The Ultimate Walkathon 2011 Part 1
In October 2010 our hikers met at Kenny Jones house for dinner and to begin planning for our 2011 Hike. A new hiking partner came also. Tina Meyer Bricker wanted to join the team. Of course the first order of business was to figure our how to get a permit from the National Park Service. We decided to start putting in early and try for a May permit. We had done this the year before and put in at least four times before we were successful. That explains why we were hiking in August. We filled out forms and I took them to be faxed to the Grand Canyon backcountry office on January 1 2011. That is the earliest date allowed to submit our application. About the middle of January I was shocked to find a thick envelope in my mailbox from the Grand Canyon. I was used to getting rejection letters from them but this envelope was way too thick for just a letter. I opened it and there was our hiking permit for May 23. I sent Tina a text right away and her response was WOOOO HOOOO. WERE GOING. I contacted the rest of the 2010 hikers and over the next few weeks found that none of them could make it. Kenny had knee surgery. Kevin got a new job and Nick and John had issues with vacation time from work. Darn I thought we need more than two hikers. Then my son Cory who lives in Oregon City, Oregon said he would meet me there and do the hike with me. How great is that! Then my wife had an opportune meeting with David Neil. David went to high school with Cory and now lives in Atlanta Ga. David is an adventuresome guy and he agreed to meet Cory at Las Vegas and come to the Canyon and hike with us. We started making plans. It seemed like were planning then changing the plan every week for a couple of months. Finally we had it figured out. Cory and I started texting each other about our workouts. We were always trying to outdo each other as Fathers and Sons often do. Tina called me one day and wanted to go for a run. I met her at a local park and we ran two miles. I figured I would be wiped out but was able to keep up with her “barely”. I think she was sandbagging me the whole time. This was the earliest we would be doing our hike so we had to be able to adapt to very different conditions.
It’s going to be different this time!
Our hike this time is a lot earlier than last year. We have a campground reservation on the North rim for the night before rim to rim hike. Night time temps on the North rim in May are usually in the 30s. So a sleeping bag was going to be a must. None of this space blanket and long underwear stuff like last time. Also the temp at the Bright Angle campground would be in the 50s at night. So we needed a sleeping bag there also. Our packs were going to have to have more equipment just because of weather. The good news we would have water stops every three to four miles so we wouldn’t have to carry quite so much water. We would hike from the North Kaibab trailhead on the North rim to the Bright Angle campground at the Colorado river. About 14 miles the first day. Then up the Bright Angle trail to the South rim the next day. Tina was carrying her pack almost every day even wearing it at work up and down ladders painting and hanging wall paper. I started my running program again and was running 6 to 7 miles with a pack 2 to three times per week.
Cory said he was starting a P-90X program which is a killer workout.
David, Yeh David. I hope David isn’t working out at all. He is always fit and if he does nothing maybe I can still keep track of him by the dust he is leaving me in.
Here is some stats on our hiking crew this year.
Cory Roberts 38 Oregon City, Oregon. Police Sergeant with the Portland Oregon Police Bureau. Hunting, Fishing, Camping are his hobbies. Cory and his wife Melody have Two children Son Ian is 10 and daughter Emma is 7. Cory escorted his old daddy up Mt. St. Helens in 2008.
David Neil 38 Atlanta, Ga.
Tina Meyer Bricker Warsaw, Indiana Self employed painter and wall paper hanger. Hobbies: Horses and Trail riding. Outdoor adventure. Two children. Son DJ 9 and Daughter Ashley is 7. Tina told me when she was 11 she saw the Grand Canyon for the first time. She said the minute she saw it she knew that someday she would go to the bottom of it.
Tim Roberts 59. Pam says when I turn 60 I have to quit these risky endeavors. I’m not worried though. She knows I rarely listen to her so it shouldn’t be a surprise if I keep going.
That’s our hiking crew. Our goal: Simple: Have a safe and fun hike: Raise Money for research, and awareness of the devastating effects of Pancreas Disease.
Someday, Someone, Somewhere will donate the MAGIC DOLLAR that will find a cure for Pancreas disease and save a million lives.