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697 Summer Stories
No Orange Juice

Bright Angel Trail

In the summer of 2012, we made our first visit to Grand Canyon as adults. We were planning on hiking a few trails, but did not have any solid plans or backcountry reservations. After a day of exploring the South Rim, we made plans to hike part of the Bright Angel Trail. We would have liked to have hiked to the Colorado River and back, but there were signs and warnings everywhere advising against such endeavors. We followed the advice and shortened our hike to Indian Garden, then out to Plateau Point, and back to the Rim.

The morning hike was fine. We made good time in the cool morning air and well groomed trail. By the time we had gone to Plateau Point and returned to the water source at Indian Garden it was already 9:30. We had hiked 7.5 miles, but still had to hike back to the Rim in the heat of the day.

It grew hotter by the minute. We hiked until we could find a bit of shade. There we would take a bit of a break to cool off and then hiked again looking for the next shade.

On our journey to the Rim we met many hikers. Most were in good spirits, as they moved effortlessly down the trail.

After we had left the One-and-a-Half mile rest area on the way to the Rim, we met a group of mothers with children coming down the trail. One small girl (maybe three or four years old), was not wanting to walk. Her mom was coaxing her to just keep walking.

Pleading, the little girl responded, "but, I didn't have my orange juice this morning!"

The little girl might have been the wisest one in the bunch. Perhaps she realized that she was also going to have to walk up the hill!

The candid response of the child gave us our catch-phrase of the summer. Over and over again, when things got difficult, we would say to each other "but, I didn't have my orange juice this morning!" A bit of cheerful complaining always helps. We would think of the little girl and resume walking, but with a smile.

When things get tough we all need something to keep us going. Orange juice or dreaming of it are as good as any!

Happy OJ trails


Trip report of Bright Angel Trail


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