to record the home-stretch, simply because I wanted to be able to enjoy the end of the hike and have the sheer excitement as a memory that will keep me satisfied until I go back again this year.