Do you have a life list? I have one, but I’m constantly adding to it as well. One thing that has been on my life list since 1997 is a double crossing of the Grand Canyon. As a senior in High School my family backpacked down into the Grand Canyon, stayed two nights, and backpacked back out. We went down the Bright Angel trail, and back via the South Kaibab trail. One of my all time most amazing runs was a serendipitous accident of a run I did in the bottom of the Grand Canyon, along what is called the Box canyon on the North Kaibab trail. As a 17 year old I just took off for a run while my parents went hiking, and ended up having an amazing experience in this surreal canyon. Hiking out of the Grand Canyon was one of the most challenging experiences of my High School years. I was in great shape, and I hiked as hard as I knew how and made it out in just over 3 hours. I felt awesome. I came across a few ultra runners while hiking out and seeing them heading down for a double crossing made me jealous.
So, here I am, 29 years old, 12 years have passed and for the first time in my life this infamous double crossing seems like a plausible endeavor. It’s 46 miles round trip, with about 11,000 feet of climbing…but on the positive side, there are only two hills. When? Well, here’s the thing. I just happen to be heading to Las Vegas for my first long course triathlon in April. AND the Grand Canyon just happens to be on the way home. AND, April just happens to be the best month to attempt a double crossing (that and October). So, when in Rome? If the shoe fits?
I’m going to give it a go. Yes, I will have raced a half Ironman two days prior. Yes, I will have gone out on the town with my team after the race. And will I be ready for a long long run two days later? Yes. This is my life, it’s an adventure.
I am currently recruiting other like minded crazy folks. Hopefully Steve-O, hopefully Keith, Anthony already shot me down. I talked with Troy and he is game with taking a few extra days on the return trip home. He is also willing to chill on the rim with Annie, do some hiking, wait around for me.
The research has been fun. Here are some great blog entries if you are thinking about a double crossing:
– Chris: Nov 2006 crossing
– Davy Crockett: has crossed 6 times, has a great blog
– Viswanath Vinod: a very nice account
– Tony Maldonado: A great two day double crossing
– AZ Speedgoat: A night time fast double crossing by a group of fast guys
– Anton: ultra-stud, going for the record
– YouTube: a fun little video giving you an idea of just how scenic it is
So, in making my plans, and doing my due-diligence on the research side I realized that I needed a bigger running pack. I am running with a one bottle pack right now and I need a backpack/vest type of pack for this distance. AND, our REI dividend just came. I am shocked that we got a dividend at all this year. We stopped using our REI credit card at the end of 2007 so who knows where it came from. BUT, I got a pack that I have been eying for some time. Troy said I need to get a hand bottle too, that way I will have one of every possible type of hydration devise that is on the market for runners. Teee-HeHeHe. What can I say to that?
I ran an easy 5 miles today with the pack, and so far…it ROCKS the house. I can actually breathe in it, and I couldn’t believe that I was running with two liters of water. I couldn’t even tell! It’s got lots of spots for goo flasks, iPods, cameras, and jackets. Allright, I’ve got a pack, can I go run the Grand Canyon now?? Anyone else?