South Bass to Hermit
April 8-12, 2006
This was the third time we had trekked east across the Tonto from the South Bass trail. Since trail routes and descriptions don't change much, and distances not at all, I will point you instead to earlier trip reports for that information.
Cam Skold and his daughter Anne came along on this trip. Anne is 17. Cam has been on a few before and this was Anne's first backpack into the canyon. Jeremy Ralston joined us also. He is a senior in high school in Minnesota and will be going to Arizona State University next year. I asked Anne to write an account of the trip. I include it in its entirety below:
First day was somewhat chaotic, trying to do a college tour at NAU, getting ready for the trip, meeting up with Cheech, and having to drop off a car at our ending point. Not to mention we had to make it out to the rim before it became dark. Once everything was sorted, howeverr, everyone started to relax and enjoy our own "Wonder of the World" : The Grand Canyon. I had only been there once before, but I can't even count that trip because I didn't make it further down than 50 ft. from the rim. Not to mention there was everybody and his brother (as my dad would say) where I had stayed. I have to say I never truly experienced the Canyon until I was in a completely remote spot, with good company, out on a point where we can see all around us a breathtaking view. Unfortunately, we didn't arrive at our starting point and camp spot until just after the sun had set behind the rim. Never the less, the sunlight on the clouds and the jagged rock beat any sunset I have ever seen.
The next morning we got an early start. Well... lets just say it was early for us, 8:00. I was to quickly learn on this trip that, although the common belief about backpackers is that they're up with the sun and asleep with the sun, that is not always the case. Our group definitely had slow starts in the mornings, lazy afternoons, and "relaxing" evenings. What can I say, why rush when you have a whole day dedicated to doing what you want. Especially why hurry when you're absorbed by the majestic scenery surrounding you. When backpacking in the Grand Canyon you have to take your time or else you'll miss everything.
Some Highlights/Memorable Moments
- Get up around 8:00
- Lay in the sleeping back for 30 min
- Have a leisurely breakfast
- Pack up and head out around 9:30
- The sunsets with a panoramic view, out on a ledge hanging over the Colorado River giving the impression that you are suspended in air.
- Tom and Cheech having 30 minute long arguments about past Canyon trips they've been on and whether or not when the trail branched off it was on a downhill or an uphill or whether, when they met up with "those girls in their twenties, you remember, those ones..." "Oh yeah, them," if it was on that "one trip" or if it was on "that second trip to the same place." I guess I can't poke too much fun at them because already 2 months after the trip I can't even remember the names of the trails and I am only 17-years-old. It gives me a lot of hope for when I am Cheech and Toms' age.
- Good ole, reliable Tom bringing more than he could eat so my dad and I were forced to help him out. Pretty good deal if you ask me. He carries the food and we eat it. Everyone is happy, Tom gets rid of some weight and we bring less food because we know Tom will have extra for us. Thanks Tom! Same can be said for the wine. Tom has his tradition of bringing a couple bottles of wine and pretty much by the second day it’s already a burden to carry so Tom makes sure it gets drunk. Once again, thanks Tom for putting my dad in such an agreeable mood.
- Memorable moment (not because it was pleasant but because it doesn’t happen everyday.) This is completely from Cheech’s telling considering none of us were around to witness it. Considering the story was told only a couple of hours after it happened, I think we can trust Cheech’s memory (but who’s to say for his story telling.) So everyday we would take our lunch break around 12:00 until 2:00-3:00 because it was too hot to hike. There was one day where we were anxious just to get to camp so the four of us (Tom, Jeremy, my dad, and I) decided to get a jump start so we left Cheech lying in the shade to take a nap. Well, we had reached camp, unpacked, pumped water and still no sign of Cheech. The sun was starting to go down and still no Cheech. We were debating how long we should wait before we went looking for him and who those lucky two would be when we see a silhouette in the distance slowly making its way towards us. We all heaved a sigh of relief when we identified the silhouette as Cheech; we could all relax and just bum around camp. “What took you?” “Oh, I took a nice long nap and then I was admiring the views. Oh and guess what, you guys will find this interesting, but while I was taking my nap a little critter also decided to join me. I hadn’t realized he was there until I started hiking and I felt something crawling up my neck. So,” and without knowing what it was, “I hit it. It fell off and I realized I had been carrying around for an hour a scorpion on my neck.” The whole time he told the story Cheech recounted it as if there was nothing abnormal or at all dangerous about the occurrence. I guess that’s Cheech for you, a pretty chill guy, not to mention a lot better story teller than I am. The crazy thing is that the scorpion didn’t sting him when he hit him. I guess we really lucked out.
Because newer and better technology is emerging all the time and because I don't feel like doing it anymore, I have simplified displaying images on this page. While I no longer associate an image with a place or time (you can look at the other accounts for that) this approach allows me to offer many more images.
Images of the South Bass to Hermit Trail Hike