Grand Canyon Winter Outing

This year we awoke to barely below freezing at what’s turned into our annual Grand Canyon winter outing. There were the lilting sounds of boy leaders rousting patrol members – ‘Wake up, wake up Dylly bear!’ Only a minimum of growling was to be heard as the day dawned bright and beautiful. Typical breakfast conversation ensued as they waited for their delectable gourmet egg creations to finish cooking – ‘Wait guys, this Nutella container says we need to follow them on Instagram, Facebook, X and Reddit!’ We also overcame a few small hitches in our get-along, such as – ‘Is Mr. Engelhardt still locked out of his truck? Yes, but he’s called for roadside assistance. Although are we aside a road? Maybe aside a track off a trail aside a dirt road?’ Or there was this one: ‘That was a really weird, hard egg…. Well, it was frozen. My hands are all eggy, I am the egg man!!’ or finally this one… ‘I didn’t think I’d need gloves. I knew it would be cold, but not THIS cold.’ After breakfast and a quick rescue by the local locksmith in a jalopy, it was time for exploration. First, around camp: ‘There are wooly mammoth bones in our camp – see its vertebrae?’ ‘Oooh that’s a dead owl…..oh no it isn’t, it’s a yucca.’ Then, when we got to the canyon at mid-morning, once again there was so much packed ice on the Bright Angel trail that the only passage would be with crampons. So instead, this year the boys decided to hike the Rim Trail out towards Hermit’s Rest overlook. We had planned to ride the shuttle back, but discovered it didn’t start running out there until March. Good thing we’re Boy Scouts – we simply walked it back for a nice 8-mile round-trip hike. After a warm dinner, everyone slept tight….and early!

The egg men – creating.
Shrink wrapped and frosty warm!
The ‘Hole in the Ground’ gang – on a wall, next to the biggest hole around!
With all those delicacies hanging off his pack, he is no longer ‘Dylly Bear’, but ‘Bear Bait!’
Practicing tree ascents. They’re not going to be ‘bear bait!’
Truly one of the 7 natural wonders of the world!
Crampons would have been useful even on the rim trail.
Fire! Warming up before dinner.
Ahhhh, what’za spaghetti without extra meatballs?
This month’s 5-star adult masterpiece? Pheasant, quail, baby red potatoes and asparagus.
Another fabulous day winds down early with cold hands in marvelously hot water.