Friday, April 12, 2013


The Grand Canyon mule ride is a physically taxing endeavor. ("Yeah, right," you think. "Like sitting on a 900 lb. animal while it does all the hard work is taxing.")
But I guarantee after this trip I discovered muscles I never knew I had in the general area of my derriere. Saddle sores and bladder infections are common results of riding a mule for 7 hours. Plodding steps down a jolting, rocky, narrow path will keep a body extremely tense. Arid temperatures climbing towards 120 degrees make it difficult to stay hydrated. Fumbling to unhook the boda bag from the saddle horn without dropping it on the trail ("You drop it, you leave it.") and trying to still looking remotely adept makes taking a drink of water a major feat of coordination and decorum. And listening to the wranglers' constant schticky jokes, poems and stories of the trail will drive any mule newby to a mild mental breakdown.
So when we got to this bend in the trail overlooking the Colorado River and heard we were nearing our destination (with showers and air conditioned cabins!) I took courage and rallied my mule to a slow stumble.
Actually it was another hour of heat, sweat, bad jokes and muscle cramps until we reached Phantom Ranch. I was never so glad to kiss the dusty earth and hobble my way to the john.

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