June 11, 2009

The Grand Canyon is quite, quite awe-inspiring. It emerges unannounced really. The surrounding plains are largely boring and desert-y, not unlike the landscape of Balochistan (or some parts of it) interspersed with equally mundance fir tree forests prone to often flash forest fires. And as one approaches the last leg of a five hour journey from Vegas to the Canyon, it does occur to the rational human being (or to me at any rate) why one would want to get up obscenely early and drive five hours across dismal territory leaving behind all the bling-bling of sin city? The answer, emerges suddenly behind the last few trees where the clearing gives away to the giant hole in the ground known as the Grand Canyon. Except it's not a hole as much as a series of craggy craters made up of layered rocks in mutiple shades of brown, red and purple. The effect is stunning, to say the least. And this sin-city-lover suddenly wondered why she hadn't re-thought the merits of investing in a couple day long trek (on mule-back no less) down the canyon to touch the tips (possible) of the Colorado river. The bling-bling of Vegas somewhat (though not entirely) faded when I came face to face with the craggy boulders and a sheer five-thousand foot drop. I'm not a nature-lover. Not really. I do much better (no surprises here) with the princess-trips. You know the kind where camping out occurs in five star hotels and the end of each day is accompanied by a bubble bath. That said, the short walk around the rim of the Canyon really did spark a genuine desire in this citified girl to return and go down to the bottom someday. Chalk up one more to the list of things I have to do before I die! :)

4 comments:

Deepak Iyer said...

I am quite desperate to do the rim-to-rim trail; have been postponing it for a long time now. And that hike is *not* trivial. Every year hundreds have to be rescued by copters as they break down in the extreme heat while hiking.

They do mule back trips down and back up ?? Or is that a fantasy, which gels well with the princess trips.

Manasi said...

@Deepak: the fantasy would be to go in a ferrari and return in a porsche.. What say Xeb? ;)

Xeb said...

Deepak: The rim-to-rim hike apparently takes 3 days and yes its supposed to be a tough one, but it's made easier by the fact that although its long the trail (in most places) is well-made and fairly flat. The toughest ones are the treks down which take way longer and are really steep. Often the climb down is continuous because there is no space on the canyon cliffs where a break can be taken to make camp. There is usually no water available (so one needs to be loaded down with supplies) and yes, going down on mule back is an option a lot of people prefer.

Manasi: You betcha! :P Now THAT sounds more like the kind of trips I'm inclined towards! *hehe*

Deepak Iyer said...

@Manasi, Xeb : That explains the 'overcrowding' of subcontinental girls on hikes.

@Xeb : The main issue with that trek is that you first descend about 7000 feet, then climb around 6000. Usually we do the opposite.
It takes 2 days at the most, and 1 day if you are in the mood for suicide or just too adventurous.