In the last blog, which I published on Monday, I talked of receiving an early morning call from my youngest daughter who'd left at 4:00 am Sunday to hike Hermit's trail, with her older brother Arturo, to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
After several hours of descending the rugged trail, Arturo started having cramps so bad that he couldn't continue. He told her he would stay where they were, about eight miles down the trail, and asked her to hike back out and get help because he could go no further.
Neither of them had taken much in the way of supplies. They didn't have warm enough clothing or adequate food, or water for a such an arduous hike. The park service classifies that trail as one that a hiker shouldn't attempt to complete in one day. In other words, plan on staying overnight. But they either didn't see - or else ignored - the signs and were planning a one day round trip.
My daughter told me that the return trip was a nightmare. She was afraid she would die. She ran out of water and soon became exhausted. She found a shack alongside the trail and curled up on a bench inside and rested for a while, napping off and on.
As she continued the climb, she found some cactus with ripe pears on them and picked several of them and was able to suck enough moisture out of them to stay somewhat hydrated and energized. Further on she found a small spring that was dripping water into a tank. A sign said that the water should be purified before drinking, but she was so parched she drank it anyway. Then she filled her water container and struggled on to the top.
A helpful bus driver let her use her phone and the alert went out about her missing brother.
Several search teams and helicopters went out, but were unable to locate him that day. The following afternoon at around 2:00 pm they found him walking up the trail. He spent a few days recovering in the hospital and was discharged today.
Needless to say everyone is happy that they both survived. The incident reminds us all, that when doing something risky we should plan for all eventualities.
After all, a lot of people love and care about us and we should include them in our planning.