Grand Canyon Chronicles

Zoroaster Temple 7128 feet

On day two of the canyon trip, eight of our party hiked out. The rest hung around in the Phantom Ranch canteen, reading or writing post cards. After a bit we mobilized and packed up to hike the Clear Creek Trail. Straight up the side of the canyon we went and along a track with dizzying views of the river flowing through the gorge below like a fat green snake. Our geology experts pointed out the Great Unconformity, and the make up of the rocky walls around us. (The layers of stone in the canyon portray a chronology of the geological history of the earth, but at the Unconformity fairly recent sandstone sits mysteriously atop ancient schist, omitting millions of years.) We stopped for lunch where flat boulders provided both seating and staggering views of the Kaibab cliffs. From there the trail continued through a series of washes to the base of the Zoroaster Temple.
As we walked I listened to the chatter of the women, words tossed over shoulders into the canyon grandeur. Hiking drew stories from us, stories of families and careers and challenges. Everyone in the group is married, all have children, many have faced the death of a parent, or a sibling. Several have battled and survived cancer. Years of their lives have been spent caring for their kids and supporting their husbands, many have also held demanding jobs. One woman has started a non-profit to address a devastating disease, one works with handicapped children on speech therapy, one rescues and fosters huskies. Another has gone back to work raising funds for a non-profit that helps the poor. One woman with three kids has gone back to school, obtained a masters degree and is working on a PhD. Two in the group are planning to hike Machu Picchu in June. One woman traveled from Florida to hike with her sister last year and when the trip was cancelled due to weather, came back again this year. Hiking the canyon in the winter is no small accomplishment, it requires training and planning and commitment. I found the magnificent aspects of the Grand Canyon were mirrored in the qualities of these strong women. Thanks to all of you ladies for your laughter, your stories and companionship on our journey.

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8 responses to “Grand Canyon Chronicles

  1. Thanks for chronicling our adventures! The Canyon experience is truly unique. There is nothing like it–not even the previous year’s hike into this beautiful gorge in the Earth!

  2. Debra Gutierrez

    Gail,
    You are an amazing woman and I thoroughly enjoyed hiking the Grand Canyon with you and the other amazing Mountain Maniacs! Your blog is well written and a joy to read! See you on the trails!

  3. Beautifully written, in my minds eye I can picture the breathtaking glory. I hope this inspires others to experience the wonder of the canyon.

  4. rjsjmayer@cox.net

    I love your story of the Canyon. You are such a gifted writer!

  5. Gail,

    Thank you for sharing via this blog. Well written, and informative. I was honored to have met, and spend time with all of you, in one of my favorite places.

    Audrey

    Audrey

  6. Great re-cap, Lone Wolf… ah, to give us all the opportunity to visualize and be back in the Canyon on our wonderful weekend.

    ps. love the bridge photo and the name of your blog..

  7. Beautifully said — it brought tears to my eyes. What amazing women!

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