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You can do it: A postcard from the bottom of the Grand Canyon

You can do it: A postcard from the bottom of the Grand Canyon

July 4, 2018704Views

I sent myself a postcard from the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It had “YOU CAN DO IT!” scrolled across it. Of course, since it was sent up by mule, I didn’t receive it until AFTER I had hiked out, and oh man, when I sent that postcard, I was really nervous about whether I would even make it out. You see, I work out regularly, but you can also tell pizza is my favorite food, if you know what I mean.

Back in the fall I had a coworker who lives in Arizona ask if I was interested in hiking the Grand Canyon. I had been to the Grand Canyon, but never down in it. Have you ever looked down from the rim of the Grand Canyon? That is FAR! I sort of let the idea pass, but then she asked me again. So I said “sure,” not thinking it would actually come to fruition.

Kelly, in front, during her hike in the Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy Kelly MacVane

Next thing I know, I get a call from my coworker saying we have a permit. It was at that point that I started to panic. I started googling all kinds of facts: How many miles out? What’s the cost of a helicopter rescue? (No joke, I really did this, and it ain’t cheap!)

March came along and I packed my bags.

Pointing up to the rim from the base of the Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy Kelly MacVane

After hiking down the South Kaibab trail and arriving at Bright Angel Campground, my legs were on FIRE. The positive aspect was that so were everyone else’s. We spent two nights at Bright Angel Campground and the entire time I worried about the hike out – that 9.5-mile hike with an elevation change of 4,460 feet (not that I was counting). And the entire time we were down in the canyon, I was dreading the hike out then, too. The gremlins in my head kept telling me I wouldn’t be able to do it, that I would hold my group back.

I started googling all kinds of facts: How many miles out? What’s the cost of a helicopter rescue? (No joke, I really did this, and it ain’t cheap!)

Our departure day arrived and we were off on our 9.5-mile trek uphill. And guess what? I made it to the rim! No medevac needed!

Kelly MacVane walks on a bridge during her Grand Canyon hike in March. Photo courtesy Kelly MacVane

Yeah, I was slow, but how often do you get to the Grand Canyon?! I was soaking up the beauty! Once I reached the rim, I was obviously tired, but I was also upset about how I let those stupid little gremlins in my head tell me I couldn’t do it. Instead of really enjoying my time down in the canyon, I was SO worried about actually making the hike out. Fortunately, my body said “be gone gremlins!” and took over. This chunky butt and thick thighs made the 9.5-mile trek out of the canyon. BOOM.

Kelly and her mom, Kathy, during their trek through the Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy Kelly MacVane

It is truly amazing what your body can do, so appreciate it. Appreciate it, love it, nourish it, embrace it, and tell those gremlins to be gone.

Kelly MacVane

Kelly MacVane

Kelly MacVane lives in Westbrook, wears the most-awesome leggings, and recently hiked Katahdin for the first time! Her takeaway from the experience: "Sweet baby Jesus that was hard."