We marveled at the beauty of nature at dawn. We LOVE being awake and outside in the morning! We also loved feeling the suspension bridge sway in the wind as we crossed the Colorado again to head back up the South rim.
The first 4.5 miles were a breeze and we kept having to deny what good time we were making so that we wouldn't get cocky. We had a nice break and water refill about halfway up, at a campground called Indian Garden. We felt super blessed that we got a permit for Bright Angel campground and not Indian Garden, because Indian Garden is not at the bottom of the canyon but about halfway up, on the plateau. That wouldn't have been nearly as cool.
Bright Angel trail was a lot prettier than South Kaibab, our trail down. We crossed streams and had a lot of fun. 3 mule trains passed us on our way up, which made things even more interesting!
The last 4.5 miles were pretty much lumpy switchbacks. The NPS had put logs through the trail to maintain it and keep it from eroding away, but the sand in between had been worn down so it felt like climbing over hurdles. Unpleasant shades of high school track.
There was a rest stop with bathrooms and a water spigot every 1.5 miles from Indian Garden to the rim, but between the last one and the end it felt like FOREVER. We think they lied about distance. And we were mad.
We made it to the top and took a picture, fell shaking into the bus, and rode it to our car. We felt SO COOL. And we still do.
Drove to Flagstaff. Tried to find a hotel in badly fatigued and disoriented condition, which made things difficult, but we finally found the Super 8 and CRASHED.
Had dinner at Cracker Barrel a little later, a first for both of us. Hush puppies = good, turnip greens = nasty.