"The national park service does not recommend hiking got the Colorado river and back in one day!"
We probably read that sign 57 times in our first five hours in Grand Canyon National Park. It was posted on the sides of the shuttle busses, at the camp site, at every single trail head, and in every brochure. It was even written on the National Geographic map I bought before we even left Durango.
After driving five hours, walking the rim, snacking on homemade granola bars, and taking a two hour nap to wait for the sunset, Hailee and I sat overlooking the Grand Canyon, discussing our plans for the following day. The hot water for tea was boiling, the sun was setting, and the surrounding tourists were, without fail, shrieking at how "close" we were to the edge. Despite the warning signs, we had heard about people who went down and up the edge of the canyon in one day. We figured if they could do it, we could do it.
We talked about what we would have to bring, how nineteen miles really wasn't THAT far, and about every possible worst case scenario. We decided we would ask Nate (my adventure specialist of a husband), and if he thought we could do it, we would. He told us two things: that the trails into the GC are busier than the Durango mall and that the only thing he was worried about was us having to drive five hours home after a nine hour hike. It was settled then. We would hike down and up the next day.
And we did.
It was hot. It was long. It was hard. It topped both Hailee and I's hardest hikes of our lives. AND IT WAS AWESOME. We had an absolute blast talking about high school drama, paleo recipes, future travel plans, outdoor gear and Instagram captions. Overall, it was a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone who felt they were up to the task*.
Also, Hailee Pritchard is the best.
* Disclaimer: If you go into the Grand Canyon without adequate food, water, first aid, navigation tools and knowledge. And you don't tell anyone where you're going. And you break your arm falling down the 1000000 switchbacks. And you get blisters on your feet. And you pass out because it's 10000 degrees. And you fall in the Colorado river and get swept away and die..... It's not my fault because I told you that hiking the GC in a day is awesome. Don't be dumb.