Monday, April 16, 2007

150 Mile Canyon

We went on a spring backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon. I could only recruit Eric along with his friend Sam Hicken and his Dad, Allen. Marty and Rebecca had visited this canyon 5 years ago and for some reason wouldn't miss school for a repeat visit. 150 Mile Canyon is a side canyon of the Grand Canyon just west of the Kanab Creek drainage. It is accessed by driving out on the Arizona Strip south of Pipe Springs National Monument. Three hours after leaving home and lots of scratches on my new truck we arrived at the trail head. The trail going down was faint and there were no recent signs of anyone having hike it. We had a late start from home, therefore, the last hour of hiking was with our headlamps in the dark. It was challenging finding a good spot to pitch our tents as this canyon is rugged and full of rocks and boulders. We did find a good spot eventually and with spring water nearby. The weather was unseasonably warm and I laid on top of my sleeping bag for much of the night. The next day was spent in exploring the side canyons and rims of this neat section of the canyon. We did not hike and rappel to the river this trip as we did with the last trip into this canyon. I found some arrowheads and pottery in the upper reaches of one of the side canyons. The hike out on the 3rd day was long. Getting back up the several thousand feet of vertical gain needed to get to the rim was strenuous, but tolerable. Eric did great! He can already carry a respectable pack and is sturdy and sure footed on rugged and steep terrain. One of the best parts of going on these backpack trips is coming home to a nice hot shower and a soft bed. It helps one appreciate the simple, but good things of life.