Grand Canyon Backpack: North to South Rim and Clear Creek
About 70 Miles Total
Pat Burr, Nancy Bradford,
Katherine Marotta, and Robert Winkler
by Robert Winkler and
Pat Burr in Italic
It seems the monsoon season has been
extended due to the presence of the El NiŮo effect in the southern Pacific
ocean. We will endure rain on our first day and increased levels of humidity in
the days to come. At least everything is a lot greener.
Monday, September 15, 1997
At 7:30 am we catch the Lodge shuttle
for the 1.5 mile drive to the North Kiabob trailhead. We exit the van into the
pouring rain. After a short picture taking session we start down the trail into
Roaring Springs Canyon carrying our 40 to 50 pound packs. In a short distance we
encounter two mule trains loaded with tourists heading down a few miles and then
back out. After 45 minutes or so the rain starts to taper a bit so itís off with
the ponchos and rain coats.
Pat on the Trail
Weíre about 3.5 miles down and almost
out of Roaring Springs Canyon when we decide to take our lunch break when we
hear the thunder. Itís getting closer. Frightening lightening strikes the rim of
the canyon almost directly across from us. The thunder roars and the sky opens.
Red Supi mud laden streams form everywhere. Major drainages are flash flooding.
There are waterfalls of red everywhere you look and in places where water almost
never flows. We cannot stay here.
We are now wet, tired and cold. We
It is starting to rain, Nancy,
Katherine and I are waiting it out in a dry wash. As the lightening starts to
hit overhead on the rim and the rain gets heavier, I like the looks of the tree
Bob is standing under. Katherine follows next to me as I move, but Nancy being
persnickety needs to tidy her pack before she moves. I tell myself if she gets
hit by lightening and becomes a crispy critter that I had encouraged her to
move. About ten minutes later Nancy wouldnít have been struck by lightening she
would have pulling her pack out of water. The dry wash had turned into a small
creek with fast moving water. Bob and I decide to check out the trail a little
farther down. Iím nervous and want to move, Bob agrees, we round everyone up and
start to move. As we continue water on the trail is about six inches deep, its
After a while the rain lets up and
stops. Only the humidity remains. At around 2:00 pm we exit Roaring Springs
Canyon, turning right down Bright Angel Canyon. This is the main side canyon
eventually leading to Phantom Ranch. Even though we are going downhill we are
exhausted. Every time we try to rest the rain starts up. Our rain gear goes on
and comes off every fifteen minutes. By the seventh and last mile we donít
bother changing at all. We take one or two minute stops every five or ten
We take another rest, Nancy and
Katherine on one rock, Bob and I on another. There is dead silence. After about
ten minutes I look at all the faces, they are all the same-absolutely void of
emotion. Weíre all too tired to feel.
At 4:30 pm we arrive at Cottonwood
Campground. We select a campsite for our two night stay, unpack our wet gear and
Later Pat prepares a dinner of lentil
soup followed by rice and chicken. After cleanup we sit around the candle, sip
tequila and Sambuca, and talk. Weíre in our tents and to bed by nine.
Tuesday, September 16
We are all up early to a breakfast of
scrambled eggs and bacon on tortillas.
There is a group of eight women in
camp being led by a former park ranger, Denise. She stops by our camp to show us
a better way to hike uphill. Itís called the rest step or the ďchips and salsaĒ
step. It works and we will use it extensively.
North Kaibob Trail
Katherine has decided to stay in camp
today to recover from a foot problem that developed yesterday. The rest of us
head 1.5 miles down the trail to Ribbon Falls. Pat and I (and Kate Sullivan)
hiked up here six miles from Phantom Ranch last year, so we were looking forward
to a longer stay due to the short hike. After carrying all that weight
yesterday, it feels really good to only have a day pack.
Bob & Pat at
Ribbon Falls is as beautiful as I
remember. Today the bright sunshine is a hot contrast to the dual cascading
falls of cool water that makeup Rainbow. We hangout for the rest of the morning
and into the early afternoon in a shady overhang getting up every now and then
to get wet and take photos. But mostly we nap and munch our snacks. Two guys who
donít immediately see us and whom we later find out are John and Pat from
Denver, arrive, strip off everything and get into the falls. Pat and Nancy angle
for a better view.
At 1:30 we decide to start back to
camp. After a short while we spy the womenís group coming over a ridge. I
believe that they are coming from Upper Ribbon Falls. And as Iíve been looking
for the way to get there, I decide to try it now. Pat and Nancy would like to
come, but they are just about out of water.
I meet Denise going up
the trail and she asks me to keep this trail a secret. Iíll think about it.
After 20 minutes I crest the ridge into a ĺ mile long valley. Iím the only one
here. Down below Rainbow Creek meanders amongst the Cottonwoods and Palo Verde.
The trail stays high along the north side of the valley eventually leveling out
about half way up the canyon. Moving through the brittle bush a Pink Grand
Canyon Rattler spots me from just off the trail and he lets me know it. I only
have a brief glance at him as he moves off quickly. After 45 minutes from the
trail head I reach the falls. Rainbow Creek plummets 200 feet into a small pool
and then another 10 feet into a larger pool. I strip and jump in. After 15
minutes of frolicking I must start my return to camp as I only have about a pint
of water left.
I arrive back in camp at 4:30 and
Katherine has been organizing, including the job of getting everything dried
from yesterdays drench. Pat has made brownies as an afternoon appetizer for
those that can eat Ďem. Later we enjoy a dinner of soup followed by spaghetti
Later we invite Pat and John over for
cocktails and talk. Katherine is asleep first with the rest of us to bed a
couple of hours later.
Wednesday, September 17
Weíre all up before dawn. Nancy has
been up all night with diarrhea and Katherine is still experiencing foot
problems. We decide that I will leave immediately for Phantom Ranch and try to
get us a room or campsite for tonight so that Nancy and Katherine can rest
before starting the climbout to Clear Creek tomorrow. Originally we had planned
to hike the seven miles down to Phantom Ranch, rest and load up on water, then
start up to Clear Creek camping just inside our permit area, about three more
For me the hike is uneventful but hot
with 100 degree plus temperatures. I arrive at Phantom at 11:45 and there are no
rooms or campsites available.
While waiting for the rest of the
group to arrive I have a bagel with cream cheese, summer sausage, and lemonade.
After, I go outside and stick my head under a water spigot where I run into Pat
from last night. I fill him in on whatís going on with our group. John and he
are also trying to get a room but have been unsuccessful.
By 3:00 pm Iím getting quite worried
as the girls havenít arrived, so I head back up the trail without my pack. Along
the way I get disturbing information from hikers who have passed the girls.
Apparently none of them are doing very well. About 2.5 miles out of Phantom we
connect. Katherine who suffered foot problems earlier along the trail is doing
pretty well. Pat has some minor foot problem and Nancy is exhausted. I take
Nancyís pack. Good God it must weight 60 pounds. It is way too heavy.
About a mile outside of Phantom Ranch
we pass Phantom Creek Canyon, it has a caution banner across the entrance. A few
days ago two hikers were killed in a flash flood. Apparently when these hikers
saw a four foot wall of water coming toward them they hid behind a boulder. The
water took the boulder. The bodies havenít been found yet. Apparently they were
swept down river, about two miles, to the Colorado. We were in this canyon last
year making our way through the pools to some falls. Lesson learned, go high if
you see water coming. Itís eerie to look at the mouth of this canyon.
The Clear Creek trail junction is one
mile out of Phantom and we stop and leave our packs there along with Pat and
Katherine. Nancy and I head into Phantom to get some water and my pack. Our plan
is to start up the Clear Creek trail, go maybe a mile, hide out from the
rangers, and continue to Clear Creek tomorrow. At Phantom Ranch we run into John
and Pat who have secured a room for four. Nancy and Katherine will share their
room while Pat and I will take the campsite. I also manage to get us four stew
dinners for tonight. I head back up to the trail junction to tell Pat and
Katherine and pick up Nancyís pack. Everyone is quite relieved. Arriving back at
phantom there are hugs all around.
Nancy and Katherine head for the
showers while Pat and I just wash a little and put on cleaner tops for dinner.
After dinner, Pat and I have our showers. We then join Nancy and Katherine in
the saloon. Katherine tries to decide if she wants to continue. Later Pat and I
settle into the campsite and sleep out under the Hepawing and a full moon.
As I sat eating the stew dinner I
thought about my stew dinner on past trips. We had always been in the back
country for over a week, and we couldnít stuff the food down fast enough. I have
only been down three days and already Iím feasting on fresh food. I donít have
the same appreciation of the stew as years past when I had been munching on food
that hardly changes texture even after cooking.
Thursday, September 18
Pat and I are up early. Pat and John
stop by to say their good-byes as they are hiking out today. We thank them
again. A short time later Nancy and Katherine arrive for a breakfast of oatmeal.
Katherine has decided to continue with us. After packing up, filling up on water
we depart Phantom at 9:00. We stop at the Clear Creek trail junction, near the
Bright Angel Creek to wet our shirts, bandannas, and hats. It is already over 90
This part of the trail is almost
totally in the open and is all uphill for the next two miles. We do the
ďrest stepĒ up, up, and up. We cross a small ridge and then another uphill climb
where we take a rest at a stone ďbenchĒ. There is also an overlook of Phantom
Ranch and the confluence of Bright Angel Creek and the Colorado River.
The womenís group returning from a
dayhike from Phantom to the plateau above stops for a moment to chat. Pat, Nancy
and Katherine are resting when I decide to start. This is the last time I will
As I climbout I run into a hiker
returning from Clear Creek. He tells me we will have the place to ourselves. We
are totally on our own now.
About 30 minutes after leaving the
girls the trail rounds a spectacular outcropping overlooking the Colorado a
thousand feet below. This is as far as Katherine will make it. I continue on
alone for an hour around a large amphitheater and find a shady place to rest
where I can see the trail back Ĺ mile to the outcropping. After a while I see
Pat round the bend, stop, and go back. As I think that they are enjoying the
overlook. I wait awhile and continue on to the next shady rest.
Pat and Nancy arrive an hour later
and Iím informed that Katherine has decided to go back to Phantom. At the time
she made her decision there was an electrical storm on the South Rim. That
combined with the heights made her decide to turn back. The rest of us discussed
this turn of events at some length. Nancy decides to go back and make sure that
Katherine made it back to Phantom Ranch and if necessary out of the canyon.
Iím rounding a part of the trail that
is shaped like a big bowl, the trail is about three feet wide and then drops to
the Colorado river. There is a thunder storm passing east of us, and although it
will miss us the noise is intimidating. I really want to get around the bowl to
where Bob is as it looks safer there. Why does it always look safer where Bob
I can hear my sister calling me to
come back, Katherine is having a problem. I drop my pack and walk back.
Katherine is in trouble. There are just too many issues for her to overcome.
Between the heights, width of the trail, and another thunder storm, I know she
shouldnít go any farther. I remember my first canyon trip. By the second day I
was dehydrated and my feet were full of blisters. I continued on but I hated the
entire trip and really thought I wouldnít make it. Katherine has a justified
mental fear of going farther and I encourage her to go back to Phantom Ranch.
There she will have to deal with people not the elements. I take her pack and
walk her back to where the trail starts down.
Nancy and I catch up to Bob. I have
reservations about sending Katherine back by herself. Bob and I have one of our
heated discussions about this (Nancy has adjusted to listening to these
debates). I feel that if Katherine gets hurt returning to the rim we will be
held responsible. An hour later Nancy volunteers to turn back and try to stay at
Phantom Ranch until Bob and I return. I carry guilt from this selfless act of my
sister. She turned back allowing me to try Clear Creek again and remove the bad
memories from my first trip there
We try to split up the remaining
group gear and food. After hugs, Nancy heads back down the trail and Pat and I
continue on. Pat and I end up with no water filters and only iodine to purify
our water. Additionally we have an important stove part the will prevent Nancy
and Katherine from using their stove. I feel very strange, almost lonely. Weíve
lost half our group.
We have a short climb and weíre up on
the plateau. This is where we will spend most of the next 24 hours.
Colorado River from the Tonto
After an hour I realize that water
will be very short and we donít expect to find any until we reach Clear Creek
almost eight miles away tomorrow afternoon. However, after about an hour of
hiking we come across some depressions in a wash that have water remaining from
the rain we had on Monday. There are three shallow pools, much evaporated,
swimming with tadpoles and other flora. As we donít have our filters, I remove
my sweaty bandanna and use it to filter water we put into our canteens. Pat then
treats it with iodine and I add some powdered Gatorade. We are quite happy to be
fully provisioned with water.
A little after five we set off again.
Impending darkness encourages us to make camp near a couple of car size
boulders. We string a rope between the boulders so that the food can be hung
away from animals. Our dinner tonight is dried fruit, nuts, and power bars. We
sit relax while watching the stars come out, the Milky Way appear, and the moon
rise while talking and sipping tequila. At ten we put up Pats tent to keep out
the bugs and enjoy a well deserved sleep.
I love traveling on the Tonto
Plateau. From the rim the plateau looks like a small shelf on the way down to
the river, when actually its one of many worlds in the canyon. Camping is even
better, the night sky opens up and I donít have to listen to moving water, a
frequent noise in the inner canyons.
Friday, September 19
Pat and I are up at five and pack by
moonlight. We want to get an early start so that we can avoid the hot sun as
much as possible. For the next two hours we hike across the plateau, moving in
and out of large and small washes in the relative comfort of shade.
Pat Burr on Trail Near Clear Creek
By ten however the sun finds us as
the temperature exceeds 100 degrees in the shade. We take short rests at shady
Iím ahead of Pat and find a shady
spot for lunch behind a truck sized boulder in a minor wash. I take off my pack,
boots, and socks and kick back. Pat arrives after about 20 minutes and does the
same. We figure weíre two miles out of Clear Creek. After an hour and a half
weíre off again. By 2:00 we round a corner and head into the canyon that will
take us to Clear Creek. The views are great. Finally we approach the portion of
the trail that we heard was so treacherous. From here it certainly looks bad as
the trail makes its way across and down a slippery talus slope to the bottom of
Clear Creek canyon. We take a short break at the beginning of the slope to make
sure everything is buttoned down. I start down first, followed a short ways back
by Pat. We stay close, so that if one slips, the other may be able to help. The
hike down was spectacular and safer than it looked.
Although I feel exhausted, I can
remember how bad I felt on my first trip. I would hallucinate that I wasnít
really on the trip, in fact at times I couldnít believe I had gotten myself into
that predicament. Iím getting exhausted but it comes in waves, and I can talk
myself out of bad periods. The frequent rests help.
A couple hours after turning into
Clear Creek Iím trying to figure out which canyon we will go down. I can see a
canyon at the end but it seems to go on too far and we would have to go around a
large canyon on our left. We make a left turn and the trail down comes into
site. I let out a yippee even though it is still about a half mile away.
I can feel fear starting to rise when I see the trail down. However, it isnít as
bad as I remember, but I have to keep my eyes on the trail when it narrows to
less than a foot wide.
We arrive at the bottom, and after a
short walk over to some Cottonwoods, Pat quickly sheds her pack and plops to the
ground for a well earned rest. I head right for the creek and treat some water
as Iím tired of drinking Gatorade mixed with pond scum.
After rest and water we take a look
around. The whole area has been flash flooded sometime in the near past. Naked
boulders and rocks litter the valley. Plants near the creek are flattened.
However Pat finds us a good site near the creek with a large Cottonwood in the
middle and several smaller trees all around. We unpack, treat more water, and
have some soup with tortillas and pepperoni. We put up my tent and wash out some
clothes. As we finish hanging clothes, we are hit with a thunderstorm complete
with lightening, small hail, and a fifteen minute downpour. We crouch under one
of the smaller trees away from the larger ones. We then move the tent slightly
to avoid a pool that has formed to one side.
Pat prepares us a dinner of Teriyaki
chicken. After cleanup Pat puts up her tent so that we can have roomy separate
accommodations. We sip tequila and talk Ďtill 8:00 and go to a well deserved
Iím shocked when we move into the
camping area, trees and rock have been tossed around as if Paul Bunyon and Babe
had spent a day playing here. We found only three recognizable campsites (in my
last trip there were at least six good campsites). They looked fairly untouched
by water, so they were safe from flooding.
After setting up the site I go
through the food and find that we didnít have a good food separation. I have the
outback oven and only one item I can cook in it. This means Nancy and Katherine
have mostly outback oven food with no stove.
As I start the Teriyaki I listen to
the canyon, one of my pastimes when Iím down here. At twilight I can hear what I
would call a distant rumble, its intensified in this deep and crooked canyon. I
think itís caused by the cooling of the heat on the walls of the canyon.
Saturday, September 20
Weíre up at 6:00. Force of habit.
Again it looks to be a beautiful day. Pat makes us pancakes with syrup. I treat
more water filling our waterbags as well as canteens.
Today we rest. Pat stays in camp,
moving here and there to keep to the shade, while knitting, reading and napping.
I go downstream for a couple hundred yards and find myself the perfect shady
spot behind a large rock near the creek. I alternately nap and read all morning
into the early afternoon. Around 2:00 I return to find that Pat has baked us an
apple pie. It is delicious and I finish my half while Pat saves herself a piece
We are entertained afterwards by two
lizards and a small snake on our Cottonwood tree. After taking pictures of the
snake we rest some more. By 4:30 the sun has gone behind the rim cooling things
down considerably. We explore down the canyon for an hour or so before dark. Pat
decides that she will explore further in this direction tomorrow.
Bob and I work our way along Clear
Creek canyon, there are cairns along the way to help us move down canyon. I go
up the confluence of the first large canyon meeting Clear Creek. This is the
canyon I want to explore tomorrow. Bob goes back while I travel about a half
mile up a wash. The walls narrow a little, but Iíve heard it gets very narrow
further up. Iíll check this out tomorrow.
As Iím making my way back, the
setting sun directly in my eyes, I hear a rattle. From the corner of my eye I
can see a three foot long rattler to my right. I didnít think I could climb the
opposite embankment so fast. I turn gulping air trying to calm my heart while I
try to see where the snake is. It takes a few seconds, itís a pink Grand Canyon
rattler and blends in with the pink rocks. It has coiled for a strike in case I
was stupid enough not to move. Iím a comfortable distance away so it starts up
the opposite bank. I snap a couple pictures and know Iím wearing my gaiters
Chicken stew is on tonightís menu and
after it is cooked, Pat decides that she doesnít like it. I eat it all. While
hanging our food for the night I notice a small white scorpion on our
Cottonwood. Itís so wonderful to have so much wildlife around. After, we drink
most of the rest of the tequila leaving us only a few sips. We talk some and
head into our tents, read and go to sleep.
Sunday, September 21
Weíre up at 7:00 to a breakfast of
scrambled eggs and pepperoni in tortillas. After cleanup and water treatment Pat
heads out on her dayhike down canyon. I decide to explore up Clear Creek to Obi
Canyon where there are supposed to be Indian ruins. In short order Iím virtually
stopped at a narrow passage between sheer canyon walls choked with Cottonwood,
Paloverde, and other plants. The creek has totally lost definition and is
running every where. It takes me a half hour to find my way through to a point
where the canyon widens to a faint trail. I have to scramble over car size
boulders in one place and make several stream crossings but the canyon is
beautiful. Obi Canyon is the first canyon on the left and by 11:00 Iím starting
up it. Itís a short canyon, about Ĺ mile, and I follow the dry creek bed to the
end. There is a 100 foot high fall sporting a trickle of water now. I begin to
look for any ruins. I find a cave that goes back into the rock for 20 feet but
no ruins. After some snacks for a lunch in the shade I start back. As I know the
way through the narrows now the going is quick and easy.
Tonto Plateau West of Clear Creek
Itís 12:30 and Iím only back in camp
for 10 minutes when Iím suprised to see Pat returning. She tells me that she
also had an encounter with a rattler. After we go our separate ways to wash and
I start down Clear Creek and quickly make it
into the canyon I intend to explore, avoiding the cactus gardens and snake pits
I stumbled through yesterday. This canyon does get narrow, at times itís about
12 feet wide with sheer walls up both sides. No where to go if there is a flash
flood, but its sunny with no clouds. I go up about two or three miles, always
seeing footprints only a day or so old in the mud. There was one guy in Clear
Creek when we came down, these must be his foot prints. I should go to the end,
but I donít. I will regret this in the future, I always do. On the way back I
find a house size boulder in the shade, climb on top, eat a snack and read my
book. Life is great.
Near Clear Creek
Dinner tonight is black bean with
tofu. However, after looking at the freeze dried tofu we decide to leave it out.
We do some prepacking, including taking down Patís tent. Tomorrow we want an
early start on our return to Phantom, to avoid as much sun as possible. To that
end weíre in bed early, do some reading and go to sleep.
I must have soaked that tofu for
about half an hour and it still looked and felt like extra hard foam. Iíll have
to talk to Bart about this, he is always talking about how good freeze dried
Monday, September 22
Weíre up at 4:30 and pack in the
dark. We start at first light and reach the top of the plateau by 7:00 as the
sun comes fully into view. As we only have to go another five miles before
camping at the start of the decent into Phantom we have plenty of time to stop
and rest. We take a break at the same rock we stopped at one the way in. I find
out that I have somehow left the rest of my snacks back in Clear Creek. Must
have fallen behind a rock when I was packing. Pat shares her snacks.
My appetite has finally returned and
I wanted to dive into that pepperoni. Iíll have to settle for my gorp. I must be
dropping weight, Iím eating about a third of what I normally do and about 20
times the amount of exercise. Of course it will just come back when I get to the
top and get my regular life back.
We arrive where we plan to camp for
the night and find a nice flat area to throw our sleeping bags. We encounter our
first human since last Thursday, a young many walking his way across country. He
camps about ľ mile below us. As we have enough water Pat prepares a dinner of
chicken in rice and pimentos in a white sauce. After dinner we hike up a long
slope to look for some Indian ruins that are supposed to be around here and that
Pat thinks she has spotted with her field glasses. We have to hurry as it is
almost dark and we didnít bring flashlights. We donít quite make it to the top,
but we see some indications of habitation.
We finish the tequila and sleep out
under the stars. I have a hard time sleeping due to the presence of annoying
bugs buzzing around my ears all night. Pat puts in her ear plugs.
Tuesday, September 23
I get up at 4:00, walk up the nearby
wash a bit, find a comfortable place to sit and read. After watching the sunrise
we have a breakfast of oatmeal and tea. We pack up and start down at 7:00
arriving at Phantom Ranch at 8:30. After the requisite bagels with creme cheese
we eventually learn that Nancy and Katherine were caught by the rangers and
because they didnít have a permit, had to hike out of the canyon last Friday. We
find out that they have flown home when Pat places a call to Nancy in Detroit.
Our schedule calls for us to stay at
the campground here for tonight and tomorrow, then up to Indian Gardens on
Thursday and out on Friday. While having our bagels we learn that hurricane Nora
will be bringing lots of rain to the canyon on Thursday so we decide to hike all
the way out tomorrow. We make arrangements for a room here tonight along with
stew dinners and a room on the South Rim for tomorrow night.
In preparation for tomorrowís hike
out, we take it easy the rest of the day. When we get our room the first thing
we do is enjoy a shower. Later we go to a ranger talk on Grand Canyon fossils,
repack, go to dinner and hang out at the saloon before an early bed.
As we eat our bagels, we talk to one
of the canteen employees to try and find out if Nancy and Katherine have
reserved a room for the night. Since there is no sign of them staying for the
last five days I decide to try calling Nancy at home. Iím shocked to hear her
voice and she doesnít recognize mine at first. She relates the story of being
asked to ďleave the canyonĒ by the park rangers. Apparently there was an hours
lecture of how irresponsible we where. I guess each side had their view. Bob and
I knew that Nancy was an experienced canyon hiker and could easily take care of
Katherine. The rangers had no idea who Nancy was and werenít interested in
listening. Of course they were willing to personally plan the ďyoung manísĒ trip
through the canyon, give him an unplanned extra day at Phantom Ranch, along with
giving him a ride to the trail head. I guess it depends on how interesting your
Enough of that. After learning that
Bob and I are it for the rest of the trip, we look at one another, the same
thought moves across our faces, lets get out of Dodge. We have another stew
dinner. I feel Iíve have worked for this one.
Wednesday, September 24
After a really good
nights sleep in a real bed weíre up at 4:30 and on the trail just after 5:00
using our headlamps. We cross the Colorado and start up to Indian Gardens
arriving around 11:00. After an hours rest, itís ďchips & salsaĒ until we arrive
on the rim exhausted a little after 4:00.
Colorado River in Daylight
As we start up the last five miles, I
start to get cranky. There are too many people on the trail. I need to think
about this trip next year. Maybe I should take Bart up on his offer to check out
public lands for hiking.
About two miles from the top, we are
passed by a female hiker wearing shorts that leave nothing to the imagination.
She is followed by a pack of guys trying desperately to keep up with the view.
Iím so tired an Arnold Schwarzenegger type could walk by in the buff and Iíd
After a quick snack from the snack
concession, we pick up our checked baggage, find our room, have showers and put
on clean clothes. We make it to the Arizona Steak House for our traditional
out-of-the-canyon dinner. Patty picks up the check to ease her quilt of losing
my favorite hat.
When we get to Phoenix we try to find
Bartís new apartment, I canít remember the number. He was supposed to leave a
key under the mat. Bob and I spend an hour running up to second floor apartments
and lifting mats. As Iím talking to my sister to see if she can remember the
number Bob pulls out a business card with Bartís apartment number on it. We find
Bartís place but thereís no key, so I decide to knock. Bartís still home and we
scare him to death because we are two days early.
This was a hard trip physically and
mentally. The mileage was 25 miles less than last year but doing seven miles
down the first day was a killer. Last year we only did 3Ĺ miles on the first
day, it makes a difference. Iíll have to use up all the outback oven food. Bobís
birthday is during our Thanksgiving get together, I wonder if he would like an
out back oven coffee cake.