About 1.5 miles from the campground we took a side trail to Ribbon Falls, a beautiful little waterfall.
|Ribbon Falls - hidden behind vegetation|
The thick moss blanket on the rock underneath the waterfall proves that the water is running all year round. The little pond in front of it certainly provides a nice opportunity to cool sore feet in case it is hot outside.
|There they are!|
|Resting near Ribbon Falls|
To get back onto the North Kaibab Trail there is a shortcut that would have saved us half a mile. However, it crosses through a creek which can be knee-deep at this time of the year. At 100 F/38 C, I would have grabbed my Teva sandals, tucked up my pant legs and would not have hesitated to walk through the water. But our current circumstances were a little different, so we took the regular trail.
We took frequent breaks to eat some salty snacks, drink water, set down the backpacks and to stretch our legs. Eddie had brought "Glide", an anti-blister balm to treat hot spots in order to prevent blisters. Luckily, this was the only medical treatment that several of us required those four days.
|Elliott treating his feet with blister prevention balm.|
|Eddie and Andrew peeking over the canyon map.|
Later that morning, the weather cleared up quite nicely for a while. We kept walking south-southwest for another few miles. The canyon walls started to close in on us and we got to an area called "The Box". In this section of the canyon the 1.4-1.7 billion years old black Vishnu Schist heats up a lot in the sun and it can feel like walking through an oven. It is therefore recommended to get past this area before noon. We however did not have to worry about that.
|Crossing Bright Angel Creek, |
shortly after Phantom Canyon.
After a total of 7.2 miles (11.6km) that day and a descent of 1,600 ft (488m) we reached the Bright Angel Campground around noon. Eddie treated us with some yummy avocado-bacon wraps and later we enjoyed a beer at Phantom Ranch, near the campground. It had started to rain again but by that time it seemed that we had gotten used to it. The rain did not prevent us from doing a nice stroll over to the Colorado River. As it got dark, we grabbed our headlamps and did a relaxing hike on the river trail which connects the South Kaibab Trail and Bright Angel Trail on the south side of the Colorado River and runs between the Kaibab (Black) and Bright Angel (Silver) Bridges. Too many clouds though for seeing a starry sky!