For years I’ve been talking about hiking into the Grand Canyon. The idea first hit me ten years ago this month, during my only visit there. I remember my surprisingly emotional response to the sight at both the North Rim and the South Rim like it was yesterday. Words and pictures cannot adequately describe the sight and the feeling.
Most of that trip involved photography but I did walk about a half mile down one of the trails and decided right then to eventually hike all the way to the Colorado River. Life gets in the way sometimes and it has remained just a dream. At the beginning of my self-discovery journey last year, the dream resurfaced and I even set a target date for the adventure. For a variety of personal reasons that date has been pushed back again, but this morning the whole idea came into sharper focus again.
The stimulus for this dream rebirth was a video called Backpack the Grand Canyon, a DVD I bought two months ago but finally watched this morning. It ranks as one of the best 90 minutes I’ve spent this year. Watching the images and advice from real people who have hiked many parts of the Canyon inspired me to start planning again.
One of the most impressive aspects of the video is that the narrator and his hiking partners are all clearly over 50 and much as I hate to admit it, so am I. They are not professional athletes or even pro hikers; they are regular people who had the same dream I have and took the necessary steps to live it. They are realistic about the challenges of such a hike but also excited to tell of the rewards.
The two or three friends I would most like to share my adventure with are reluctant to join me; I appreciate their honesty. I do not want to do this alone, however, so I’ll need to expand my circle of friends over the next couple of years. That’s not a bad thing. I do have a co-worker who is interested but he is twenty years younger than I am and in much better shape. He is more of a risk-taker than I am, but things can change.
My specific vision includes hiking the Bright Angel trail from the South Rim down to Phantom Ranch, stay two nights in a cabin there and hike back out the same way I go in. The video participants were mostly backpack campers but my dream includes just a bit more comfort.
I believe in dreaming big and this is a pretty big one. My other big travel dream involves Italy. I will definitely do both, just not as soon as I’d like. Patience sucks, doesn’t it?
More updates later. CLICK HERE for more info about the video that re-energized my dream.