Great Wall in 2008, and Andrea's harrowing experience. I kept thinking about that on the way up, and also the horrors I read in the Death in the Grand Canyon, and when the guides start talking about people 'rag-dolling' down the mountain, I start getting nervous. Thankfully, my ankle held up without anything more than a little stiffness, but the hike probably did it some good in the end.
The hike's intensity and the heat increased in relation to each other. As the hike got more intense, so too did the heat. The hike quickly became what we referred to as 'The Death March." We were all sweating, guzzling water from our packs, and I was definitely panting, but the reward of the spectacular views of the river and canyon made it all worth it in the end. A few people had to turn back part of the way there, and though I'm not sure how I managed, I did make it to the top, and the view from there made it all worth it.
We took a break while sitting at the granaries, and some people climbed a few extra (perilous) feet to peer into the granary. I was nervous about that, especially since touching the stone there is verboten, and I was still having horrifying images in my head of rag-dolls falling of the canyon.
Coming down was much easier, especially since the temperatures cooled very quickly. The river is truly life-giving, and I was surprised by how much I missed it such a short amount of time. I think after the heat of the hike, we were all feeling relieved to be back on the water. Once we were back on the water, today seemed to be all about singing through the rapids (a trend that would continue until the very last day of our journey). The group appears to be gelling more, and getting comfortable with each other. This is really turning out to be an amazing trip, and I am so glad I could come!
The Lunch today was Roast beef on whole grain bread with horseradish mayo, German mustard, avos, tomato, and Havarti cheese with dill. I don't normally like roast beef, especially not in sandwiches, but this was delicious! I ate my fair share (and more) of the cookies, and following Penny's lead, made apples with peanut butter, dried cranberries, and pistachios. When I felt stuffed later, I certainly knew why.
After lunch, I played Euchre with Luchs, Kelli, and Jones. We cut the game short to get back on the boat, where we headed for the Little Colorado and where Captain Dave had a great surprise in store for us!
When we arrived at the starting point, we were instructed on how to put our life jackets on like diapers so that we could flow down the river like this: