ALL HIKERS

DAY 3: HERMIT CREEK TO HERMIT'S REST

I am awake at four-thirty and walk to the privy. The canyon air currents must have inverted during the night as smoke fills the canyon with an eerie haze. I head down to the creek to gather morning water. When I return to camp, Megan and Sue are awake. Sue is not yet out of her bag and I can sense her dread of the coming day. She is trying hard to convince herself she can hike out of this place. We drink coffee and I gather more water for oatmeal. Clothes are changed, moleskin and boots applied, bedrolls rolled up, dishes are cleaned and the packs are packed. Up and away before seven a.m. Not much before, but before. Iím hoping the comment from hikers we met up with on the Tonto is correct and Hermit is in shade most all the way this time of year.

We hike up through the smoke and haze and reach the junction to the river trail. We stay on the Tonto until we meet the Hermit junction. We hike east before turning south up Hermit Canyon. Up the Cathedral Stairs through the redwall, we top out still in the shade. That is always a good sign for me. We rest at breezy point and lookout point longing for Santa Maria Springs. We meet her around ten. We are starting to pass other hikers coming down now. The German who passed us is resting at lookout point but soon disappears from our sight never to return. We rest and eat at the spring house and I refill my camelback. We begin the final push.

I find my pace and plug along. Sue does well, but falls behind in her pace. Megan stays back with her offering encouragement. I hike and rest and wait for them to catch up, usually not very long. We make the rim around three. Packs are unloaded, last pictures taken, we start up the cars and head back down the west rim drive. Check in and showers accomplished we head to the restaurant for dinner. Sue is moving really slowly, but they want to go to Bright Angel Lodge for dinner. We have margaritas and celebrate our hike with a shared dessert. Sue buys the dinner, we just say thanks.

BACK TO MAIN INDEX | BACK TO TRIP INDEX | BACK TO DAY 2 | FORWARD TO POSTSCRIPT

Copyright © Richard M. Perry, 2004-2021.  All rights reserved. This web site, its text, and pictures may not be copied without the express written consent of Richard M. Perry.