Thursday, April 11, 2019
The wind finally subsided overnight. It was cold, but I was snug in my emergency bivvy. But Justin from REI got it wrong or misspoke. He told me to get into my down quilt, then slide into the bivvy. But in the morning my quilt was wet with condensation. I think he had it backward.
I blotted up the moisture as best I could, then headed out into the cold April morning.
I saw immediately that I hadn’t been on the trail. Ha! It was so windy yesterday, I had my head down and missed a turn. Luckily the trail was very close and it was easy to “bushwhack” over, since the vegetation is so sparse here.
A Friendly Face
I was thinking how I should have downloaded books on tape or podcasts to listen to as I hiked. I’d nearly run out of thoughts. Then I heard a whistle or bird call. It was my old friend, CowStep, trying not to startle me. I was so glad to see him!
We hiked together for several hours, and even got water from a cattle tank together, very reminiscent of our first meeting at Beehive Well. During our lunch break at Russell Tank, I gave him a Snickers bar in exchange for some of his chocolate chip-laced peanut butter. They were essentially the same food, but anything slightly different is exciting.
CowStep is a faster hiker than me, and I was tired after keeping up with him all morning. So I struck out on my own at a slower pace. Good call, as the trail became rockier and hillier after lunch.
The weather also turned colder and gray. CowStep mentioned rain was in the forecast for tomorrow — of course — so I was anxious to get to my destination: Grandview Trailhead.
I made it around 4:30, but no one had left water for hikers. Rats. There is a lookout tower here, but since the skies were gray and I was beat, I didn’t climb up. After all, I’d seen glimpses of the Grand Canyon today from here, up on the Coconino Rim, and I’d be hiking right through the Grand Canyon. What good was a cloudy view?
Day Is Done
I camped about a quarter-mile past the trailhead in a nice pine forest. Somehow I lost my sunglasses, which infuriates me because I almost never take them off, even if it’s cloudy, specifically so I don’t lose them! I hiked back to the tower in case I’d taken them off momentarily when scoping out campsites, but nothing. Sigh.
The good news: I’ll be in Tusayan tomorrow! I’m not sure what excites me more — taking a shower or washing my clothes.
22.2 miles today
619.3 miles to date
180.7 miles to go