Rim-to-Rim in the Grand Canyon Day 1

Roving O'er the I-40
5:00AM September 17th, 2013

After a few months of planning we were finally on our way. Now my dad (Rod), brother (Andy), and friend (James) set out from our hometown to make the long drive.
Somewhere Beneath The Arizona Sky

We enjoyed the beautiful drive across the Mojave Desert and the big sky country of the western Colorado Plateau. The weather was clear and the landscapes surprisingly green from a recent series of Thunderstorms that roved over the Southwestern United States. We arrived safely* and in a timely fashion to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
* Our saftey may have been in jeopardy due to a lunch-break at the suspiciously smoky Taco Bell/KFC combo restaurant in Williams AZ.

A "Pointy" Interloper
Although we had each been to the South Rim area of Grand Canyon Nat'l Park before, it had been a number of years since. Having navigated a few tricky turns on the winding park roads we managed to set up camp and make it to the main Visitors Center. Anticipation of the canyon views put some moxie back into our steps as we walked the long concrete walkway between the VC and Mather Point on the South Rim.

Though each of us had seen the Grand Canyon before, our memories of the canyon remained undimmed and after the lengthy drive we were eager to take a look at our objective. We rounded one last bend and the canyon came into view...

Bright Angel Canyon And The North Rim

We had the immense pleasure of viewing the grandest display on the prettiest of days. From where we stood on the rim innumerable cumulus clouds roamed the range of the sky, softly bumbling along the heavens like fat cows grazing the day away.

After a few more moments of precious and articulate silence we each made half-hearted expressions of our own private wonder. As the thinness of our mild comments passed, we began the dutiful task of photographing and instagramming the witness of our profound experience, though certainly in vain it may be...

We spent the afternoon picking various points along the South Rim to satisfy our inner-tourist. We also included a stop at the Ranger Help-desk in order for us to get a good lay of the land.

Hopefully this would ensure a smooth start despite the darkness in the following morning.

My Brother Taking A Video For His Daughters
We also made a special detour to the "Worship Site" along the Rim Trail. Going off of our hazy collective memory, we took a short walk to the west from Bright Angel Lodge. 

After a healthy dose of misinformation we found the stone table marking the site. Six years previous, my brother Andy proposed to his wife Amanda on this very spot. Now happily married with two young girls, he wanted to come back and film a short video for his family, sending his love and fond sentiments back home.
After this last detour we decided to head back to the campground in order to prepare for the following day.

"Cheers!" With Makeshift Tumblers
We made a vigorous meal out of our dinner that night. Between four men we attacked seven pounds of carne asada & carnitas, burrito trimmings, a tub of salsa with chips, black beans with jalapeno, spanish rice, and enough alcohol to subdue the liver of a Scotsman.

We also planned out our day packs: ten essentials (including the usual dayhike fare), with the notable addition of instant cold-packs (chemical activated cold-compresses) which we intended to use in case of over-heating on the trail.

After a short campfire we called it a night.

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