Did not sleep well, every movement had muscle pain or leg cramps. Awake at 4:30am, as were most of the hikers. I got up first and after a quick bathroom break started making coffee. Boiled water on the propane stove and drip over our own ground coffee (Kauai) in a filter into our cups. This is something we were not willing to give up to save weight. Yes, I still make coffee for Shawna every morning and usually bring it to her in bed/sleeping bag as I did this whole hike.
Early hiker breakfast is served at 5am at the Canteen. Late breakfast is served at 6:30am, we have a reservation. All you can eat, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, butter, syrup, pineapple rings, orange juice, coffee, tea. It is a few minutes walk to the canteen at the ranch so we get going a little after 6am. They serve free coffee in the mornings and we sat with others to have an early morning chat.
Breakfast was great and being a hot “someone else cooked” real food not Freeze Dried meal was a big plus. Dehydrated eggs and sausage is not all that great as you can imagine. Most of our breakfasts in the canyon are going to be freeze dried. We are trying to track which ones we like and dislike.
Some of Shawna’s 8 blisters went down, only her biggest blister on her big toe looks pretty bad. She took out her extra boot inserts. Hopefully it will make a difference. We have never had a problem with blisters wearing our boots with the DarnTough socks but the inserts are new so that may be the problem.
Our view from the campsite North and South.
Now to explore the valley. We decided to walk down to the Colorado river and saw a NPS helicopter land to take an injured hiker to the rim. She broke her foot/ankle hiking down yesterday on the same trial we hiked. Her friends said she tripped and fell on the trail about 3 miles from the bottom. Two of her 3 friends came ahead to get help as she hobbled to the tip off point shelter. She is young, in her 20's.
Last night we saw a ranger carry ice pack and crutches toward a campsite. That must have been for her.
We walked to the Silver bridge and took some pictures. Walked back to the Black bridge to view a Hopi archaeological site.
After that, we walked back to our campsite to relax and have a “snack” lunch. We have WAY too many snacks and it turns out that freeze dried food is much lighter. We did a little bit of stretches and massage our feet, ankles, calves. Put something on Shawna’s blisters. OUCH!
We talked with Ranger Della. She is also from Florida and for the rest of the time we are here we are know by her as “Her Florida People”. She had some warnings about water over the trail to Cottonwood. She said it was pretty high with fast water and didn't recommend us trying to cross it. Della showed us a video. We had already decided that if high(knee deep) we would not go. We asked about where to camp since our permit was only for Cottonwood for Sat and Sun nights. She said she would make room for us somewhere, that we would have to share a campsite with others who also would have been going to Cottonwood or be at the group site for the AZT hikers. Della is fantastic. Since our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd plans failed this will put us on plan 4. So Plan, Backup Plan, Emergency Plan so now we are on Our Emergency Backup Plan.
After lunch, we went to the Phantom Ranch Canteen to get a couple of beers. I asked if they had cancellation for a cabin for Saturday night. We figured it would be a slim chance but it never hurts to ask. We were put on a request list, noting that we were at the campground and couldn't get to Cottonwood. They said come by before 7am tomorrow when they get a list and if there was availability, pay for the cabin.
So now we have a plan #5, Don't know what we are going to do, but we will figure it out plan.
If we get the cabin it will leave space for others in the campground. We told Della what our plans were and she said “You don’t have to do that. Those cabins are really expensive.” I told her it was a “new experience and if we could make more room for others we would grab it”.
Rested the rest of the day to give Shawna's feet a break and to write about our experiences so far. We cooked our dinner Peppered Beef and rice also Chicken Teriyaki. We both thought the Teriyaki was better of the two. After cleaning up we both took a walk down to the bathroom hoping that would be the only time before dawn. Of course it did not work out that way. We have headlamps that are red light to not wake others on the walk down and back. We went to bed at 7:30pm. So tired, hopefully we will sleep better tonight.
A few more pictures of creatures and flowers in the valley.
This is a dark sky location so I tried again with the camera to get a night timelapse.
I am going to order something that will allow a longer video. 12 seconds is not enough.
We are a couple who have started on a new adventure...