Running the Grand Canyon

My best friend and I ran Rim-to-Rim (on a whim to whim) on Sunday. 25 miles of trails and switchbacks, 10000 feet in elevation change, 50 degrees of temperature swing. A walk in the park.
  1. Just a lazy little Sunday.
  2. We were staying in Seligman, AZ, 2 hours from the Grand Canyon.
    Office in the desert.
  3. Javelinas visited every morning.
  4. Our bunkhouse had a "star tower" built into a juniper tree.
  5. On Sunday, we woke up at 1:30am and headed to the South Rim, a 2 hour drive.
  6. We jumped in a shuttle and started the 4 hour trip around the Canyon to the North Rim.
  7. Made a stop at the halfway point, Navajo Bridge.
  8. FYI.
  9. We packed changes of clothes, prepped for the temperature rise. And the necessary wardrobe refresh. We had food, electrolytes, cameras, and headlamps (just in case).
  10. Around 9:30am, we started down the North Kaibab Trail.
  11. Immediately, there were Incredible views.
  12. Views.
  13. Views.
  14. Views.
    Sorry. Had to.
  15. Everyone we passed on the trail was so kind, supportive, openhearted. There weren't a ton of people, but it felt like we were all a part of a community.
  16. At the bottom of the Canyon, 15 miles into our 25-mile hike, we made a pit stop at Phantom Ranch.
  17. We headed back up the Bright Angel Trail, first crossing the Colorado River.
  18. Temperature check on the way back up, after things had started to cool.
    This is your brain on sun.
  19. As we climbed, we could see our destination above us.
  20. More views.
  21. Had my closest-ever encounter with a rattlesnake.
  22. And a pair of deer.
  23. We kept looking down and out across the Canyon at the path we took to get here.
    It was hot and we'd been running/hiking for more than 5 hours. Did our best to fight dehydration and fatigue as we climbed 5000 feet back up to the South Rim.
  24. So many opportunities to stop and take in the magic around us.
  25. So many.
  26. We finished just in time to watch the sun set over the South Rim.
  27. Technically started from approximately the same level, then went to the bottom, but regardless: now we're here.
  28. The finish was overwhelming. Full of shock and pride that the body could do such a thing, and the rare ability to look back and actually see our starting point.
    We'll be back.