Grand Canyon NP 2005

Diary of Steve Biro and my trip to the Grand Canyon, November 2005

11/10/05 Left at 8:00 a.m. with Steve Biro for our Grand Canyon hiking trip. Checked the 5th wheel into the Riverside Club Casino RV park in Laughlin, NV. Played black jack for an hour before dinner. We then dined at the Gourmet Room having Château Brian for two and Crepes Suzettes. It was a delicious dinner prepared table side while watching the river flow by.

11/11/05 Drove to Grand Canyon South Rim and checked into Trailer Village which has full hook ups. We had leftovers from our gourmet dinner from the night before. Watched satellite TV until 9:00 p.m.

11/12/05 Got up at 7:00 a.m. and drove to Bright Angel Lodge to make reservations for Phantom Ranch on Sunday night. We got the last two bunks. We also reserved beef stew dinner, breakfast, and box lunch at a total cost for bunks and food for two of $157. We had breakfast at Angel Lodge Coffee House. In the afternoon we attended the Visitor Center and took a Ranger led walk and lecture about the Colorado River. For dinner we had an excellent Vegetable Lasagna made for us by Helen Biro. Had no wine or alcohol and went to bed early in preparation for our hike down into the canyon tomorrow.

11/13/05 Steve and I got up at 7:00 a.m., had breakfast, and caught the bus to the South Kaibab Trail. We were on the trail at 8:30 a.m. heading down the 7.5 miles to Phantom Ranch. The weather was perfect, no wind, sunny, temperature mostly in the high 50’s. We took a few pictures along the way and talked to a few other hikers. We arrived at the Phantom Ranch at 2:00 p.m. taking 5-1/2 hours for the trek. Had a candy bar and hit the bunk house until the 6:30 p.m. dinner. The stew we had was excellent. Again I hit the rack early 8:30 p.m. after dinner.

Wake up time in the bunkhouse was 5:00 a.m. Had breakfast at 5:30 a.m. Picked up our box lunch and did our final packing. I carried two liters of water, box lunch, cold weather clothes for a total of 25# +. We got underway in the dark at 6:15 a.m. I used my head lamp but twilight was enough to see. The first two miles along the river was very scenic and basically flat. Next came 2.5 miles along Bright Angel Creek also a very scenic stretch of the trail to Indian Gardens the half way point. Both Steve and I had no problems negotiating the first 4.5 miles. We had some of our box lunch, rested 30 minutes laying down on a bench and continued on. I started slowing down, but did reasonably well until the 3 mile house. The grade from 3 mile house to 1.5 mile house was obscene. My muscles got sore and every step was misery. At the 1.5 mile house, I knew I was going to make it, but it was mind over matter and every step up was a pain in my legs. Will I ever do this again??? I stopped every ¼ mile to rest, drink water, or eat salty food on the last 1.5 mile leg. I was elated to reach the top at 3:45 p.m. and headed right down to the bus stop only ¼ mile from trail head. It took us 9.5 hours only .5 hours better than our last GC in 2003. I began feeling better right away. Steve & I had left over vegetable lasagna and a very nice bottle of Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon, in my 5th wheel to celebrate our accomplishment.

11/15/05 Got up at 7:00 a.m. and had breakfast. Got the 5th wheel dumped and rigged for travel in the brisk 31 degree morning air. Drove to Laughlin NV Riverside Casino Club RV Park. We both really have sore calves and legs from the hike. We are kicking back today nursing our sore bodies along. Cleaned up the trailer and washed dishes in the afternoon. I played an hour of single deck blackjack before dinner, breaking even. The rules were standard; hit seventeen, double on 10 or 11, split pairs, insurance, no surrender $5 minimum bet. They tolerated 3 to 4 times bet size when favorable. There aren’t many games left like this in Nevada. I made $25 for the trip, but had lots of fun jumping my bet around with the count. We went to the Gourmet Room again for dinner. Had an excellent Saffron Cream Sauce Bouillabaisse and Carpaccio (rare cold steak) appetizer for dinner, along with various wines of course. Yum yum. We have found a new highly recommended restaurant, but must remember to get reservations especially on weekends.

11/16/05 Left Laughlin Nevada around 7:30 a.m. and arrived in San Diego around 2:30 p.m.

Last updated on February 6, 2019