“Karen’s Noggin’ 🧠 Nuggets” #28 ~ October 11, 2022
RIM-TO-RIM HIKE AT THE GRAND CANYON
THE GREAT ADVENTURE!
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and attains a depth of over a mile. Nearly six million people see the one-mile-deep Grand Canyon each year. Less than 1% of the 6 million yearly visitors hike Rim to Rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s one of those bucket list items that some have a desire to achieve and fewer than that accomplish it.
WOW! What an adventure that must be to hike Rim to Rim and I can’t help but think that people with ADHD would probably love this adventure and challenge. With only a small percentage of people who take on this challenge and succeed, it’s exciting to learn from those who conquered the hike.
I’m fortunate to have known someone who hiked Rim to Rim. And better yet, I have his journals from his hikes. I’m proud to say that my father at the ages of 17, 18, and 19 hiked Rim to Rim while he was employed at the North Rim Grand Canyon Lodge in the summers while going to school at Dana College in Blair, Nebraska.
His first hike started on September 1, 1948, at 3:00 pm. with his roommate from the lodge. This journal is amazing. Incredibly detailed with names of people who they came across on the hike, timestamps of when they were at certain spots, and how much my dad spent for lodging and food at Phantom Ranch, Auto Court, Bright Angel Lodge, and General Store. His description of the Grand Canyon and the detail of the journey is amazing. It’s as if you can imagine yourself there when you read it. He provides the temperature, climate, details of the bridges and river, and everything he was observing.
How beautiful of a picture he painted in his journal. He stated, “At the North Rim it is like southern Canada. We have yellow pine, and it is a virtual forest (Kaibab Forest). As you go down the layers it turns into a desert. At the very bottom it is hot (120 degrees). The Grand Canyon has 6 of the 7 climates in the Western Hemisphere. Well, we walked along crossing Bright Angel Creek by bridge and fording 9 times. Finally, we entered the Royal Gorge. I had picked a rock up from every layer so I took a rock from there. The oldest rock in the world. (Archean Age).”
The hike itself was very strenuous. The fact that they made the hike, as it was not a common thing to do in those days, is amazing. Dad stated, “Every mile sign seemed to take longer to get to. At the bottom of the Canyon, it was 6.8 miles to the South Rim. As we went up miles seemed to go so slow and we rested more and more frequently until finally, we rested for 15 minutes every 100 feet. There were two very steep parts of this rim. One was as we went through the red wall and as we went through the white.”
They “arrived at ye olde Grand Canyon Lodge at 9 o’clock.” (on Saturday, September 4, 1948) “2 hours late for work. I changed clothes and then proceeded to the boiler room. Thus ended a wonderful experience which I will never regret doing and which I will never want to do again.” (as I mentioned earlier, my father walked across the Canyon two more times in the summers of 1949 and 1950.) “It was an experience to tell my grandchildren about if I ever have any.”
“Now that I think of it, the South rim’s altitude is 1200 feet lower than the North rim. However, since the south rim is much closer horizontally than the north rim, it is a much steeper climb. I will never forget or regret the whole trip. It was wonderful.”
The stories of his hikes are funny, educational, and very much entertaining to read. What a treasure to have these in my possession. There are so many more details of these adventures that I will have to share later. I’m so thankful to have these journals from a young man who was adventurous, brave, curious, and wanted to experience a life of no regrets. Thank you, Dad, for providing that example.
On September 21, 1998, my father found his journal from his second hike in August 1949. I’m sure reading it again got him excited for his upcoming trip to the Grand Canyon.
On October 11, 1998, I was traveling with my mom and dad to see the beautiful Grand Canyon that my father loved and called home for three amazing summers. We had just left Albuquerque, New Mexico on that sunny Sunday morning and were on the way to Flagstaff, Arizona. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta was underway, and we were just in awe of those big, beautiful balloons as they were reaching for the sky. What a treat that we didn’t expect. As mom was driving, we were pretty much in the desert by now and what happened next, we didn’t expect either. Dad had recently been ill but felt like he could make the trip. He had always wanted to take mom to the Grand Canyon, and this was the opportunity. After we saw those beautiful balloons in the air, dad started to have problems. I got to dad to help him while mom pulled over on the highway. Mom got in the back of the van with dad and me and she knew right away that he had already gone ‘home’. We couldn’t believe it and we were in shock. How could this be? Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the Grand Canyon that day. But dad did receive his ultimate reward that day and was welcomed into Heaven!
Not only did my father live being adventurous, brave, curious, and wanting to experience a life of no regrets, but he also died that way! My father’s life was a great adventure.
If you have or know someone with ADHD, you know they love adventure. I hope to hear some of your great adventure stories!
For more information on this subject and/or if you would like to work with a Life Coach to work through some struggles or have someone beside you as you navigate this life, contact me at https://happybrainlifecoach.com/
Thank you for reading “Karen’s Noggin’ 🧠 Nuggets” #28 ~ October 11, 2022
2 thoughts on “RIM-TO-RIM HIKE AT THE GRAND CANYON ~ THE GREAT ADVENTURE!”
Beautiful story Karen. I wept with joy knowing your dad just for a minutr or 3.
Awe thanks Shenan 😍 I’m so glad you took the time to read it and that you enjoyed it!