Week 6 | Southwestern Finale

And just like that, it's all over. Let's pick up on last Thursday.

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Day 36 I did indeed blog. After I went to the store to stock up on supplies for our Grand Canyon adventure, we walked around Old Town San Diego, stopped in a little cafe called the "Living Room", had iced coffee because HEAT WAVE - then got a sweet Southwestern blanket. In the evening we went to a sleepy little seafood restaurant called the Red Sail Inn. Untitled-1IMG_8372 IMG_8374 IMG_8404 red sails inn IMG_8391 IMG_8399IMG_8409 IMG_8405

Day 37 Friday was our sleep-in-recoup day. We spent it getting last minute items for our trip (gatorade powder, moleskin for blisters, etc.) we packed nalgene bottles full of oatmeal, extra almondy-and-raisony trailmix, pasta noodles, and added tortillas, packaged chicken & tuna, peanut butter, jam, nutella, etc. to our packs. Watched a few instructional videos on prepping for the grand canyon.

A grilled chicken feast, bubble-filled sunsets, dimbled babies, and a photoshoot of my host-friend wrapped the evening.

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Day 38 We left at 7:30. 9 hour drive to conquer. Took highway 10 to Blythe and then went up from there to the park. Camped at Mather campground.

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Day 39 Packed and repacked our backpacks in the morning. Had lunch at a picnic table, and Sunday devotions. Began hiking down into the canyon via the Brightangel trail around 3:30, armed with 4 liters of water, each, and down we went.

It took about 2 hours longer to reach the bottom than we intended. Which was my fault. [Word to the wise guys: make SURE your pack's not too heavy, and make sure to eat enough salty foods when you bring all that water.] One of us *cough* was a little.... worse for wear at the end, but nonetheless the views we encountered were irreplaceable, and I we limped in to the Bright Angel campground around 11pm and fell asleep. Promptly.

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Day 40 Woke up dizzy from the effects of heat exhaustion.

We sat in the creek all day.

Because it was only, oh, 140 F at the bottom of the canyon.

But as the day wore on, health improved, and we hiked the first mile of the South Kaibab trail around 7 to get some sweet sunset views and star shots.

Yes.

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And then we fell asleep under the stars at the campground.

 

Day 41 Hiked out at 4:30am.

Trekked for about 3 hours, paused for an hour to, um, WATERFALL, covered a total of 4 miles and arrived at the Indian campground around 8:30.

Then there was this little spring, and this little pool, and we spent a few hours there.

Fell asleep under stars, talking through the nightfall, after soup and hot chocolate.

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photo 25 IMG_9027 IMG_9032Oh, and at sunset a 5' rattlesnake slithered through our camp site. NO BIG FREAKING DEAL.

 

Day 42 Woke at 3am, hit the trail at 4am, reached the rim at 7:30. 4.8 miles in 3 1/2 hours, and for the second time witnessed dazzling sunrises from inside the grand canyon.

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Exhausted, spent, and dirty, we found a hotel in Flagstaff, turned on a movie, and crashed.

Day 43 We left for Alberquerque. Spent this day, July 4th, on the balcony of my dear friend's lovely home, watching the city fireworks with a bottle of white wine, some cheese, crostinis, and chocolate.

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Day 44 Discussed our plans for the future. Lots of floor-lounging, cereal-filled hours.Toured old town Albuquerque, sang happy birthday from mexican diners, also iced coffee to fight the mugginess.

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Day 45 Left Alberquerque.  Drove 12 hours to Austin.

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Jordan left us at 10:45 that night, Greyhound-bound for Oklahoma City.

It's so hard to believe it's all over. 6 weeks and 1 day of such natural, astonishing beauty. In the Big Sur, I told my brother that my faith is renewed - any whisp of doubt is whisked away when you see such incredible creation. You are reminded exactly how ridiculously small we are in this behemoth universe. And rightly so.

How incredibly glorious our Creator is and how much His his niagra of love for us must utterly overflow, to give us freely this abundant beauty and life.