If you're close to me at all you know that I'm emotional. I mean, I can't believe I'm about to admit this on the internet, but to give you an example I've even cried during a movie preview before.
So, of course, when I first laid my eyes on the Grand Canyon last month tears arose and an ache in my chest swelled, all of which I tried to hide from both my boyfriend and the tourists walking by. It was beautiful. No really. Absolutely and quite possibly the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. Honestly I was surprised by the effect it had on me. It was unexpected. I mean you grow up seeing pictures of it your whole life so your mind almost starts to become jaded by it. But pictures don't do it justice. Not at all. So, leaving the park two days later without photos was frustrating but honestly not a big deal in the grander scheme of things. No matter how well I know my camera I could have never taken a picture as jaw dropping as the one in my head. There was something about the vast expanse of it that left you speechless. Something that made you feel so small, so insignificant, and so thankful. It swallowed you. I mean, they don't call it "grand" for nothing.
The reason for our trip was an "unorganized organized" run that a small (30-40?) group of people do every Spring. The goal is to run from the top of the South Kaibab Trail, down to the river, across, and up the Bright Angel Trail to the top. Sixteen miles and 4000 vertical feet down and back up. And we did it in 8 hours.
And I'm not even a runner, really. An athlete of any kind for that matter. I've just gotten into trail running over the last year. Granted we didn't run the entire thing, especially the vertical miles. But even still it was the hardest thing I have ever accomplished. The park doesn't even recommend doing that as a day hike, much less running it in under 8 hours. We experienced rain, snow, and sun too. So, because of the nature of this event I didn't bring my camera. (I need a point and shoot badly.) Luckily my friend Molly had hers and snapped this shot of me on our way down. Thanks Molly!
Here's a map of the trail and a few shots from our campsite:
To see and read another beautiful account of this trip go here.