June 11-Day 27
Written by Rev
The Grand Canyon. If you have ever been there and not hiked it, you need to go back and hike it. I am not even kidding. There is only a small percentage of people, less that 5%, that take the challenge to go over the edge into one of the seven wonders of the world. And in case your wondering, this was not carved out by a river like most people say it is. I believe that my God made this with His own two hands because He can and He wanted His people to enjoy His creativity.
We arrived at the canyon Wednesday night and made our way to the Retail Distribution Center where I worked for four months two years ago. Most of the people that I worked with are still there and it was great to see them again. They were even gracious enough to let us leave our mopeds in the warehouse!
We went right into the canyon down the South Kaibab trail with the plans to hike down to the bottom, sleep there, hike up and down the North Kaibab the next day, sleep at the bottom again and then hike up the Bright Angel trail on the South Rim. This would put us around 50 miles of hiking; which is an extreme amount for anyone to hike, but are spirits were high as we took our first couple of steps into the canyon.
For me, it was so great to be in the canyon again. It was glorious. We even saw a Grand Canyon sunset from the Tonto Platform which is an absolutely phenomenal place to watch God paint the sky in various brush strokes and colors.
At the bottom around 11:30 PM we found a campsite and I told Viking that we needed to head to Bright Angel Creek to place our feet in the cold water. It was pretty much a tradition that I would do this when I would hike and I had to continue it. This is one of the best feelings in the world; eating beef jerky, drinking a Gatorade with your feet in Bright Angel Creek at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. God is good. As Viking took off his socks, we were both astonished to see huge blood blisters the size of a half dollar on each of his big toes. Not cool. We refreshed our feet in the water and popped the blisters hoping for them to dry out over the night.
Sleeping on the hard ground reminded us that we were so very grateful for air mattresses and beds. But no animals decided to come by us, so we rested and woke around 5:00 AM to get started. My shins hurt terribly bad, but pain soon went away as we were racing along the first seven miles of our trip which was flat until the last seven miles.
As we passed two men older than us, we were going strong. Then they passed us. Then we passed them. Then they passed us. So we decided to chat with them for a bit. Bert and Jon were their names and they were 70 years old hiking the Grand Canyon! So, if you say you can't, think again! We only made it to the top about an hour before them as we were cramping and sore and just plain didn't want to move a muscle, but we kept moving as we reached the top with great delight.
The plan was to head back down to the river, another 14 miles, but we decided to stay on top of the North Rim and take the shuttle back. So we went to the lodge area and viewed one of the seven wonders of the world from the north side. God is good.
We then walked to the campground at a very leisurely and painful pace, looking for a campsite. We received one of the best camping sites one could ever imagine; we were about 50 feet from the edge of the canyon watching the sunset as it went down. Absolutely amazing. The air was getting cooler and we were warned that the temperature was predicted to be 31 degrees that night. Wow. We were scared. So we took our sleeping bags out, and crawled in them putting on the long sleeve button up, two pairs of socks and our shorts was all that we had for warming layers. We zipped our sleeping bags up and pulled the draw string around our head tightly so we only had about an inch of breathing and seeing area. I stayed decently warm, but Viking kept saying he was cold. We even thought about going to the laundromat at 2:30 AM when we both woke up talking to each other, but we didn't. Good thing we didn't because we learned the next morning that they closed at 7 PM and opened at 7 AM.
As we were waiting for the shuttle at 7 AM we were sitting on the porch of the General Store in our sleeping bags on chairs eating our cold pizza from the night before. It was such a sight. Poor man who had to drive us to the South Rim because we smelled awful. We couldn't even stand it ourselves.
We got our bikes from the Warehouse and traveled around the South Rim exploring the different hotels and sites as I showed Viking around my stomping grounds two years ago. We even shared a jar of pickles under a pine tree on a picnic table waiting for the $3.00 shower for 8 minutes to re-open. We realized later that eating all those pickles wasn't such a good idea. Before we paid for a shower, we received a phone call from Bob in Flagstaff, so we headed to Flagstaff which is about 80 miles away. Not too far at all. So we are now in Flagstaff hoping to speak to two churches tomorrow.
If this trip takes us 8,000 miles exactly, then we have just passed the half way point at 4,000 miles. But no matter if it is half way or not, God has been blessing this trip and us with many opportunities to share about trafficking as well as the love of Christ with others.
We also want to thank you all for your prayers and support. It is so encouraging to receive emails, blog comments, texts, and/or phone calls knowing that people are praying us through as we continue on this mission of fighting injustice. We cannot do it without your support and help and may God continue to bless you all as you have been such a blessing to us.
God is good.
To God Be The Glory.