Deb took this picture at an Arizona rest area on the drive out
The mountains of Flagstaff come into view
This is the evening before we did the R2R2R. We went to find the trailhead now rather than search for it at 4am...so we took some shots looking down into the canyon.
The incredible thing is along the Rim Trail, there were no guardrails to keep people from falling down into the canyon.
Sign at the trailhead
Beginning of the South Kaibab trail, where our journey will begin tomorrow morning at 4am.
The first several steps...
We never saw any mules on the trail, unfortunetly.
We won't see this because it'll be dark.
The trail winding down the canyon wall.
More of the South Kaibab trail.
Can't wait to get started!
Looking out into the Grand Canyon the night before
Sheer dropoff with no guardrails!
Some Mules getting ready for another day's work up near the South Kaibab trailhead.
About to begin...Steve, Deb and Kevin at 4:30 am at the South Kaibab trailhead.
(We got a later start than planned)
Sheer dropoff in the dark
So dark I didn't take many pictures on the way down South Kaibab...this is the tunnel entrance at the bottom of the trail.
Horton shot in the tunnel
Steve, Deb and Kevin.
On the other side of the tunnel is the long suspension bridge over the Colorado River....better pictures of this later in the day on our return.
Phantom Ranch was reached in 1:45...about 7 miles in.
There were Deer everywhere in the ranch!
This little guy (or girl) hadn't woken up yet, sleeping right beside the trail.
Deb led the way most of the day...and she did a great job of getting us an evenly paced out and back traverse of the Grand Canyon.
Strange things growing down here.
Tried getting a shot of Kevin running behind me
OK, that's better!
Many bridges were crossed...
Deb going over one in the early morning
As it begins to get light out, the sliver moon said goodbye
Sunlight beginning to hit the upper areas of the canyon walls
Deb up ahead with one of the Florida guys who were also doing a R2R2R and started at the same time we did.
Kevin running along in the dawn behind me
I believe this is the Bright Angel Creek
Cacti was everywhere
KZ having a good day....now!
Interesting formation in the canyon walls
Video of the early morning running before the sun beat down on us.
KZ running through the brush around the lowest section. The run basically went from 7000'+ down to 2000'+ up to 8000'+ and back.
The old telegraph line poles were all along our route
Sun is arriving and we can't wait for it, it's cold down here!
KZ took the lead for awhile
KZ and Deb up ahead
More interesting things growing down here
This was the trail down between the South Kaibab trail and the North Kaibab trail....so is it the middle Kaibab trail?
Sunshine on the higher sections, we'll be in the canyon wall shadows for awhile.
Deb running to the sun
Little waterfall....there was plenty of water to be had down here.
Looking back at the South Rim, now engulfed in sunlight. We were still in the cold shadows.
Deb insisted she take a photo of me...
I believe this was Cottonwood Campground ranger station down in the canyon.
7 miles to the north rim, destination #1.
Around 8am, temp is 70 degrees...it still felt cold down by the water.
North Rim in the far distance
The bridge before Roaring Springs.
This was crazy at Roaring Springs...we had to wait in a line to fill our bladders. Many runners and hikers coming from the North Rim doing a R2R.
Deb and KZ in line
On our way with the conga line of hikers coming from the north rim....many good mornings were said and "Good job, R2R2R'ers" to us. How did they know?
Deb leading us on into the hot sun
Starting to heat up and the views were getting better
Kevin was beginning to feel the heat...poor Boston boy ;-)
Now "this" is what we came here for!
The trails goes up there to the left and around
Deb, as an artist, is just awed at the views and as a runner is having a blast.
KZ is overheated and beginning to fall off the pace
Deb up ahead, cool trails, ey?
That's the trail behind us where we just came from...glad I had no vertigo today ;-)
If you can't tell, it was getting hot.
We were amazed at the fantastic trail work done down here.
Pics weren't coming out too well in the bright sunshine
Deb hidden in the red rocks
Trail to the left
Looking across the canyon
Kevin coming up behind me
Trail cut into the Canyon Wall to the right
Trail behind us down below to the right
The bridges were quite awesome
There's the bridge down below with the trail behind it
Now further away
This was a long 6+ mile hike up to the North Rim in the hot sun
Looking behind again at that same bridge down below
Gerd Nunner, who told us he's done the double crossing 48 times!
Awesome trail in the hot sun
Looking back at the trail winding along the canyon wall
Looking behind again you can see the trail directly behind me, but also winding along in the distance to the right.
Trail down below....KZ's down there somewhere.
70 degrees in the shade
A spotted squirrel
up and up to the North rim that's getting closer
In the trees now as we near the North Rim trailhead
Tada! We've arrived...11:30 am (10:30 AZ time) after starting at 4:33am (3:33), 22 miles in 6 hours 57 minutes.
Now time to turn around and do it again!
This guy, who had passed us going up, was also doing a R2R2R.
We're taking a break and waiting for Kevin to arrive.
10 years married and this was our celebratory run
Olga Varlamova, who was part of our group, arrived.
She and her husband Larry started on the Bright Angel trail, so she did 3 miles more in about the same time we did.
(Correction, Olga and Larry started an hour later than we did, so her time was closer to 6 hours! They were just over 13 hours for closer to 50 miles)
Larry and Olga...Larry wasn't feeling too well, Olga was feeling great!
Now on our way back to the South Rim after an hour break waiting for Kevin.
Kevin was having a rough day in the heat and as far as we knew, was getting a ride back to the South Rim, which made us feel better.
Olga coming down on her return journey.
Larry following....they did great running the near 50 miles in just over 13 hours.
Rock table at the first switchback
(I really had no idea what this was)
Down comes Deb after getting Kevin situated with a ride.
The water stop 2 miles down
Getting hotter now
Through the tunnel again
Down the same trails, but the light is better now, not as hazy
Awesome or what?
This guy was part of a group of R2R2R runners who we met coming up the South trail just after we began. They were about to finish a 13+ hour double crossing.
Deb cruising down the trail...we did fly down this thing and were trying for a negative split.
Hikers coming up on the left
Deb pointing to something
But then turned around and started to cruise
This video is later on in the afternoon going back down into the Canyon
That's another shot of me that Deb wanted to take
Looking down into the canyon
Wasn't too long ago Deb could never have run down a trail with a drop like that.
Can you see the trail on the bottom right?
Trail cut into the canyon wall just right of center
Really incredible the work done to build this trail...it reminded us a lot of the Bear Creek trail into Ouray at Hardrock.
This was an attempt of a self portrait of us both, not just of me. ;-)
Nice hat, Deb!
There. that's better...
Nice shot of the trail to the upper right
Trail cut into the canyon wall
Back at Roaring springs to fill our bladders.
I went through about 350 ounces of water (5, 70 ounce bladder fillings), around 15 gels, along with many snickers and a sandwich.
Deb is crankin'!
Now above 80 at Cottonwood Campground. We heard later it reached 86 degrees. We were never really hot, it was comfortable hot!
We're nearing the bottom of the canyon again
So many hikers down here
It was pretty fabulous down here
It was really nice when we switched over to the shady side.
Bright Angel Creek
We liked this end better as we neared Phantom Ranch again, the canyon walls were really close.
Deb liked the reflective light for painting purposes.
This rock wall had a lot of work put into it
Deb was maintaining a great pace as we tried to get in under 7 hours for the return trip
North rim is 13.4 miles behind us, so we've now run approx 35.4 miles.
Phantom Ranch and their Lemonade is very near.
...and they did!
This is that guy that was up on the North Rim, he was hurting and wasn't going anywhere fast.
...but we were on a mission, so after just a 15 minute Lemonade break, we hit the trail running.
Never saw any mules on the trail, which we were hoping to see, but here they are in their pen at Phantom Ranch.
At Bright Angel Campground...only about 6 miles to go!
The bridge we didn't see early this morning because it was too dark.
Awesome suspension bridge over the Colorado River
Some Native American ruins alongside the trail and river
Nice geometric patterns
Making our way under the bridge before hopping up on it
Deb about to enter the tunnel
...and now leaving the tunnel! We're walking now in an attempt to rest up for the tough 6 mile climb up the steep South Kaibab trail.
...and there it is...
Looking back at the bridge, which as you will see, I did many times ;-)
Trail was much steeper than it looks here.
The South Kaibab trail winding up the canyon wall below us
Hard to see here, but I was trying to show the trail switchbacking up the canyon wall.
Trail below us
Where we were...
More of the South Kaibab trail we've already come up with the Grand Canyon and Colorado River behind.
A green striped snake we saw on the trail. We still don't know what kind it was.
It was a bright green color, which doesn't show well in the shade. It was also very feisty, trying to strike at the camera!
See the trail to the lower right?
Nice smooth trail
Trail coming up in the hot sun
This was an emergency phone that appears to be linked with the telegraph wires we saw laying down in the canyon earlier ;-)
We kept looking back at the beauty of the Grand Canyon
Trail below us winding back and forth
3.5 miles and about 3000' of climb to go ...it was getting hard, we were tired.
Nice shot of the trail switching up the canyon wall.
A raven hovering above my head
Sun was setting, could we make it before dark?
Sunbeam breaking down at an angle from the South Rim
South rim shadow on the far canyon walls.
Deb cranking up...we really don't want to have to get our lights out.
South Kaibab trail cutting up below us
Cool old tree on the edge
South rim sighting!
Huge dropoff here
These views are what we didn't get to see earlier this morning
Trail going around that knob
Ugh....it's now a grind, running low on energy, don't want to "have" to eat another gel...I want some pizza and a beer!
Due to the light going away, the camera is having difficulty focusing
Now dark, so will have to turn on the flash
Ooh Aah! There we go!
Lights are now out, we are probably within 15 minutes of being done.
Didn't see this earlier, might have turned around if we did! ;-)
7 hours out and 7:15 back...
From out of the darkness we heard "Happy Anniversary" from some of the other R2R2R runners that just finished minutes before we did. It was a great day! :-)
Driving to breakfast the next morning, an elk was walking down the road in the Grand Canyon village.
He refused to have his picture taken, so looked the other way ;-)