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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 07-06-06, 10:21 AM   #1
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Grand Canyon Transit!!

[Not bike related.]

Last week I got a serendipitous/fortuitous opportunity to do the north-to-south rim Grand Canyon transit!!! Quick cheap tickets to Vegas and off to Grand via Zion. The fires are over for now and access to Grand is re-opened.

Iíll send you folks a thought long about the Vishnu Schist layer down by the Colorado.

IEEEEeeeee!!!!
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Old 07-06-06, 10:52 AM   #2
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Rim-to-rim-to-rim is the way to go: North to South is the easy route. Watch for the mulepies up Bright Angel....Walk at night, lay up under a tree during the day cuz the canyon floor is an oven in July...Ribbon Falls & Upper Ribbon Falls are extraordinary if they're still running.

Did South Bass 2 years ago & it is the best of all the G.C. trails I've been on over the past 35 years...
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Old 07-15-06, 02:24 PM   #3
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Reporting back. . .great trip.

<<< 50 + Content >>>

The "buzz" in the Canyon is this 80 year old guy, Laurent Gaudreau, trail name "Maverick", who is trying for 80 rim-to-rim transits this season in celebration of his 80th year. He had made 56 crossings by last week! Didn't meet him on the trail [he does lots of the crossings at night], but I did meet his wife. For those of you who aren't familiar with The Canyon, that's 23 miles lateral, one mile vertical, near 7000 feet of elevation on the north side, and 112 degrees F mid-day in the "Box".
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Old 07-15-06, 04:12 PM   #4
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so how HOT was it? if the Maverick is making 80 transits, then he's got to be making them at night.

Any sign of MTB's being ridden in the canyon? Seems like there were a few trips made years ago then I guess they must have been banned?

I'm jealous of your trip but not the season. Did you see Ribbon Falls & Upper Ribbon Falls? Is that faucet with cold water still somewhere in the middle of Box? the one where you open the valve & wait for it to flow up & it comes out cold and clear?

glad it was a good trip - my wife knows how much I love the Canyon and she's never been so she's on to me about a visit...probably some Thanksgiving since I'm too heat sensitive to go any other season

woody
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Old 07-15-06, 07:43 PM   #5
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>>> so how HOT was it?

We started out on North Rim [North Kaibab Trail] at 4 AM and about 48 degrees F. . .eight hours later in the Box, it was 112 degrees with about a 20 knot blast of wind up canyon. I think engineers call that the Bessemer process.

>>> Maverick is making 80 transits, then he's got to be making them at night.

Indeed mostly so until Fall.

>>> Any sign of MTB's being ridden in the canyon?

None where I saw. In fact, there was little biking going on anywhere. . .Grand. . .Zion. . .the Big Empty in between. . .LOTS of creosote bush, though.

>>> Did you see Ribbon Falls & Upper Ribbon Falls?

Ribbon briefly. . .we had the heat and were nursing an injury so we dallied only to hydrate and eat.

>>> Is that faucet with cold water still somewhere in the middle of Box?

Didn't see it. The last safe water is at Cotton Wood. Honestly after two hours of the Box, I wanted to curl up in a fetal position and tell the Missus to just sell my stuff.

Oh yeah, one more thing. There is a flock of California Condors in the Canyon!!! God A'mighty, I almost peed myself when they wheeled into sight one night. What a privilege to see 'em.
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Old 07-15-06, 08:06 PM   #6
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A few friends & I did the So. Rim to North Rim & back about 25 years ago. It was a great hike but hotter then hell down there. Everyone we met hiking in the canyon was from Europe at that time. Is the G/C still a popular European destination?
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Old 07-15-06, 08:47 PM   #7
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Just finished a neat book we picked up while visiting the Canyon. Called "Over the Edge: DEATH IN THE GRAND CANYON" It is a historical outline (and lots of advice) of all the deaths from the rim, the trails, river deaths, etc. Excellent book. Should be able to find it in your local library. Good book to read before you go, especially with the warnings and advice. Worth the price.
I don't know if any of the trails are open for Mt. Biking or not. Saw a lot of hikers. We rode the south rim on road bikes. There is reference to people on bikes in the above book, but those incidents happened years ago.
Good luck on hiking it. Terribly hot in summer so be prepared!
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Old 07-16-06, 05:57 AM   #8
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>>> Is the G/C still a popular European destination?

Down inside, most folks were Yanks and a few Germans. Up on South Rim [the easiest tourist access for a look inside] and walking down to Three Mile House there's EVERYONE from EVERYWHERE by the busload.
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Old 07-16-06, 09:05 AM   #9
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Colin Fletcher's The Man Who Walked Through Time is still the GC 'classic. Fletcher's last book was about his journey by raft from the source of the Colorado to its outfall in the Gulf of California (the book's name eludes me at this moment). A good read if a bit depressing about the environmental effects of agricultural irrigation in the southern reaches.

My hiking partner is going to loan me the Over the Edge book this week - that's all he talked about on our hike into the Pasayten Wilderness in June.
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Old 07-16-06, 03:44 PM   #10
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No bicycles allowed on the foot/mule path in the Grand Canyon.
However, there is a bike ride from the Grand Canyon to Mexico at the end of Sept., with only about 32,000ft of climbing. Interested?
Check out the website of the Greater Arizona Bicycling Assoc.
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Old 07-16-06, 05:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkat
Just finished a neat book we picked up while visiting the Canyon. Called "Over the Edge: DEATH IN THE GRAND CANYON" It is a historical outline (and lots of advice) of all the deaths from the rim, the trails, river deaths, etc. Excellent book.
Yeah, it is a great book. The same author wrote a book about Yellowstone, called I believe "Death in Yellowstone". That book is just as good.
When I was at the GC a couple of years ago, the condors all had numbers on their wings.
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