Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Down and Back

At 6:20 AM this morning I heard my lovely wife squirm out of bed and the next thing I heard was her voice saying, “Get up, we need to get going!” Our plan was to get ready and be on the South Kaibab trail by 8:30 AM. If all worked ou,t we would hike down three miles to Skeleton Point and then back up to the trailhead.

This would be a real test for the new knees and I was a bit concerned. The hardest test climbing had been the three pools climb in Zion and they were a bit tired when we finished that one.

Our timing was perfect and we headed down the trail right on time. There were quite a few hikers, but nothing like on the trail in Zion. At times, we were actually hiking alone basically, though that didn’t last very long before we either caught up with someone or visa versa.

Once again the canyon provided! The hike was one vista after another on a trail that dropped 1400 feet straight down. We marveled at the hikers coming up from Bright Angle Campground, 7 miles below. As we walked we took in the sights and talked about whether we would want to backpack this trail. Both of us agreed that we probably didn’t want to give up our comfortable bed in the camper.

Hiking down turned out to be quite easy and my knees felt great as we went. We passed our first hiking goal, Ooh Aah Point and descended on. At Cedar Ridge, we stopped and had a snack and used the bathroom provided there.

At 2.09 miles I started to get concerned. What if I turned around at Skeleton Point and found that my knees wouldn’t be strong enough to get me back up the three miles? I got a bit nervous and finally made the decision to turn around and start the climb out.

Linda was great about my decision and she turned around with me. Hiking out was hard, but it turned out to be something that my knees allowed me to do. It was like being on a stair stepper for an hour and a half. I move slowly and steadily trying to make sure each leg was used about the same.  We hit the trailhead at about 11:20 AM and celebrated by having lunch overlooking the canyon.

No comments: