Saturday, June 24, 2017

Two Hearted Trail Run (Marathon)

Route Name: Two Hearted Trail Run Marathon Course (much of it on the North Country Trail
Start Elevation: 709 ft.
Low Elevation: 610 ft.
High Elevation: 832 ft.
End Elevation: 776 ft.
Distance: 26.2 mi.
Elevation: 700 ft. (est.)
Start Time: 7:23am
End Time: 12:38pm

Trip Report:
One cannot overstate the beauty of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Lake Superior.  For me one visit and I was sold.  Though I had been up to Houghton, Michigan, as an older child I never recalled much of the visit.  My real introduction to the fullness of the U.P. came in the summer of 2016.  My family and I did a road trip from one side of the U.P. to the other.  We made stays and hikes at Tahquamenon Falls, Pictured Rocks, the Porcupine Mountains and even Isle Royale.  Aside from the well known mosquitos and black flies, the trip and the hiking were outstanding.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Grand Canyon Rim Trail

Route Name: Rim Trail
Start Elevation: 6,817 ft.
End Elevation: 7,117 ft.
Distance: 3.12 mi.
Start Time: 6:30am
End Time: 7:48am

Trip Report:
For our last morning at the Grand Canyon we had about 2 1/2 hours to work with before the long drive out to Phoenix.  We had 3pm flights and I'm usually paranoid about getting there early.  We were up right around 5am, tore down our camp, loaded up the car, and head for the Visitor Center parking.  There we hopped the Village Shuttle to ride it down to the Bright Angel Trailhead.  We actually got off at the shuttle stop titled "Hermit's Rest Route Transfer".  The plan was to hike the easy Rim Trail all the way back to the Visitor's Center.  

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Humphreys Peak

Route Name: West Slopes
Trailhead Elevation: 9,294 ft.
Summit Elevation: 12,635 ft.
Distance: 9.52 mi.
Elevation Gain: 3,656 ft.
Start Time: 6:57am
Summit Time: 10:10am (13 minutes on top)
End Time: 12:52pm

Trip Report:

For my brother David and I we were looking for a good hike to spend our third full day on after having spent the first two hiking Rim-to-Rim in the Grand Canyon.  Its not like us to have a vacation and allow a full day to slip by without making the most of it on some trail somewhere.  We've also come to learn that mountain and alpine environments are definitely our strong suit and personal preference and so after two days in the desert heat of the Grand Canyon going up in elevation seemed preferable as our best option.  So with that in mind we took a look at the maps of the area and sought out the tallest peak we could find and in Arizona, that is Humphreys.  We're not "State High-pointers" in the sense of those who are checking off the list, but we are mountain climbers and for that Humphreys was great.  We're even wondering after having done South-to-North and North-to-South in the Grand Canyon, with the high point Humphreys in addition, if this could be considered some type of "Arizona Triple Crown" for epic hikes in the state.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Grand Canyon R2R2R

To hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim is an especially beautiful thing and certainly a hike that is on the bucket list of many.  For a number of reasons this is typically done with a backpack and over multiple days.  The physical exertion alone necessitates most to camp somewhere in the canyon to make this a 2 or 3 day hike across.  For many others its also about taking the time to enjoy the scenery and sights along the way.  For the wise among us its about timing the hiking to avoid the heat of the day.  On the other end of the spectrum are a crazy few amount of people that not only hike the canyon rim to rim, but they hike it rim to rim and back to rim in a single day!  These crazy antelope are usually ultra-runners who just know how to keep moving.    My brother David and I have had our sights set on the infamous R3 (Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim) but we wanted to settle on a plan that was somewhere between crazy insane and physically do-able while also being enjoyable and challenging.  Our plan would be to do the R3 but over the course of two days with a night camping in between.

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