Phew! The worst and busiest part of the spring is over (I hope).
Anniversary Party: Have I already vowed not to throw any more big parties? Because now I solemnly vow. I can't handle it. No more than 20 invites from here on out.
Grand Canyon: several kinds of awesome. We (Me, D, Paul and Carl W) hiked the South Kaibab trail down to Bright Angel campground and slept there the first night. The weather going in was ca-razy, snow and light hail and cooooold wind, but we knew it would warm up as we lost elevation and we had DRIVEN THERE DAGNABBIT so we went in. The light hail kept up on and off, with a few sneaky patches of warm, warm sun that lasted just long enough that we finally removed our jackets, only to have the weather say "Psych!" and switch back to cold and hail again. It rained a bit at Bright Angel but then turned into a very pleasant night. We had awful, awful cocoa at Phantom Ranch and Paul filled out the special Phantom Ranch Junior Ranger booklet, got sworn in as a Junior Ranger and got a super snazzy rattlesnake patch that you can only get down at the bottom of the canyon:
The next day we hiked up to Indian Garden and slept there that night. Paul got a little whiny because it was uphill, but we tried various mind games and were finally able to trick him into beating us all to camp. After setting up camp we hiked out to Plateau Point, which is out on the edge of the Tonto Plateau and offers a mind-blowing view of the inner canyon and the Colorado River. We cooked dinner out there and enjoyed the sunset, which was a little too cloudy to be perfect but still ranked very high on the awesomeness scale.
The hike out was awful but climbing 3000 feet in 4.5 miles usually is! The weather was mostly perfect though, nothing like last year when it rained, hailed and snowed on us for pretty much the whole day. Our Jedi mind tricks worked like a charm on Paul and he was the first to the top, as usual.
I'm so glad Carl was able to come with us. I know the hike was hard, but it was so much fun spending time with him again and I think (hope) he had a great time overall.