Monday, April 22, 2019

Girls Trip Part I: Grand Canyon

Maureen and I have been friends for 10 years now.  We met back in 2008 while both of us
were volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in Costa Rica.  That year of traveling together (So.Many.Tripsand meeting most mornings at 6am for runs really solidified our friendship.  
That is us...10 years ago on a trip to Nicaragua!!  Just young whipper-snappers!

I had not seen her since Costa Rica, but we kept in touch periodically.  In January she arranged a layover in Atlanta on her way to Germany and it was like no time had passed.  

I love this girl so much!  We had such a great time catching up and laughing.  So. Much. Laughing! 
Also, we were tickled to discover our favorite drink is EXACTLY THE SAME.  
Gingerade Kombucha!!  
This 24 hour layover was not enough time together though, so we made plans for me to visit her in AZ.  She lives in Navajo Nation [Indian reservation], where she works as an OT.  Why had I not visited her in 10 years?

Also, why don't we hike the Grand Canyon while I'm there visiting??


I prepared for this trip by scouring FB Marketplace! ha!  Yes I did. 
I found my $130 Soloman Hiking shoes (worn twice) for $40. LOVE THEM-so comfortable!
I found the REI trail 25 backpack (normally $80) for $10!!! It looks brand spanking new and is the perfect size for day hikes! 

What I did NOT get a deal on is airfare.😂
I bit the bullet and bought my first FULL FARE plane ticket in 20 YEARS.  It cost $370 and it HURT! (I much prefer free!) I was loyal though and flew my beloved DELTA! Duh!

It was quite an ordeal getting to my dear friend, but well worth it.  
Trains, planes and automobiles on this trip.  But you know what? Traveling alone is a BREEZE I tell you.  I had such a free feeling walking through the airport with blaring music in my headphones.  This has not happened in 7 years. 

Once I reached Albuquerque I ubered to REI to buy this hat and a water reservoir for my new pack. I WAS READY! 

I had 3 hours to kill before heading to the Greyhound bus station, so after REI I sat down with my computer at The Brew coffee house and relaxed.  Not a care in the world!

I would have much preferred Amtrak train, but it was sold out.  Both modes take about 2 hours to reach Gallup, NM, (where Maureen was picking me) but I would say one is a little more seedy than the other.  Also buses are subject to traffic, which means DELAYS.  

Long bus ride short, I didn't get there until 9p. (not 730p as we expected)

We drove to 2.5 hours to Flagstaff that night to get closer to the Canyon (another 1.5 hour drive) and stayed in a surprisingly great Super 8 for $42!!!!! What!?  AND with a Mountain View!

In the morning we took our time filling our backpacks.  This is what I took with me:

  • 1L water reservoir + 1 large water bottle
  • sun hat (waterproof too!)
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • chapstick
  • flashlight
  • bag of gorp
  • 4 protein bars
  • 4 Lara bars
  • bag of black licorice (both our favorites)
  • pajama pants
  • extra socks
  • fleece zip up
  • band-aids
  • phone/watch chargers
  • toothbrush/paste
  • face wipes
  • hydrating face cream

I wore layers!   Sports bra, tank, long sleeve pullover and pullover fleece and tekgear tights.
All dry-fit.  

It was the perfect packing job I must say.  My pack wasn't heavy and I didn't need anything more. 

We lolly-gagged in Flagstaff with coffee coffee and breakfast at a cute little place called Macy's.  We reached the Grand Canyon and started our hike at 1245pm! 


This little video sums it up pretty well!  

The whole experience went WAY TOO FAST!  I wanted to stay longer at the bottom, and I wanted to keep hiking! 

Next time (yes, already planning!) I will be with my whole family and we will stay 2 nights at the bottom.  I figure in 5 years, Paloma will be 8, Marcelo 10, and Mateo 12. (gosh, that is so weird to even write) They will definitely be able to hike the whole trail by then.  So there you have it in writing... Spring break week in 5 years, we have a plan! (ok mi amorrrr?)
 What an adventure!

Maureen has hiked two other times, both in the heat of Summer.  She camped in a tent and it was 114 degrees at the bottom! Can you imagine??  This may sound strange, but I want to experience that heat...just not with young kids. ha!  
60 degrees was PERFECT weather and the Canyon was GREEN and water was abound, so overall April is a great month to go. BUT!  Just like hot yoga, when the heat is high, the workout is MUCH harder...and that is what I like!  I want the challenge of hiking in 114 degrees!

This hike was not hard for me.  I will say my hips and knees were a little sore from all the stairs on the decent, but it went away once we got moving hiking up the trail the next day. 

We actually kept the hiking theme going once we left the Grand Canyon.....
More on that in the next installment of Girls Trip 2019....RIGHT HERE!


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