Dolev the Tour Guide
Let’s Discover the World Together

L, D, and D and the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang featured in "Adventures in Buckskin Gulch"


Day 3 – July 6, 2014 - 13 miles

They woke up at 4am. Well, that’s not accurate. D set his alarm for 4am and was awake before it went off. L was also already up. She didn’t sleep again, this time because of something she ate the night before. D heard her pain and jumped to the rescue. The other D slept on. Somehow the slowest one was the one who ate the best and got the most sleep. Go figure.

By 5am, after L’s cleansing of her system, they had begun their final hiking day. It seemed like a good day. “The first day is always the best,” reminded D. The body no longer hurt and the miles seemed to fly by. Only they didn’t have a very good map to check how many miles had “flown by” and D’s phone batteries were slowly draining. So they simply pushed on.

Surprise, surprise; the third day was not that simple after all. D didn’t want to know what time it was anymore. She just knew that she had to keep going for the others. They had hoped to be out of the trail by 10am. She was sure that even noon was far from attainable now. She no longer looked around her; only at the steps ahead of her. She had to make it for the others. D and L were running ahead as usual. How was that possible?!? But it was the miserable reality. They stopped plenty of times to wait for her, agreeing that it’s hard for them too, but “hard” seemed to her to have a different meaning in the lexicon of the superheroes.

At one of the stops, they pulled out the map and GPS and decided that the group was only three miles away from its destination. That was good, motivating news. The three had started moving again, throwing back words of encouragement to the one who quickly fell behind. But those words can only go so far. D had had enough and didn’t care that they were absolutely sure that they were only five minutes away from Lonely Dell Ranch that signified the end of the hike. She collapsed on the soft ground in the shade, took in a few breaths, sat there for a while and then finally got up and said, “It’s time to finish what we started.”

Soon the three arrived at a fence and spotted a dayhiker nearby. They asked for the quickest way to Lee’s Ferry. He pointed and then left them. They followed, only to arrive at yet another river crossing, the final one, that was unmarked and clearly not part of the trail system, but certainly a shortcut to the car on the other side of the river. Then they arrived at the road, the hot, hard ground that was but a distant memory during the past three days and forced them to appreciate its qualities since it would lead them to the parking lot. And thus, 44 miles later, they finally made it to the car. They didn’t high-five each other, they didn’t take a jumping group shot, they didn’t yell in joy. They simply took their shoes off, entered the car while making all sorts of sighing noises, and drove away. They didn’t even stop to bathe in the Colorado River – it was downhill from them and would not only mean getting OUT of the car, but also going back UP to the car! As Mark Twain put it, “I’m glad I did it, partly because it was worth it, but mostly because I shall never have to do it again.”

Photo courtesy of Darling Garcia