This past weekend, we hiked the Grand Canyon. That’s right – hiked the Grand Canyon – as in climbed all the way down and then back up again. We left the North Rim via the North Kaibab trail at 6:15 a.m. on Saturday. By noon, we made it to Phantom Ranch on the bank of the Colorado River. Over the course of 15.5 miles, we experienced a 5,850 foot elevation change (from 8,000+ feet above sea level on the Rim to 2,500 feet above sea level at Phantom Ranch). On Sunday, we did it again – in reverse.
This trek is not to be taken lightly. Hikers are subject to heat exhaustion, heatstroke, hypothermia (combination of exhaustion and exposure), and hyponatremia (low sodium in blood). In addition to staying hydrated, every hour we consumed about 200 calories with a focus on salty snacks such as salted nuts, crackers and pretzels.
Honestly, I was overwhelmed by this experience – in a good way. The scenery was unparalleled. The silence; soothing. The camaraderie; comforting. But more than anything, the personal sense of accomplishment for having set a big hairy audacious goal and achieved it; extraordinary. I have no doubt that my commitment to health, fitness and good eats fueled my ability to put one foot in front of the other, especially on the way out of the canyon!
Although I woke up this morning in desperate need of a trip to the grocery store and a massage, I am more committed than ever to maintaining my yummy and the basics of our healthy lifestyle. I am trying some new recipes this week and promise to report back on my experiments…