This past weekend, I had the opportunity to do something outside of my comfort zone. I conquered a big hike and an even bigger personal accomplishment: the Grand Canyon: Rim-to-Rim. It was for sure an adventure and something I had been thinking about doing for over a year! Even though it can be scary to go outside of our comfort zones, I also think this is a huge way we can grow as individuals.
Another aspect outside of my comfort zone here is that pretty much all of my pics you see here on the blog and my Instagram are taken by me with my DSLR. They are carefully thought out, styled, shot, and edited. But since we were carrying only what we needed for our 24-mile hike, I wasn’t about to add the weight of my heavy camera and lens to my load. So all the photos you see here were taken on an iPhone! About half on my old 6 and the other half on my girlfriend Megan’s iPhone. [Huge thanks to her for her creative eye and for catching me in action! You can find her on Instagram at @justmeandmypetiteposse.]
I also have to take a hot minute to thank Megan for being my inspiration for this hike. It was she who reached out to me and a few other friends about a year ago about conquering the Rim-to-Rim challenge. I love a physical challenge so I said yes right away! However at that time, the logistics of it all got the best of us, and we didn’t end up pulling it off. Not only because that group of us were all moms with young kids, but also a few other things. There are arrangements to be made for rooms to stay in on each side of the canyon, many which need to be booked a year in advance. You also have to think about transportation from one side to the other. And food – there are very few options within the Grand Canyon National Park boundaries. We did our trip across the Canyon in just one day. But if you decide to camp at the bottom, you need to get a camping permit [which also books out about a year in advance].
This year, we got lucky and another group of people from the gym we both go to were organizing a trip and had a couple of spots open up. Megan told me about this and I was immediately in! I knew that May [the ideal time of year to do this hike] was a busy month for us as a family with the end of school approaching. But I still wanted to commit to it, so I just did.
As we got closer to the trip, #momguilt started to creep in. My daughter’s end of school performance was this past weekend and she also had a graduation celebration that I knew I would be missing. I was able to go to at least part of her performance and my husband of course stepped up and made sure to be there for her for the rest. Despite all that, I have always believed in maintaining a sense of self outside of motherhood. Building friendships and doing things for myself is not a guilty pleasure. It is necessary to make me a better person for my family.
So if you need permission to take a weekend, or a day, or even an hour for yourself, I give it to you! You deserve it! Yes, planning all the logistics to get away as a mom is a royal pain in the ass, I won’t lie. But I promise you, it’s worth it.
Ok, now on to some more pretty pics. The quality may not be as good as my DSLR, but luckily this Canyon makes it easy! Very little to no editing on most of these!
We started on the South Rim and hiked to the North Rim. I was told after the fact that this is the more challenging route!
Our first stop was at Phantom Ranch, which is at the bottom of the Grand Canyon on the South Rim. There is a campground there and also a few cabins and even a little restaurant.
There is a slight detour at the bottom you can take that goes to Ribbon Falls in the Grand Canyon, which we decided to go for. We had lunch here and dipped out toes in the cold water. I would 100% recommend it if you go!
After the falls, it was just a bit more of flat ground before we started our ascent back up the North side. It’s “only” 5 miles up, but it is. straight. up. For sure one of the hardest things I have ever done. By far the hardest 5 miles I’ve ever done! So by this point, there were fewer pictures and more just trying to breathe and keep eachother going.
Our entire group of 23 made it up and out of the Canyon that day! A little worse for wear, but we made it. Overall, it was a great trip and a great group of people. I honestly feel so lucky to have fell into this awesome group and been able to accomplish this in one of the most spectacular places on earth.
If you are thinking about going and looking for any specific tips or have questions, I would love to hear them! Leave them for me in the comments below or shoot me an email!