Sonny Daze World Tour travel blog

Crossing the Colorado River at Marble Canyon headed back from the North...

Vermilion Cliffs as seen from the Navajo Bridge just south of Lees...

The Colorado River. Don't be fooled. That's farther down than it looks!

Driving back around to the South Rim. Notice how The Canyon begins...

Our heroes before the descent - The Duke and SonnyD

Down there is where we're headed.

The Duke is smilin' cause we've waited a long time for this

I'm smilin' too

Rest stop #1 - Cedar Ridge - 112 degrees and rising !!!!!

The Duke on Cedar Ridge

No! I will not JUST take a few more steps backward

Here's our reward

There's the trail down. Daytrippers turn around NOW!!

Simply magnificant

Our first glimpse of the river. It was a hot and hazy...

Uh-Oh, The Duke's juiced on sunflower seeds again. Look at that devilish...

The Sun's down and I'm still hot

That's the Colorado River, Bright Angel Campgrounds and Phantom Ranch. We'll use...

That's the foot bridge for tonight. We hiked this last bit in...

Next day: Crossing the river (look for the "accidental" movie I shot...

Man, going up in this heat is FUN !!!

There's a nice spring as a reward at the top of the...

I'll be your bitch if you let me have that burro?

This is why you do it

You can't get this view any other way

We still have to go HOW FAR?

Here the trail is prominent and ancient, used by native Americans for...

The view behind us toward Indian Gardens.

There are ponderosa pines at the top that stand well over 100...

Damnit !! My nipples are chafing in this dry air. Gimme your...

That's almost 20 miles over to the other side

I walked to the edge to get this shot. I now have...

Near the rattlesnake vs. cliff equation. The Duke didn't believe me when...

No! Bad Duke ! We're not gonna go back !!!! No more...

They trail here is reinforced with railroad ties which get rutted by...

Sun's going down and where not there yet, again !!

Last photo. Back to survival.

Inverted Mountain Climbing

THE STATISTICS: 17 miles in 29 hours: 1 MILE DOWN (7 miles from South Kaibab trailhead to Phantom Ranch); 1 MILE BACK UP (10 miles from Phantom Ranch to Bright Angel trailhead)

HIGHLIGHT: Seeing California Condors riding on the currents high above our heads

This was grueling AND exhilirating. DO IT IF YOU CAN!!!!

Be aware: The going downhill was harder than you'd think.

We did train in advance (as best you can on the prairie of Oklahoma), but other than that we used the National Park Services warnings as mere suggestions. DON'T !!! They know what their talking about. People die every year hiking the Canyon, and usually it's from the kind of arrogance WE MEN commonly display about such things (most of the deaths are males in their 20's !!!)

Our hike was unavoidably shortened because the damn rim to rim shuttle didn't pick me up on the North Rim at 5am according to the reservations I made 4 months in advance!!!!! This caused us to have to change our course at the last moment (that's usually how trouble starts.)

The WARNINGS we ignored:

1. Wrong Hours - We hiked during peak sunlight hours ( 10am to 4 pm) in 112+ temperatures

2. Heavy Packs - Our packs weighed around 40 lbs. each, much larger than anyone else that we came across - AND we carried WAY TOO MUCH porn !!

3. Too Fast - We did the trip without enough of a rest period at the bottom. By the time we reached the top, The Duke was sick and my knee was in such extreme pain that I could barely walk.

4. Stay Together - There was a period of an hour at the top wherein I had no choice but to believe that The Duke had gone over the edge in the dark ......... (he found a second exit - I almost killed/kissed him when I found him)

5. Just Plain Common Sense- We should never have agreed to pay those hookers "in advance" to meet us at the bottom (turns out John's a "bottom" !!!!) HA HA !

All in all I would jump at the chance to do it again. It is indescribably beautiful !!!!

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