Day 7: Grand Canyon Horsethief/Butte Fault route, hiking out the Tanner Trail and the end of the trip. After a Huppybar at the Redwall Overlook, the trail contours in the Supai Sandstone for a couple of miles, winding around the red rock. I hiked beneath the Desert View Watchtower, once a tiny nub on the horizon days ago. I met a couple of groups that recognized me and had even used my website to help them plan past trips! Always nice to meet readers and know my website is a resource for others. Took a long break at the 75-mile saddle to reflect on the trip and enjoy the scenery. The final climb was tough and the air was thin, but instead of hating it, I instead was so grateful that my body was strong enough to do something like this. This trip gave me such a feeling of accomplishment - a challenging week in a remote part of the Canyon with routefinding, a dry camp, tricky footing and the logistical puzzle of getting my resupply and crossing the river. I had been pretty nervous before the trip and it all went better than I could have expected. As I got close to the trailhead, I went to a spot to watch the sunset before returning back to the "rim world". It's been a month since I hiked out and I'm still glowing from the experience. Thanks to all who have followed along and commented, it was a joy to share it with you! Hope all have a happy, fun and adventurous Thanksgiving!!
Day 7: Grand Canyon Horsethief/Butte Fault, Tanner Camp. One last night under the stars beneath gorgeous Comanche Point! I brought a tent, The One by @gossamergear, but weather was so good I didn't need to set it up once all week. I was up and packed early to get the lower reaches of the Tanner Trail done before the sun hit.
My food plan is completely upside down here: lentils and sea food instead of meat, fruits instead of sugar and coconut water occasionally 🍥 Is it necessary to live in a different environment to change yourself that much? #smenalanka#smenastation
Delayed flights, starving with hunger, tired, granny looking raincoat, my contact lenses have disintegrated because of the heat so back to specky life for a bit, this bag stinks #glamour#solofemalebackpacker#vietnam#hangry#whatdayisit
But my hostel has a hairdryer so it's all grand! 😁 😘😎
Day 6: Grand Canyon Horsethief/Butte Fault route, scenes on the Beamer Trail hiking to Tanner Beach for the night. One more camp among the temples and buttes of Grand Canyon. The feel of the trip changed completely after I got a ride across the river, I hadn't seen anyone for over five days and all of a sudden it seemed like there were backpackers all over the place. I ran into some people I knew from @hikearizona and joined them for an enjoyable dinner before heading off to camp. I was also getting the end of the trip malaise, tomorrow I'd hike out and all of a sudden be back to the "rim world". Even after a week, I just can't get enough of the place.
Day 6, Grand Canyon Horsethief/Butte Fault route, Lava/Chuar Camp. I awoke on Saturday morning hoping this was the day I'd get a ride in a boat across the Colorado River to continue my itinerary. I had been waiting on the beach since 2:30 on Thursday afternoon. I kept telling myself, "One of these times, you'll look up and there's going to be a boat there". And then at 10:30 am, there they were - a whole trip full of boats! I flagged them down and the trip leader, John, said he'd be happy to take me across and take my cache bucket out with him. Even got a bonus ride through Lava/Chuar rapid on his sweet cataraft! John deposited me on the beach at Palisades and I told him I'd make sure to rate his Uber service five stars! I hiked up to the top of the rapid to connect my steps, then spent the afternoon relaxing and playing in the big sandbar before heading over to Tanner Beach for the night.
Big little miracle ✨ when you can see the #elephant coming back home from a little trip. They are not in a zoo, they walk around free. The cables just protect them from the road. This is how it should be
Day 5: Grand Canyon Butte Fault/Horsethief Route. I was up early and packed so I could be ready for a boat to take me across the river so I could continue my journey. Hitching across the Colorado River requires patience, so I made it a point to not get nervous or anxious about it. I had a bucket cache of food, all the water I could drink, plenty of time in my schedule and one of Grand Canyon's best beach camps all to myself. (The bucket of supplies was placed for me by a river trip and it went out with the folks who gave me a ride across.) There was a ridiculous sandstorm as I waited for a boat. My whole world had sand in it and no boats showed up all day. Still managed to have a great time! I carry this fortune in my first aid kit as a reminder that any trip is what you make of it.
Happy Friday from Lava/Chuar Rapid, river mile 65 on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon! Arizona sunsets and one of the wonders of the world- doesn't get much better than this. 📷 by @desertsirena on a weeklong solo backpacking trip on the Butte Fault/Horsethief Route
For this edition of my mildly self-proclaimed #wanderwednesday i’m sharing a photo from last year, when I spent Christmas in Stockholm, Sweden. Truly an amazing city with amazing food, people, and decorations. I just cannot believe it’s almost that time of year again. Yeah, I’m one of those weirdos who is never ready for the holidays to begin. Bah, humbug. But I’m spending the holidays in Italy so I can’t complain. What’s your favorite holiday and where do you like to celebrate? My favorite holiday is flag day!! Kidding. It’s like the most mundane holiday the US. You don’t even get a day off work. But somehow its always in the calendar. Happy whatever holiday you celebrate!!
'Our happiest moments as travelers always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else' ✨
Tag #byopassion in your adventures to get featured next ✈️ 📸: @kiwisoffcourse ❤️
Day 4 Grand Canyon Horsethief/Butte Fault route. I got through the descent and bypasses in East Fork Carbon Canyon. Lower down, the terrain opened up and I was able to stride out for the first time in days. I reached the narrows of Carbon Canyon (with Micro Chicken in tow, of course) and took the river runner path over to Lava/Chuar creek. One more easy mile down the creek with a short sprinkle of rain and I was finally at the Colorado River and the end of the off-trail portion of my trip. What an amazing route it had been the last three days! It was so great to dip my toes in the icy river and know that I had all the drinking water I could ever want after carrying 9 liters from my second night's camp. I planned that one just right, arrived with a little over a liter to spare. My own private beach! I was on the wrong side of the river from my vehicle, so I'd eventually need to flag a passing boat down to give me a ride across. I kept my eyes open for boats but mainly just enjoyed the sounds and sights of one of the best river camps in the Canyon. I'd stayed here before when working as a river guide but to get here on my own two feet was a different experience entirely.
Сегодня мы настоящие молодцы! Встали пораньше отправились на локал-маркет рядом с домом. Кажется, здесь можно найти все! Помимо банального набора из фруктов, круп и рыбы, были замечены нереальные арома-палочки, странные щетки для мытья посуды и резинки для волос всех цветов на свете. Бонусом к любой покупке прилагаются улыбки! Ну как тут можно устоять? #smenastation#smenalanka
I used to backpacking alone and meet people on the way. I thought it’s more safe: if you get along, you stay. If not you go. That was my definition of freedom. This time I’ve found another kind of it. Most of my time I spend with the same people here. But each day they reveal their new side of personality to me. And I still feel the freedom. Inside of me✨ It feels great being accepted on #smena
Day 4, Horsethief/Butte Fault Route. This photo will only be appreciated by trail nerds, history geeks and lovers of obscure Grand Canyon routes and lore. This is a piece of trail construction in the East Fork of Carbon Canyon that points to the historic use of this route. The Horsethief Route was used by rustlers that would steal horses, drive them down the Nankoweap Trail on the North Rim, across the Butte Fault, and then cross the Colorado River at a historically low spot to continue out the Beamer and Tanner Trails to the South Rim. A seemingly impossible feat given the crazy terrain I've been traveling the last four days, but I guess to some it was worth all the effort. There are also mining and cowboy relics along the route.
Day 4, Horsethief/Butte Fault route, Grand Canyon. I crested the Sixtymile/Carbon saddle to a whole new perspective on the Canyon. The South Rim was visible with the Desert View Watchtower a tiny pillar on the distant rim. Jupiter, Venus and Apollo Temples visible at right. One last big descent from the saddle down the East Fork Carbon Canyon and I would be on easier ground to the Colorado River at Lava/Chuar canyon. Just out of curiosity, I checked my phone for signal and to my surprise, I had reception good enough to surprise my husband Brian with a call. It was so fun to stand out in the middle of freaking nowhere and get to catch up and tell him all about my adventures of the last four days. I send him an InReach message with my satellite communicator every morning and night to let him know I'm ok, but to get to hear his voice was awesome. He's super supportive of my Grand Canyon obsession, even if he sometimes gets tired of me being gone and hearing about it all the time. I can't help myself, this place is endlessly fascinating!! After an enjoyable break at the saddle, I found a track leading into Carbon for the descent.
Day 4, Horsethief/Butte Fault route, Grand Canyon. Scenes from Sixtymile Canyon: happy selfie action on the saddle, looking across to the ascent on the other side of the canyon, pile of rubble route on the pouroff bypass, beautiful Redwall canyon, colorful ascent to the Sixtymile/Carbon saddle. Off-trail travel opens up so many possibilities in Grand Canyon. It's amazing how comfortable I've gotten with the loose, sketchy footing on this route. I have a mantra I use in Grand Canyon - "constant and eternal vigilance". It means never taking a step for granted. Careful placement of each foot without settling into complacency. When I get nervous about the terrain, it calms me down. The climb to the Carbon saddle was the last big one on the route and had a good track as I neared the top. I popped out at the saddle to a whole new perspective on the Canyon where the South Rim was finally visible.
Day 4, Grand Canyon Horsethief/Butte Fault route - arriving at the Awatubi/Sixtymile saddle. The morning was cool and overcast, perfect for hiking. I felt strong as I took on the final day of off-trail travel. Following the Butte Fault up to a saddle, down to a dry creekbed, repeat. Just me and my Canyon for days. What could be better?
Day 4, Horsethief/Butte Fault Route. Hiking up to the Awatubi/Sixtymile saddle, looking back at the uplift of Kwagunt Butte. The lighting was overcast and dramatic and I was happy to experience it. Light changes everything in the Canyon. The same spot can have a million different moods based on how and where the sun hits.
Awatubi Camp day 4, Grand Canyon Horsethief/Butte Fault route. I was up and packed by 7am. For those who have backpacked with me, you know I'm usually more of a leisurely morning kinda gal. I wanted to get the climbs done before the day heated up. I had 4.5 liters of water left from Kwagunt Creek. Feeling good about the day ahead, I was excited to see the Colorado River. But first I had several canyons to cross. As you can see, I wore pants for the route, there was a lot of low scrub brush that would have gotten caught on my skirt. I'll have a full write up of the gear I carried and why for the @gossamergear blog soon.
Day 3, Grand Canyon Horsethief/Butte Fault Route. In the afternoon, I was at the Malgosa/Kwagunt saddle and I could see ahead to my next objective - the saddle west of Kwagunt Butte. I took a steep ridge into Malgosa Canyon and followed the drainage up to the saddle in the first photo. I made a navigational error and went left way too early, ascending the steep gully near the center of the photo. As it got steeper and I was pulling myself up the crumbly chute, I remembered what @richrudow had told me, "If you're using your hands too much, you're off route". I stopped in the chute to look at the photo I'd shot from across the canyon. It looked like it would go to the saddle, only I didn't know what the traverse was going to look like when I finally popped out. I didn't want to go back the way I came, so I scrambled up the rest of the chute. I felt silly when I saw the nice path I could've taken to the saddle. Instead I had a traverse on loose, sketchy terrain to get there after climbing a loose, sketchy chute. It was one of those places where one slip of the foot would send me tumbling down the hill. I dug in with my @gossamergear hiking poles and placed each step carefully. After reaching the saddle and taking in the views of the Awatubi Crest, I hiked down into Awatubi Canyon and passed an old coffee kettle. Decided not to push to the Awatubi Saddle and stayed in the canyon instead. Overcast skies but no rain, this night was much warmer. Dry camped and set up for a big push for the Colorado River the next day.
In a second it will start to rain and I’ll fall asleep on this wooden floor for an hour. First time in my life inside the Buddhist temple and definitely for the first time sleeping in a religious place ✨ p.s. special thanks to the hungry little fuckers who woke me up so early today jumping on to my window. It probably won’t be possible without you 🙊🙉🙈
The art of not giving a damn 🐕 Saw a giant spider about my fist size last night - calmly was watching it going away 🕷 Woke up at 7am today because of monkeys stealing everything they could take in hope that it’s eatable - just closed the window and watched them eating a toothpaste 🙈 I think I’ve found zen
This day I went very close to the touristic spot for the first time 📸 Interesting thing - when I’m walking in a suburbs in the middle of nowhere locals don’t care at all. Like this place suddenly make me a white person your lifetime goal is to take a pic with and say hello 😶 Don’t mind the last one though ✌🏻especially with a kind and curious Sri Lankan smile