ALL HIKERS

DAY 8: ESPLANADE TO SOUTH BASS TRAILHEAD

     It rained most of the night and then started snowing.  I stayed warm and dry in my tent, but I feel sorry for those who weren't in a tent.  I get up early and pack all my wet stuff, skip breakfast, and am the first one on the trail.  

   
  A snowy Esplanade
11-5-2011 @ 6:49
 

     My gloves are wet, so I use some socks to cover my hands.  It is cold and my hands are numb.  I pass the traditional trail to the Royal Arch and start the uphill slog.  The more I climb the more the snow increases.  By the time I reach all the switchbacks, the trail is snow packed, but not slick.  

Heavy snow on the trail
11-5-2011 @ 7:30
Heavy snow on the trail
11-5-2011 @ 7:30
Heavy snow on the trail
11-5-2011 @ 7:30

     I reach the trailhead in just over an hour.  All the cars are covered with snow.

A snow covered car
11-5-2011 @ 8:30
A snow covered car
11-5-2011 @ 8:30

     Several of the others are right behind me.

Trailhead sign
11-5-2011 @ 8:30
Mark at the trailhead
11-5-2011 @ 8:31
Trailhead sign
11-5-2011 @ 8:31

     Leslie, Marcey, and I get our picture taken at the trailhead with Holy Grail Temple in the background.

Leslie and Marcey at the trailhead
11-5-2011 @ 8:46
Richard at the trailhead
11-5-2011 @ 8:48

     The view is quite a bit different than the one Bob, Tom, and I had a week ago when we delivered cars here, but it's equally as pretty.

View from the trailhead
11-5-2011 @ 8:57
View from the trailhead
11-5-2011 @ 8:57
View from the trailhead
11-5-2011 @ 8:58

     When everyone gets here, we load up, and head for Pasture Wash.  The road conditions are rough and mushy as we slip and slide our way there.  We pick up the other two cars at the old Ranger station and continue toward the Havasupai check station.  Someone else has been down the road this morning, but turned around and headed back.  When we hit their ruts, Tom's pickup slides sideways into the bar ditch.  We all pile out and try various things to get the truck out without success.  I'm concerned we may have to abandon his truck here because, like we say in Oklahoma, the road surface is slicker than greased owl s--t.  It's difficult to even stand without falling over.  Eventually, Tom is able to back down the bar ditch and get up on the road surface.  He then stays on the high side of the road and gets by the bad spot.  Whew, that was close.  The other cars get by without any problems.

     We drive to Tusayan, unload, and say goodbye to each other.  Many in the group head to Phoenix and I head to Oklahoma.

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