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 The Trek: The Journals

•
Team: South
Jessica Terrell
Monday, September 2
Grand Canyon, North Kaibab Trail
View
Wayne after the Grand Canyon Hike

Wayne after the Grand Canyon Hike
Courtesy Lorie McGraw

View
Wayne after the Grand Canyon Hike

Wayne after the Grand Canyon Hike
Courtesy Lorie McGraw

September 2, 2002


Was that my alarm? No, couldn’t be. Hmmm, it sounds like my alarm, but why is it still dark? Almost squinting in the brightness of the night, I untangled my watch from the bag strapped to my wrist and sure enough, my alarm was the culprit. I stretched as I remembered where I was and why my alarm was going off at 3:20 a.m.. We’re going to hike out of the canyon today! My alarm had not awakened any of the other team members, so that became my first goal of the day. One by one, I tapped each of the bundles, not quite sure who occupied each sleeping bag. When I had completed the process six times, everyone was awake and moving about, silently packing bags and lacing hiking boots. I had a breakfast that consisted of a banana and a Power Bar and then we were off. We must have made quite a spectacle moving through the ranch on our way out, seven headlamps shining on the ground ahead, moving along at pretty good pace in the cool hours of the early morning. I discovered one of those impacts on the wildlife that I talked about in yesterday’s journal as we almost ran straight into a mule deer that seemed to think we were in its way. The animals are so accustomed to humans that it is dangerous for them. Not all visitors have been taught that feeding and interacting with wild animals actually does the more harm than good.
We moved along the North Kaibab Trail at almost a march, and all I could see were Julie’s feet in front of me for at least the next two hours. Tired of eating insects, I switched off my headlamp and used the light of Julie’s lamp to navigate the trail. It could be called an easy trail compared to the Tanner Trail, flat and at least five feet wide, with few obstacles. Onward and upward we traveled, following Bright Angel Creek for much of the way. Darkness finally gave way to morning light, and we were able to see the water, the canyon, and the path that would eventually lead us to the north rim. We reached Cottonwood Campground between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m., which marked almost the halfway point of our climb. I took the time to tend to my feet, which much to my dismay were beginning to feel a bit tender at the heels. I took the precautionary step of placing moleskin on the back of each foot and didn’t think too much about it after that. After we refilled water bottles and had a couple Power Bars (please, no more!!!), we again began climbing. The trail became steeper as we wound in, out, and around the canyon. Just when I needed a break, I saw the sign indicating Roaring Springs and I breathed a sigh of relief. This was the point where Cathy and Julie would wait for the mules to bring them the final five miles up the trail. We also had the option to leave some gear with them to be placed onto another mule. Wayne left some of his gear (he had a lot of camera equipment), but I believe the rest of us decided to just take what we had to the top. I wanted to press on, and from that point on, the group began to spread out. Jan took to the front and Jake and I followed. Richard and Wayne brought up the tail end not far behind. The trail changed quite a bit those last five miles. I went from feeling pretty good and moving along at a descent pace to resting every couple of switchbacks and drinking a lot more water. Jake was kind enough to keep me company all the way back. I knew he could have gone faster, but it was nice to have somebody to talk to. Conversation jumped back and forth almost as much as the trail did, and we chatted about everything from the scenery and the great weather to the well-formed blisters on the back of my heels. As long as I kept moving, it really was not too bad. I focused on the unbelievable sight before me, and it was easy to forget about my feet. I looked back and could see miles and miles of the trail we had navigated. The switchbacks became more frequent as we neared the rim, and we really knew we were close when we reached the evergreens. At 12:20 p.m., we reached the trailhead and were greeted by Jan, Richard, and Lorie. Jan had arrived at 11:30 a.m., while Richard had passed us at the water/restroom stop and arrived just ahead of us right about noon. Wayne arrived not long after that and we all enjoyed some snacks and cold drinks. The time had come for me to take off my shoes and inspect the damage. I was in a bit of pain, but remained calm as I pulled the moleskin off the blisters. It was really not very fun, especially when one of the blisters popped. Ouch!
I couldn’t put my shoes back on, so I let my wounds air out as we piled in the truck and headed to our next camp, Jacob Lake campground, where there really was no lake unless the area received a fair amount of rain. The drive out to the campground was really very enjoyable. It was yet another scene that I had only seen in pictures and never really imagined I would get the chance to see in person. The road gently wound through open fields, with aspen and evergreens interspersed some distance away. Some of the aspen had already turned, and their leaves shone like gold. The contrast of the evergreens and aspen was very unique to me, and it inspired me in a way. I wanted to be talented enough to not just take a great photo of the scene, but to be able to draw it, to reproduce it the way my mind saw it. I can certainly see it in my mind, but to explain it would take more than just words. That scenery was a great way to end my day. I watched it pass by as I pondered the eight-hour hike I had just completed, and I was proud of what I had accomplished. Still, to take it all in I would need many more hours than that last few days. I know I will return here, and at least once I will hike rim to rim on my own, because I know I can! But there are so many people I want to share this experience with. My mom and brother have never been out west, and they are only a couple of those I would love to have with me on my next trip. I can only implore the people of this country to do the same. Spend a day, a week, or more on the lands we call public, whether it be a local, state, or national park!
for Monday, September 2
North South Both




Biographical
•
Team: South
Jessica Terrell
LM-jessicahorse04-08.jpg

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List of All Journal Entries
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Friday, November 15
Jessica Terrell
National Trails Symposium
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Sunday, October 27
Jessica Terrell
Meeting Team North
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Saturday, October 26
Jessica Terrell
The Finals Days...
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Thursday, September 19
Jessica Terrell
An Eye-Opening Experience
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Wednesday, September 18
Jessica Terrell
Days and Days of ATV's
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Tuesday, September 17
Jessica Terrell
My "Favorite" Day
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Friday, September 6
Jessica Terrell
Tour of Glen Canyon Dam, Hatch River Expeditions, and Lee’s Ferry (Lonely Dell) and the Houseboat!!!
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Monday, September 2
Jessica Terrell
Grand Canyon, North Kaibab Trail
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Sunday, September 1
Jessica Terrell
Grand Canyon, Phantom Ranch
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Saturday, August 31
Jessica Terrell
Grand Canyon Day 2
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Friday, August 30
Jessica Terrell
South Rim, Grand Canyon
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Monday, August 26
Jessica Terrell
Grand Canyon Sunrise
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Sunday, August 11
Jessica Terrell
Snow Lake
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Wednesday, August 7
Jessica Terrell
Silver City, NM
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Saturday, August 3
Jessica Terrell
Location: Lake Valley, New Mexico
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Thursday, August 1
Jessica Terrell
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Wednesday, July 31
Jessica Terrell
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