About a week ago, my dad and I collapsed at the bottom of an informational sign about mules on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We had started on the North Rim at 5 am that morning and completed the 23-mile rim-to-rim hike in just over 8 hrs, just a few minutes under the time we had taken to go from the South to the North two days earlier.
My parents have been doing this hike for a few years now. They meet up with a group from Trinity Mennonite Church in Phoenix, which organizes the hike. Last year, when I was skyping with my parents from Ha Noi, they raved about the hike and I decided that this year was my year--no cross country meets to stay fresh for, and as far as I knew, I would be in the country.
It worked out well because I finished my job in Colorado about a week before the hike, which gave me some time to visit my old stomping grounds around the AZ/NM border. Then my mom, dad, brother, and I were reunited for the first time in over 2 years. Mom and Brock drove our stuff from rim to rim while Dad and I hiked, and on the rest day between we all hung out at the lodge on the beautiful and less-touristy North Rim. It's a great plan--beat up your body (in a great way), do nothing for a day, beat up your body, jump into a car for a 14+ hour drive to Texas.
On the way there and back I also got to celebrate my nephew's birthday with him and eat at two of my favorite restaurants in the world. All-in-all, a great vacation.
You can check out more pictures from the trip in my facebook album here.