It's a 7 hour drive from Pagosa Springs, CO to the Grand Canyon. 4 vehicles caravan through the winding mountains to the strait desert roads. With cramp set up in darkness we awaited the morning sun to see the glory surrounding us. 3:30 AM thunder echoed across the canyon and at 4am I assisted those sleeping in hammocks dive into vans for the rest of the night- we all were soaked through from the sudden downpour.
In the gray morning light 29 students and 7 staff arise to explore our surroundings. We venture to the rim for an awe-inspiring sunrise. The shadows of the canyon shift from gray, to purple and blue as the sky comes alive with the pink, orange and yellow vibrance of a new day.
After a hearty breakfast, we head to the South Kiabab Trail and descend to Skeleton Point. I hoped to go farther but water refill stations were closed and few with me had enough water for a longer journey. After a lunch on a cliff, three miles down the winding trail we turned to ascend the three miles of hairpin turns to the top of the Grand Canyon.
The day passed quickly. Once the sunset faded and we finished our dinner, the group of us loaded our vehicles and drove back to Pagosa Springs. Arriving at our home Lodge at 4:00am, I was ready to sleep.