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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

The Lure of the Canyon

~Monday, November 23, 2020~

Day 162

Up and Adam this brisk morning as we were driving to our old stomping ground in Arizona….The Grand Canyon. The funny thing is we’ve always had to drive 10 to 11 hours from the Bay Area to get there. And now with it 1-½ hours away, we just had to see it again.

But first, remember the laundry predicament from yesterday……? I had just mentioned to Jeff that we should swing by the laundromat to see if my pants and top were there. Well, as I was getting dressed, I went to put some dirty clothes in our cabinet hamper and saw that it was ¾ full. Wait a minute, how can that be?…...did I actually forget to pull that laundry out yesterday? I’ve never done that before. Normally, if that hamper gets full, we have a spillover laundry basket in our bedroom which, in this instance, was the only thing I grabbed along with sheets, towels and rugs. So guess what? Where do you think the yoga pants and turtleneck were? Ugh…….of course I owed my husband a big apology.

A few breakfast burritos for the road, and we were off. We were both so excited to be back to the Grand Canyon.

Jeff had been here 3 years ago when our grandson Easton was born (Easton was born early as Jeff was halfway down the canyon at the time and raced home to be there for the birth of his first grandchild). My last time being at the Grand Canyon was with our kids 15 years ago.

The canyon has a special place in our hearts as this is where it all began. Jeff took me on my first trip ever to the canyon when we were 26 years old. He had already been 3 times before. Little did I know at that time, what plans he had up his sleeve as we got up early one morning before sunrise to hike the Bright Angel Trail to the bottom. It was at the bottom right alongside the Colorado River that my hubby of 29 years proposed to me, giving me complete and utter motivation to hike back up to the top, the very same day. I don’t know if I could have done it otherwise. I’ve never been so elated and exhausted all at the same time. Today, we actually revisited the same phone booth (back then it was a pay phone booth) inside the El Tovar Hotel,

that we called our family from that October day in 1990 to announce our engagement. So you see, this will always be a spot we hold dear to our hearts…..not the phone booth, but the canyon. 😉

Sadie waited patiently in the car for us as we walked around Grand Canyon Village, stopping in a few shops/museums, taking photos and hiking down a little bit of the Bright Angel Trail. It was tempting to walk to Indian Gardens at least, but we just didn’t have time and we couldn’t have Sadie in the car that long (it would have taken about 4 hours). When Jeff and I did the hike years ago we started at the South Kaibab Trailhead, down to the Colorado River and up the Bright Angel Trail which is about 17-½ miles. The thing that makes it so different from other hikes, is you start hiking DOWN, not up. But by the time you’ve hiked to the bottom, you have the hardest part of the trail ahead of you in terms of climbing and exertion. And the “tank” ain’t full. “The Climb” as they call it, is the last 4.9 miles from Indian Gardens to the top. And it’s deceiving, As you see the top within reach, those darn switchbacks as you hike up, is the trail’s most challenging section. Anyway, even though it was a difficult hike, it was so tempting to go down that trail again today. After our mini hike down the canyon, we got Sadie out of the car and walked about a mile section of the 13 mile Rim Trail. And the weather was getting increasingly colder and cloudier. Unfortunately, we would not be seeing the orange glow of a canyon sunset today, 😢 as we have witnessed in the past. But sunset or not, it was fun to be back.

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