We started out by breaking the cardinal rule of hiking the Grand Canyon....DO NOT attempt to hike to the river and back in a single day. Ha ha ha....wasn't meant for us, obviously.
Total distance was 14.2 miles round trip and I haven't decided yet which was worse, the downhill half or the uphill half. The downhill portion is sooooo hard on the knees and the quads. But the 5000 ft elevation gain in mid-day heat wasn't a walk in the park either. Actually it was a walk in the national park and we really did have a great time. We took 2.5 hours down, had lunch and a swim in the river and then walked up again in 4 hours.
I'm sure this has got to be the ugliest bird in the universe.....Grand Canyon condor number 47. He was quite tame and let us get really close for pictures. I'm sure he knows he could knock us over in a single swipe.
At the top we celebrated with a giant steak dinner where we sat just long enough for our muscles to totally tighten up for the hour drive back to Flagstaff.