We get up a little later than intended, so we pack our stuff, skip breakfast, and hit the trail just after 7:00.  Since I am abysmally slow going uphill, I have Beth and Curt proceed on without me.

  Just leaving camp
10-15-2021 @ 7:18

     It takes me about an hour and a half to reach the 3-mile resthouse, so I feel pretty good about that.  If I can keep up that pace, I'll reach the rim before noon.  Just after leaving the 3-mile resthouse I come across a volunteer crew who are working on the sides of the trail.  They are trying to place some large stones there, but are struggling due to the size and weight of the rocks.

The 3-mile resthouse
10-15-2021 @ 8:37
Volunteer trail crew
10-15-2021 @ 8:48

     In a little while, the morning mule team comes by.  I have never ridden the mules, so I will have to put that on my "Bucket List."

The morning mule team
10-15-2021 @ 9:10
The morning mule team
10-15-2021 @ 9:10
The morning mule team
10-15-2021 @ 9:10

     I am really struggling, but I make the 1.5-mile rest house about three hours after leaving camp this morning.

  The 1.5-mile bathroom
10-15-2021 @10:28

     When you reach the first tunnel, you get fooled into thinking you are almost to the top, but there is still a ways to go.  The trail is beginning to show signs of the snow storm we had the night before our hike started.  I finally reach the second tunnel, so it's not far now.

The first tunnel
10-15-2021 @ 11:24
Snow and ice on the trail
10-15-2021 @ 11:38
The second tunnel
10-15-2021 @ 12:17

     When you get to the Kolb Studio, you know you are really at the top.  I set my pack down outside the Bright Angel Lodge and look around for my friend, Bianca, and her husband, Dean, one of the South Rim Park Rangers, but I don't find them anywhere.  Just then Curt comes outside and has me go inside the Bright Angle Tavern to have lunch with Beth and him.

  The Kolb Studio
10-15-2021 @ 12:21

     After lunch, Beth, Curt, and I go to the lobby of the Bright Angel Lodge and check in with the Trans-Canyon Shuttle, the company that is driving us back around to the North Kaibab parking lot.  At 1:15 they usher us outside to our waiting van.  As we are standing in line by the van, Bianca and Dean walk up, so we get to talk a few minutes before leaving at 1:30.  She has baked us some cookies for our return trip.  The van makes two stops on the way and we arrive at the North Kaibab parking lot precisely at 6:00, exactly as promised.


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