Monday, June 3, 2013

RIM to RIM: The beginning.

Hey guys! It feels so good to be home! I have been thinking about the best way to put the whole rim to rim experience into words.

So lets start from the beginning!

What is RIM to RIM?

Rim to Rim is a reference to going from the north rim to the south of the Grand Canyon from one side to the other. It is not an organized/sponsored event. Anyone can go do it. You can do it in ONE day, or two or four! You can go north to south, south to north, or north to south to north…(Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim)

My friend Kate was the genius behind this adventure, she brought up the idea of running across the Grand a few months ago,I instantly jumped on board! My Grandpa Hale was a Geologist and would talk about the history of Grand to us whenever we would listen.

Anyway, I wasn’t the only one that wanted in on this suffer fest. I had 21 other crazies to run with!

I met up with 3 other girls Friday morning and we were off!  The North rim is about an 8 hour drive from SLC to the lodge. The drive went by quick! Lots of chatting, snacking and farting.

We stayed at the Kaibab Lodge. It’s not quite in the National Park and was maybe a 20 mile drive from the North Rim trail head. I think it is probably cheaper to stay there compared to inside the park.

Since there was 22 of us total we were split up into different cabins.

This was the cabin I stayed in.

 

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Fancy right? It was complete luxury, as you can tell.

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The twin bed was firm and I’m sure the bedspread was from the 1960’s. It totally had that rustic, cabin feel to it! I actually really did like it and want to take my family back for some fun!

The family room NO TV. Probably cause you are in the middle of Nowhere and you also had ZERO cell service. Being completely unplugged was actually pretty cool. I had called Brent when my service bars started dropping to say goodbye for two days! It was weird to just turn my phone off!!

My friend Sid had brought GU’s, trail mix and cliff shot bloks for everyone!

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Once everyone arrived and got settled we headed over to the one and only restaurant/general store/gift shop… right next door.

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I was surprisingly impressed with the food!

 

I ordered some chicken sandwich thing minus the bread with a baked potato! They actually had GF bread there! I didn’t get it because GF bread kinda, almost always is crappy.. and a baked potato is my favorite pre-race carb of choice.

 

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It ended up being pretty good! But after an 8 hour drive, I was starving and probably would of eaten anything.

After dinner we quickly headed back to the lodge and got our hydration packs ready to rock, and got straight to bed. We had a 2:40 AM alarm headed our way. Traveling Utah to Arizona we actually GAINED an hour. So it was actually 3:40 AM our time. We decided on such an early start because some people wanted to beat the heat.

Checking the weather the night before, we had a low of 34 degrees at the top of the North rim.. and a high of 97 in the box of the canyon, with a slight breeze!

I actually slept pretty well and woke up ready to go! Not sure if it was adrenline or what, because I have not been a morning person lately… Anything before the 4 AM hour is a little cray anyway! But regardless, we all were up, ate a little something and out the door and at the trail head right before 5 AM.

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(I took this pic, when we returned to get our cars.)

It was pitch black when we started our descend into the Canyon, We were partenered up with a buddy of choice and ran with headlamps so we could actually see where we were stepping. Luckily for me, my headlamp died right when we hit the trail head.. So I followed closely behind my partner, ok actually we had to hold hands because running down that in the dark is NOT easy… till the sun came up!

The sun came up around 5:20 AM and we couldn’t believe our eyes. IT was beautiful! Watching that sun come up over the red rock was amazing! I wish I could watch it every day!

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Here are a few runner mothers.

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We reached our first bridge!! It was at this point that I actually had a problem..

Running down there is a lot of SAND! Think beach. Thick, and deep sand! Just in certain parts though, but it was just enough…

I had so much sand in my shoes that I had a few hot spots going on.. they hurt. They hurt so much that I was afraid to even take my shoes off and look at it. I knew I had some blisters.. I could feel their heart beat in the top of my foot. I had stopped and shook the sand out of my shoes once before but it was a little late. It was probably only around mile 5 or 6 too. (FYI: We couldn’t use garmins because you couldn’t get a signal in the canyon.)

A few of the girls decided to take a little detour to see Ribbon falls! I have to say, this is a MUST do! It’s a little ways off the trail by maybe a mile, but totally worth going to see. In fact, our charter guide on the way back the next day told me that there is actually more to ribbon falls then we saw! So I guess that means I have to go again..Winking smile

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I changed my socks here and ate my lunch- A almond butter and chia jam sandwich, I also made sure to drink! Then we realized it was only 7:30 AM! It felt like it was at least 11!?

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It was amazing though!!!

I am going to stop here for tonight! There is so much to share, I’ll be back tomorrow with the recap on “THE BOX.”