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Whuff,

Been there. Looked down that trail at how steep it was and said, "Ain't no friggin' way," and went and had another hotdog. For me, getting down would have been a cinch but coming up I probably would have had a coronary about five hundred meters from the bottom and they'd need about four of those donkeys to carry me out.

If you did that, you've got some stamina, Dude! How old are you...19?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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19 + 40. 2.5hrs down. 3.0 hrs up. As you can see I still had good balance at the bottom. Just as I neared the top a runner boy, early 40's maybe, passed me. He ran down the south side, then up to top of north side, and back to top of south side. 42 miles, over 10k vertical, in 8hrs 28 minutes, with 5 other buddies who came in later.

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I'd never seen them before, but we stopped in Bishop CA on the way out and there they were, beckoning.

I spotted this neat hotel in Death Valley.

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So I shot on down there.

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To my surprise it was vacant. I negotiated a good price for the skylight room.

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It even had the best view.

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Needless to say, my wife was overjoyed.

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Is that a Sierra Nevada? At the bottom of the Canyon? My bucket list just got a little longer.

I hiked to the bottom and back to the rim twice, on consecutive days, back in 1980. By the time I got to the bottom on the 2nd day my knees were totally effed. I managed to limp back up, but could barely walk for a week or so after.

The thing is, I don't remember there being a 7-11 at the bottom back then. I'm assuming there must be one now judging by the casual way Denny is balancing that Sierra Nevada. I know I wouldn't be so cavalier with a beer if I had carried it all the way down.

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Two days in a row. You must have been younger then. There's got to be a story to that? We all carried two beers each and the balance act was over a sandy beach.

Those photos above are from some charcoal furnaces left over from previous mining. We camped a half mile above them at around 7k feet. The next day the crew wanted to camp lower down in Death Valley to get the heat effect, since we are from the northern coast of CA. So after the 2 16yr olds returned from running around the dunes at about 3pm we were all so hot that we got the heck out of their and camped near Vegas at 5k feet. We originally wanted to be done exploring around 6 or so as the sun went down, but we couldn't even wait. It was 99 at 3 and no shade. As the wife and I sat under the shade of our lift gate sipping some ice cold Sierra Nevada's we spotted some rare California Love Birds.

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Two days in a row. You must have been younger then. There's got to be a story to that?

Not much of one. It would have been about this time of year. I was traveling with a couple, friends, from Toronto to San Diego, mostly camping in a van. For me, it was part of the circuitous route/career change that had me end up, unforeseen, in Seattle. That is a longer story. Anyway, we were taking our time and seeing the sights on the way.

We had all gone down the first day, and thoroughly enjoyed the scenery, as well as the climate change on the way down. I think I simply decided to do it again, although it may also have been to get some space from my companions for a day.

And, yeah, 32 years ago I was somewhat younger. My knees had not given me any trouble the first day, but the 2nd day of constant downhill pounding must of been too much. I now do a 4 to 5 mile walk most every day with the dog. The first part of that usually involves getting off the ridge I live on. One knee can still be a bit iffy on the steeper downhill blocks, although I can modify my gait to minimize the pain.

I'm doing what I can to maintain this old shell but there are limits. I'm probably in better overall shape right now than I have been for many years but, still, it sucks getting old!

BTW...glad to see you recovered if I haven't mentioned that before.

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About 1/3 mile from the top runner boy passed me. He and 5 other had run from the south rim, to the bottom, to the top of the north rim, back to the bottom, then back up to the south rim. He came in first at 8hr and 26 minutes. Said there was some 20 yr old that did it in the 6+hr range. That's over 10k vertical feet up and down and 42 miles. I don't think he had any beer either!

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So?

How are you feeling now? I should think you were pretty sore a day or two after that. If I'd done that, even if I didn't have a coronary, I doubt I would have been able to bend over for a week.

My back is giving me fits this morning. It always does in the mornings - especially after a house with a crawlspace the day before - but today is especially bad. Couldn't sit up in bed; had to roll out of bed and land on my knees and then work myself up into a standing position. First few steps were agony. Easily on the same pain level of the day I broke my back. Not sure what iniitated it. Yesterday I did some work out in the garage; maybe that's what did it.

I'm out of vicodin so I had to swallow five Motrin and wait an hour in order to be able to get around the house. Sure hope it eases up by this afternoon's inspection.

Back injuries just SUCK!!!

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Yes they do suck. Everything you do anchors off your back. I had a similar injury to my recent one back in 78 or so. I was on my way to being a river rafting guide, then wham. I had no money so I was shoveled out of the hospital the next day. I ended up lying on the floor for 70 days then started to slowly recover. Had to get me a sit down job as a claims adjuster. What a change of life. I thought sitting at a desk would be good for it, but holding that typing position is a bitch. I was pretty much recovered after about 1.5yrs, but kind of chicken that it would come back and bite me anytime and by then I had made it through the boot camp of learning the insurance claims stuff. It didn't come back to bite me yet so I must have pissed it off and I just broke it again to make up for my attitude. Ha. Every back injury is different. I have apparently lucked out twice. Time will tell. I like to stretch out twice a week. Open up the spaces between the vertebra a bit.

After hiking the canyon I didn't feel sore as much as just worn out. 2.5 hrs to the bottom and 3 up. We made the long drive back to Sacramento the next day, then on home to Eureka the next. Total rigor mortis when we would get out of the car.

We had hiked 4200 vertical once a week for 6 weeks before we went.

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