In February, I made the annual trek out to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. For the first time, one of my friends, Kim Amthor, requested to come along. Since she had never been to the Grand Canyon, we of course had to visit.
Last year was the first time in many years that I had been to the main area on the South Rim, since I have gone to Supai the last four canyon visits. However, last year I didn’t take the time to hike down into the canyon.
After arriving on Saturday, February 3rd, Kim and I had planned to stay two nights on the rim and day hike part way into the canyon. Due to the Superbowl, many people canceled their Phantom Ranch visits, so we decided to take an extra day and hike to the bottom. Unfortunately, an ankle injury required that we spend yet another day. Thankfully, there were still openings. With a lot of encouragement and some pain killer, the 9.6 mile hike out went better than expected. We certainly enjoyed meeting and sharing good times with the other Phantom Ranch visitors and Bright Angel Campground campers. All in all it was an incredible hike. Somehow, though, it isn’t as easy as it was the first time I made the decent almost 25 years ago.
As a result of spending so much time in the northern part of the state, we only had a couple of days to spend in Tucson. It worked out in the end, especially, since experience buying at past Tucson shows enabled me to overshoot my budget in record time.
I would like to thank Kim for an incredible trip. She is an artist that spends part of the year in Grand Marais and owns the Niemi Fish Net House (around the corner from the museum). I would also like to thank Ken Flood, one of the owners of Keewenaw Gem and Gifts in Houghton, MI, for bringing back all my Tucson purchases. Finally, thanks to Penny and Seth for their wonderful hospitality on our last night in Phoenix.