We Ride Sport and Trail Magazine October 2018 - Page 11

pounds fully dressed, must be at least 4' 7" tall, be able to speak and understand fluent English and agree to ride in long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats and close-toed shoes. Also riders cannot be pregnant.

Packing Tips

We learned that we would each be given a cloth bag, about the size of a 10# ice bag, when we checked in the night before our ride. Those opting for the two-day stay at Phantom Ranch, get two bags. Everything needs to fit into the bag(s) provided. Several bloggers recommended wearing the same clothing, that really saved a lot of room. We brought our own toiletries (they provide towels and soap), a change in underclothes, cut-offs for playing in the creek, light-weight pajama’s. Jim and I were able to wrap two canned beers in our clothes and they easily fit with everything else. The Canteen has ice for the riders, so we figured, what the heck, a beer chilling in the sink over ice would be great after playing in the creek , and it was!

Jody and I opted to wear a “hipster” which is a small purse that clips to your belt loops to hold our phones, we use an app to log our miles to Top Trail. Top Trail is a nation-wide program for the trail riders, that upload their tracks and compete for sponsor prizes. We weren’t going to miss out on the 17+ miles we were able to log in the Canyon!

We Are Really Doing This!

We arrived just before dusk at the Bright Angel Lodge & Cabins. With the sun just starting to set, we “had” to take a look, before checking in. As we walked towards the Rim, I looked to my friends to capture their reactions. Jim was stuttering with joy as he mumbled, “I didn’t know, I didn’t know….it would look like this.” I looked to my best friend, Jody and saw in her what I knew I too was experiencing – tears of joy and awe. I felt so small. It was absolutely magnificent. You can imagine all you want – but you can’t imagine what we saw. Upon seeing the Grand Canyon, one can fully appreciate why it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The enormity of it boggles the mind. I wish I could find the words to describe it but the Grand Canyon is beyond words. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I looked to Jim, who was trying to breath and talk at the same time, finally getting the words out, “We’re really doing this.”

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Given the steep terrain, I was surprised that none of the mules wore a breast collar, and that the saddles never slipped. I am still mystified by that.