November 8, 2017 - Mitch and Shannon Menefee traveled to the Grand Canyon on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 and began a journey of a lifetime - to hike into the depths of the Grand Canyon and back up.
Shannon Menefee said, "There are no words to explain how beautiful and awesome it is. That became very real for us as we hiked down into the canyon."
The Menefees began their descent on Thursday, October 26th at 6:06am and the temperature at the rim was 27 degrees. It was still dark. They arrived at 'Ooh Aah Point' (.9 miles down) in time for sunrise which was captured in a picture of them sitting on a rock.
Menefees' explained, "As we stepped down over and over again we reached our halfway point called Skeleton Point. We met a ranger who told us to ask at Phantom Ranch (at the very bottom) if they had any cancellations so we could spend the night. It usually takes 14 months in advance to get a reservation -- if you're lucky! We finally made it down to the ranch at 11:30am and it was 85 degrees!"
"We were sooo tired! Our legs were worn out. We bought some lemonade and tentatively asked about lodging. The man told us that someone had canceled only a few minutes before -- so there was room for us in the dorms."
"We were so happy and knew it was an answer to prayers! God blessed us with a place to sleep, a steak dinner, and a breakfast the next morning. We were so glad to have time to rest and recuperate before starting on the trail up."
They traveled down the South Kaibab trail (7+ miles to the Ranch) and hiked out on the Bright Angel trail (9.5 miles up). The trail down was shorter but steeper and mainly in the sun. The trail out was longer, less steep, in the shade, and had more rest stops with water and restrooms.
After their semi-restful night at the ranch, the Menefees ate breakfast at 5am and started hiking at 5:45 and 50 degrees; still dark. They wore lights on their heads to see where they were going while hiking the trail that hugged the Colorado River. Soon they parted from the river but stayed close to streams until Indian Gardens at the halfway point (4.5 miles).
They had backpacks filled with water, snacks, and other essentials. They stopped at 4.5 miles, 3 miles, and 1.5 miles on the way up. They drank plenty of water and ate peanut butter and protein bars.
The Menefees arrived at the top around 12:30pm. Shannon said, "That was an almost 5,000ft gain in elevation in a little under 6 hours! We were so blessed to be able to go and see God's awesome handiwork! We are still sore, but we are feeling so accomplished and we will never forget this trip! Thanks to all of you who prayed for us. They were definitely answered."