Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sometimes, you just have to show up...

Mister C has been trying to plan a trip into the Grand Canyon with some friends for the last month. He probably should have tried to get the permits to camp back in November but, for whatever reason, he didn't. So he has been scrambling to put together the right dates, trails and camping spots. He has submitted his request three different times. Each submission included three different itineraries. Each itinerary on each submission was rejected. March is a pretty busy month for them apparently. He tried calling and speaking with the people in charge of permits repeatedly as well. Every time, he hung up the phone frustrated and without a planned trip. Thursday, after the last rejection arrived in the mail, he called yet again to try and straighten it out. He got nowhere. In fact the very kind (ahem) lady (ahem again) that he spoke to informed him that they would be able to get a lot more itineraries planned if people would QUIT CALLING. I kid you not. Mister C does not like rejection. He does not like not getting his way. And he most certainly wasn't going to be deterred by a not very helpful park ranger. So we drove up to there today. Now, it's about 3 1/2 hours from our house to the Canyon so we had to leave at the agonizingly early hour of 5:20 am, which is way out of my comfort zone. The things we do for the people we love. We hit some snow, sleet and fog on the way up, but once we got past the continental divide it miraculously cleared completely.

Once we got up there, Mister C spoke with one of the rangers in the permit office for over an hour before they hammered out a plan that would work. At the end of it, when he handed the guy his credit card to pay for the permits, the ranger looked at his name and said "Oh, I heard you might be coming up here. It sounded like you were going to be pretty upset." Apparently, the other gal (who was standing next to him looking nervous) had told him about Mister C's last phone call. Not sure what she said exactly but these people see the names of thousands of hikers a year and he recognized Mister C's. Interesting.

After we got all the permit chaos sorted out we had time to kill so we wandered over to the restaurant and had brunch. And then we went over to the top of one of the trails and walked a little ways down to get some photos. It is so gorgeous up there this time of year. There's snow all over, blue skies and very few visitors. That last one is the important one. The Canyon is an incredible destination and I strongly encourage everyone to make the trip up to it. But if you really want to experience it, don't go during the tourist season. All the rude people wandering around smoking and dropping trash and yelling at their kids kind of takes something away from the experience. That, and the heart attacks that I suffer every time I see some oblivious parent letting their toddler stumble ever closer to the edge while they snap photos. You have no clue how hard it is not to slap some people and go "Dude! Seriously? That's like a 10,000 foot drop and there is no way you are going to cover that 15 feet gap between you and little Johnny in time to stop his descent if he trips!"

Anyway, I've included some photos that we took throughout the day.

The road to the continental divide

The road beyond


Mirth :)

Mister C

A deer on the side of the road out. The people behind us were THRILLED!!! with us stopping 10 times to get pictures of the deer. Thrilled I tell you.

Humphreys Peak

Debt Diet - $0 (Mister C paid for everything so that doesn't count. Right?)