April 22, 2021
I was having some really strange dreams and woke up around 4:30am when I heard Ghosthiker shuffling around in her tent. I managed to get a few things done, like hang up my water to filter and hurriedly drink my coffee before dashing out of my tent to the pit toilet in my sleep socks and shoes with no insoles, I was in such a hurry.
Let me tell you, it is so nice to have a pit toilet to poop in when it’s still cold and dark in the pre-dawn hours and you’re about to explode! I swear I left like five lbs. behind when we left camp this morning. Phew! I feel lighter, lol.
The sky was turning light, so Ghosthiker took her quilt and her phone and climbed the tower again to catch the sunrise. I stayed behind. I’ll catch a Grand Canyon sunrise when we get there. When I’m safely on solid ground.
I thought we had 18 miles to hike to get to Tusayan, but it turned out to only be about 14, I think. Less miles to town is always good news! We set out around 7:00am and hiked fast because the sky was supposed to open up in the early afternoon and we wanted to get to Tusayan before then. As it was, the sky was filled with clusters of ominously dark clouds and we had no idea how soon the rain would actually start – that’s always tough to predict out here in the wilderness, with the ever-changing elevation. So, we hiked fast. We even passed Bass who was still in his tent, but we didn’t stop to say hello. We didn’t stop for anything. No time for breaks when it’s cold and there’s rain coming!
We got into Tusayan around 11:30am, which means we hiked 14 miles in 4.5 hrs. That’s about a 3-mph pace! Yeah, baby! Needless to say, we were fairly beat by the time we got into town and went straight to the general store to get our resupply boxes. There is a small Post Office in the back, but when I asked, they said they don’t accept general delivery packages. Hm. I talked to a store clerk next and he said they don’t hold packages either, and that our boxes were most likely at the Grand Canyon village store. Wait, what? I went back outside and relayed all I had learned to Ghosthiker, who then went inside and talked to someone who was obviously at a higher pay grade because he got our boxes for us right away. I mean, did those other people I talked to even look for our boxes? Maybe Ghosthiker just has a presence that demands more respect than little ol’ me? Oh well, at least we got our stuff.
Once that was settled, we went to Starbucks for coffee and breakfast. Even though it was cold and about to start raining, we sat on the patio (because we be smelly, ya’ll!) to enjoy our treats and there we met hikers Captain Jack and Sugar Mamma who were getting ready to hike out. As we sat chatting with them, who should I see at the nearby crosswalk but Hi-Ho and Fireworm! Ghosthiker was the main one talking to our new friends at the Starbucks, so I excused myself and ran over to say hi to The Girls (as we’ve started calling them). As we stood there chatting, Snow and some others walked up! Then the two hiker girls we met at Starbucks came over and we were a big groups of hiker girls chatting. Ghosthiker got a short video of it, lol. I guess I’m so used to seeing and being a part of big groups of male hikers that suddenly forming a big group of women hikers was just really that exciting, haha!
Then it started raining, so we all scattered like the woodland creatures we are. Ghosthiker and I grabbed our stuff (my coffee and breakfast burrito were sitting in the rain) and started walking toward the 7 Mile Hotel, where we’d made reservations for two nights.
Later that evening, after we got our showers, we met up with Bass at the Plaza Bonita for dinner. Earlier, I discovered I had some heel blisters when I took a shower so I lanced them, but I didn’t use an antiseptic wipe first. I didn’t think I needed to since I had just showered. Mistake. As dinner progressed and the margaritas made my feet swell (a thing alcohol tends to do to me – so attractive), the pain in my heel spread to half my foot and was excruciating. After dinner, the three of us met with a few others and decided to walk over to the Grand Hotel restaurant to see about getting some fancy deserts. I didn’t really want to walk anymore, but I did really want cheesecake, so I went along. I tried not to let it show, but I was in serious pain. It didn’t end up being worth the walk, though, because the restaurant was at ¼ capacity and the 45 minute wait wasn’t worth it, we all decided. It was already pretty late in the evening, way past hiker midnight. I was definitely limping back to the hotel.
Bass was staying in the room next to ours and was heading over to the general store before turning in for the night, and he was kind enough to grab some Epsom salts for me to soak my foot, bless him.
I was in so much pain I decided to break out the last of my special gummies. I had one, shared one with Ghosthiker, and fell into a blissful sleep around 9:30pm. Zero day tomorrow!