Courtesy of 3DFlags.comFourth Annual Grand Canyon Hike (1999)

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Fourth annual hike -- Memorial Day Weekend (May 29, 1999). OK, we've gotten this down to a science now. Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer season at the Grand Canyon, and turns out to be an ideal time to go. This time, I brought some of the ASU MBA students along.

It was the beginning of my commercialization of this hike. There were 10 of us, and we were split 5-5 among veterans and newbies. It was also the first year we decided to experiment with sport sandals. Since going down is killer on the toes, we decided to try some open toe sandals. It worked better for some than others. I couldn't keep the rocks from getting between my feet and the shoes.

A group photo around the first sign of death. The sign reads: "Do not attempt to hike to the river and back in one day." Clockwise from top you see Robert, Michelle, the sign, me, John, Rachel, Doug, Roxy, and Robin. (or is it Robin and Roxy?) Hard to tell -- they are twins.

Later, we would meet up with someone named Roger at Cedar Ridge. We annexed him as the 11th person in our group and eventually designated him as our official photographer for the trip. He would take all the group photos for us. It's a shame no one thought to take a picture of Roger.

Group photo

A nice close up of one of the signs of death. This one is posted at Cedar Ridge next to the trail that leads down. I like the glare in the photo, making it look extra hot. Can you see my reflection in the sign?

Heat kills

A nice view of the river from the trail. Nice colors in the rocks. These are some of the oldest rocks in the canyon.

River view

The tunnel! We've reached the tunnel. From left to right you have Doug, Michelle, Roxy, Robin, and Cheryl.

The tunnel

Doug takes a bath in the stream (actually, he REALLY had to go to the bathroom). Rachel and the twins get their feet wet (thank goodness they are upstream).

Bright Angel Stream

Checking for foot damage. Cheryl looks like she's crying, but she's really just applying a second coat of sunblock.

At Phantom Ranch

Why suffer? Whenever possible, elevate your feet when resting. The signs teach us some tricks of the trade. We are getting prepared for the afternoon ascent after a nice lunch of PB&Js and lemonade.

More signs of death

Blooming prickly pears with the canyon wall in background.

Blooming cacti

The troops on the move in the worst part of the hike -- the sandy beach next to the river bed. This part really sucks because your feet sink into the sand as you walk and soak up all the heat trapped in the sand.

Sandy beach

The gang resting at Indian Garden -- exactly half way along the Bright Angel Trail. Michelle is demonstrating how to elevate your feet while resting. Later we would find out that a bunch of wild boyscouts attacked her and rubbed her legs against her will. Actually, they were trying to help her while ignoring Robert who laid dying off to the side.

Resting at Indian Garden

Made it to the top, hat-head and all. Cheryl and I stop for a pose in the late afternoon glow. Soon after this photo, Cheryl would hike back down into the canyon to search for Robert, John, and Michelle. Amazing!

End of hike

Here's the victory pose. Robert seems to be missing from the photo again. From the left to right, we have Doug, Robin, Scott, me, Roxy, Rachel, and John. Cheryl and Michelle are in front.

Victory group photo

One of our traditions of this hike is to have brunch the next day in Flagstaff, and we always went to Village Inn. Here's the gang sitting down for a hearty and well-deserved breakfast. The best part of this experience is getting out from the car after an hour's drive from the Canyon. Your leg muscles just lock up, and when getting out of the car, EVERYONE was moaning and groaning. It was hilarious!

Brunch at Village Inn, Flagstaff