March 31, 2012

Day 58, 14th October 2011. Grand Canyon, Arizona

It had just started to warm up a little bit and I could feel myself starting to fall asleep when the alarm went off at 5.30am telling us it was time to get up. I must have had almost no sleep, and I had been drinking the night before, so I was clearly not in the mood for going on a hike at this time in the morning. However, it would mean we had more time to relax later so I was prepared to do it, because the other group weren't getting up until much later.

It was still quite cold so I put lots of layers on, knowing full well that I would get hot when we started hiking and have to take them all off. We got dropped off at the start of the Bright Angel trail at 6am, but for some reason it took me, Gary and Kirsty ages to find where we were supposed to start it from so we didn't start the hike until 6.25.

While we were looking around we saw a deer :)

Start of the Bright Angel Trail

The Bright Angel trail had a number of points that you could go to, one being right at the bottom of the canyon. We were going to see how far we felt like going today. I really wasn't in the mood for a full day hike, plus I was tired already from no sleep last night, and I wanted to do some serious wedding talk with Gary later as well.

So the 3 of us started walking and we were warming up almost immediatley. I wanted to stop about every 10 minutes to take another layer of clothing off. The sun was rising so the shadowy patterns over the Grand Canyon kept changing.

To be honest, I wasn't crazy about this hike. I truly feel like the best views we got of the Canyon were from the top of it, so I felt like it was a bit of a waste walking down into it. Of course it is a cool thing to do, but I didn't feel rewarded with the views of 'getting to the top' as I did with the other hikes we did. 

Gary with his Gatorade (I miss this stuff so much), it kept me alive when we were in the USA and I loved all the different flavors it came in, I wish we got them all here.

After about an hour and 45 minutes we reached the half way point, which was 3 miles in. We knew it was going to take longer to get back up so I said to Gary that I didn't really want to do any more. Kirsty decided she was going to go the whole way down, and I know we could have if I could have pushed myself, but I really just couldn't be bothered. No other excuses really, I just didn't feel like it.

People doing it on horseback, now thats a good idea, although kind of scary because it was quite a rocky terrain and I'd be worried about the horse slipping or me falling off it.

The thing I hated most was that we went downhill first and then uphill, so the hardest part was at the end. I really struggled with it, and it seemed a lot steeper than it had been on the way down, even though it cant have been.

Cute little squirrel

It took us 2 and a half hours to get back up, the last 20 minutes were the worst and all I wanted to do was keep stopping. I wish I'd had more will power on this day, but I just didn't.

Mountain goats

We were back at the top by 10.35am, so we had the whole day ahead of us to relax. Mark said he would only do one pick up and that was later in the day so we got a bus back to the visitor center, where we could get a taxi back to camp. While we were waiting for the taxi, Gary bought us some burgers from a cafe that were so gross, so I told him off for wasting money (haha I was so grumpy this morning, I don't know what was wrong with me) and I looked in the gift shop for a while.

I bought some normal cheese from a little food shop so that I could make sandwiches when we got back to camp. The taxi picked us up and it was only $10 for the cab ride which was really good because it took quite a while to get there. The taxi driver was a really nice old guy, I found that the people who we met in and around the National Parks are some of the nicest people I have ever met. They were all so friendly and nice, I  miss Americans.

When we got back to camp there was no one there apart from Steph and Dean. It was just the 4 of us there on our own for about 5 hours and it was really nice to have all the space to ourselves. Me and Gary both had showers and then we just sat around not doing much for the afternoon, we had about 5 hours of peace. I painted my nails and also did Steph's. Me and Gary had a look a bit more on the Wedding Chapel website to decide what we wanted to do, trying to figure out how much it would cost, and which wedding chapel was the best one. 
Afterwards, Gary had a little nap and Steph went off to do some laundry, and when I had a chance to think I kind of freaked out a bit worrying that people at home would be really mad at us for not telling them we were getting married. Thankfully, I had a really nice chat with Dean about it and just realized that I should do what makes me happy, and of course marrying Gary is the happiest thing I can imagine, so I managed to throw all my doubts aside and forget them.

Steph's nails

When Steph got back from the laundry, we were starting to get a little bored so we painted Dean's nails while he slept on the bench

He loved them LOL. One hand said I Love Gary and the other one said I Love Nick. At some point in the later afternoon everyone else got back, and me and Gary went to do some laundry. We had been meaning to do it all day while it was quiet at camp but we had ever quite got round to it. The weather when we were there was so weird. During the day it was really hot, and as the sun started to set it all of a sudden went from really hot to really cold in the space of 5 minutes, so at one point I had to run back to the tent to change from my shorts and t-shirt to jeans and a sweater.

While we were away from the others in the laundry room, we rang the Little White Wedding Chapel and booked our wedding for next week, after checking with Mark exactly what date we would be in Vegas. We were going to be there for 2 nights, and we had a party bus thing booked for the whole group on the first night so we decided to do it on the second night. We didn't book anything fancy with the wedding, just the chapel, a small bouquet for me and a photographer. There was a free limo included in the chapel price (only in Vegas LOL) and the minister was also included, we just had to tip him on the night. We paid over the phone there and then, it was under $300. It was such a surreal crazy experience just sitting there being like 'Oh my god, we just booked our wedding'!!

We went to dinner with Kirsty, Amelia, Steph and Leah to a cowboy style steakhouse near the campsite, as we didn't have any food to eat around camp. It was such a nice meal! I had chicken, and all the others had steak. All the meat was so nicely cooked, it was the best chicken I have ever eaten. It came with proper cowboy sides, corn on the cob, a jacket potato and a biscuit (which is not the same as a biscuit in the UK lol)

After the lovely food, we started walking back to camp and it was getting so cold already. I was really not prepared for another freezing shivering night like last night so we discussed maybe all of us splitting the cost of a hotel room. It was not something we could really afford but there was no way I was going to spend another night being so cold like that again. 

When we got back to camp, I went to get our laundry out of the dryer and then packed up some stuff in my rucksack for an overnight hotel stay. There were 6 of us that went to stay in the hotel, me, Gary, Kirsty, Steph, Nick and Dean. It was only 5 minutes walk from the campsite, and we just got one room so it was only about $20 each. Steph and Dean went into reception to get the room so it looked like it was just those 2 staying in it while the rest of us just waited outside for them.

When we got in the room the boys watched TV and me and Kirsty made some bracelets, but everyone was so tired that we all fell asleep pretty early. There were 2 huge beds in the room, so Nick, Steph and Dean slept in one, and me, Kirsty and Gary slept in the other. Some people were going to sleep on the floor but because the beds were so big it didn't make sense to. I took my phone charger so we cold make the most of the electricity and charged my phone all night.

I had such a good nights sleep compared to last night, I pretty much feel asleep as soon as I laid down. I was really hot because I was sleeping in between Kirsty and Gary and there was no air getting to me, but compared to how cold I was last night, I couldn't complain.

1 comment:

  1. OMG you booked your wedding!!! Can't wait to read all about it! :D