When Harrison meets mud..
17 MAY 2019 – 01 JUN 2019
We’ve had some definite highlights so far, which we’ll be talking about for years for sure. We’ve had some definite lows as well, which will be etched in our brains as: ‘You remember that time we..’ But what is really fun to read in our notes is the in between days which make you go: ‘Oh right, that happened!’ Sometimes the best thing that happened in a day can be the discovery of the breakfast burrito (My god, sooo good)! The day we found a shady looking bar that played the whole last season of Game of Thrones with the season finale (Score!). The day we watched two theater movies for the price of one. The day we harvested two breads while dumpster diving (Yes, that happened). Or the day of our first free McDo refill (Thanks Woefie!). Just a grasp out off the ordinary days, which make all the rest even more special.
The GRAND canyon
We were excited about the Grand Canyon. You might even say this was one off the biggest things we were looking forward to since Yellowstone. We were actually really intrigued about the rim-to-rim walk from North to South since Julie had mentioned it. There was only one problem.. or two actually. All the back country permits to sleep in the canyon had been issued months before. Additionally, when arriving at the south rim you need to get back to the north rim somehow. So after a lot of contemplating, we decided to do what all the park brochures plus the lonely planet advised against 😃: Hike down to the Colorado river and back up again in the same day.
- 30 km distance
- 1400 meters down (and then back up again)
- Start the walk at 4.45 AM
- Descending the South Kaibab trail before 7.30 AM
- Crossing the Colorado river twice
- Ascending via the Bright Angel trail
- Feeling confident around 9 AM when passing some people
- Hating life around 11 AM when the pace reduces to snail speed
- Arriving at the top at 12PM happy, unhappy, tired and sore
We do understand now why it is called The GRAND Canyon. The aftermath meant hobbling around for a day our two. Random fact: When walking in the Grand Canyon, you just got to love the smell of green shit in the morning. 👈
A special thanks to Julie, who gave us the recipe of homemade protein balls. Without them, we wouldn’t have come out off that canyon anymore!
When Harrison meets mud
Zion and Bryce. For some reason these two national parks are always mentioned in one breath, but for us they were two completely different experiences.
The night before we arrived to Bryce Canyon National Park we slept at a free camping spot (as always) and were excited to go into the park the next day. We didn’t really noticed the mud.. until the next morning that is. We tried to drive away, but there was no use really. Stuck for the second time this trip and this time we came out A LOT dirtier then when we were messing around in the snow 😉. After two hours of digging and making paths with the stones lying around it was obvious. We couldn’t get ourselves out of this one either! Only one thing left to do: Britt went to the highway a bit further, caked in mud, hoping that someone would stop to help us. Not long after a helpful American obliged and plowed us out. Thank you again to the anonymous stranger! This is becoming a theme it seems.. Tired and dirty we arrived at Bryce National Park in the late afternoon to find it covered in snow and fog. Truly not one of our best days so far. The fog did clear for 15 minutes at the popular overlook so we could get a glimpse of the beauty here.
As mentioned Zion National Park came out a bit different than Bryce. Firstly, the weather was brilliant. Secondly, we didn’t get stuck with Harrison. Thirdly, these huge red walls were just amazing to look at. After stopping at most of the tourist spots we ended up staying at Big Bend a little longer to see if we could spot some climbers who could actually crack climb. And while we had our binoculars out, we saw a huge bird taking flight: A California condor. We had hoped to spot a condor at the Grand Canyon, but little did we know that they nested here as well. So of course we stayed a little longer to watch the show! The next morning we hiked one of the most popular walks in the US: Angels Landing. It truly is a beautiful sight up there and the end is really fun with some scrambling. But for us it’s always a strange feeling when a stairway has been cut into the rock to get people on the top. Also, we took the shuttle bus at 6 AM in the morning and found a crowd waiting already! Just a small warning for those interested souls.
Saint George: Our climbing highlight
This time it was Mark pointing us in the right direction: Thank you! Saint George had so many different areas to go climbing and the best part: this was the type of climbing we could handle. We had fun for a couple of days: going out early before the sun hit, resting when it became to hot and hitting the rocks again in the afternoon. For the climbers out there. Jeroen did his first 6b+ and flashed it straight up. Really a great job!