Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving in the Grand Canyon

Thanksgiving in the Grand Canyon is a tradition for us (since meeting Pam and Shannon :-)...this year we decided to pack our bags for a 5 day/4 night trip. JR and I got most of our equipment only a week before the trip...so we got to do a few pratice hikes in the Phoenix Mountains and that was it...we filled our packs with books and went out the door...one person even asked us if we are camping out there :-)

Then Wednesday arrived and we went up to the Grand Canyon...and SNOW!!! We turned into phoenicians now, so 10 degree nights didn't sound too good...brrrrrrrr...down we went.

We had a great crew with us. Pam and Shannon off course, Susie and Brian, Shaula and Tom. All really great people!!!

Water refill...JR and I decided to say no to this one as it was close to an old mine, where we saw a: "Do not enter, Radiation warning"-sign...but maybe we would have stayed warmer drinking that water :-) Here is the rest of the crew filtering water:

We dropped in elevation and the snow disappeared. The views in the canyon are beautiful!!!

First night: Hance creek. We cooked our dinner, built the tent and went to bed at 7:30 pm :-)

The mornings were always the craziest. We were still cold from the night, hands frozen trying to take the tent down, making coffee, and packing our gear...

Along the Tonto Trail we went. The views were again amazing...and they gave me goosebumps...some of the drop offs are sooooooo steep!!!

We spent the second night at the Cottonwood Creek...again: beautiful!!! The best part is that we barely saw any people. It was Thursday, which also ment it was Thanksgiving. We had a great Thanksgiving dinner with Smoked Trout (Brian caught it a few days before in the Colorado River- and yes, he is allowed to do that:-) , Mashed potatoes, Gravy, Stuffing, Red Cabbage and Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Bars :-) Yummm..hiking in style!!!

The next day the hike felt a lot easier as we had eaten many pounds of food the night before...oh did I mention we had a few Nalgene's full of wine?
Look at the drop off right next to the trail...see the little people walking? Yah, that is where we walked. It wouldn't be bad if they would have built the trail even (hello? what were those guys in the late 1800's thinking?) The trail is slanted, with a nice angle towards the drop off...no twisting ankles here...

Only 5 more miles to go...

Grapevine Creek, we are trying to stay warm with hot beverages: tea, coco, bailey's, jameson's,...you name it, we had it!!!

Our morning view into the Nalgene bottles...NICE...we dropped some water on the ground and a second later it was frozen...that might give you an idea what the temps were like....

Last day: sore sore sore...Massages very much needed!!! Not sure what was in pain the most: lower legs, quads, back? Mhhh...

Sunday morning: the storm is rolling in. Noone slept as the wind was CRAZY!!! We had to put our rain cover on twice even though it was hammered into the ground!!! It was great...I love storms!!! And snow :-) Bring it on...

The hike out. 3 miles to go...we better put these on:

Yeah, somewhere back there is the Colorado River:-)

Pam on the final stretch:

The hike was great and I am so thankful that we get to do these adventures!!! The Grand Canyon is a beautiful place.
I am so excited for Thanksgiving 2011 and new adventures!!!
My camera doesn't do the views justice-it is truely an amazing place...check out Brian's pics at http://bhealyphoto.zenfolio.com/ . He is a great photographer!!! His pics show how it really is!!!
Did I ever mention the cave of doom...I mean dome? If you like caves, there is a huge cave system 3 miles off the rim...it is super scary and I was out of there within the minute...Thanks to having watched "The hills have eyes" and "The descent"...you can follow this string in the dark for around an hour and it leads you from "room" to "room" and eventually you come out ona cliff ...that is what we heard...not sure if I will ever be up for that...

Friday, November 12, 2010


Skinstrong is keeping my skin strong in 2011!!!

I am really excited to work with the nice people from SKINSTRONG next year. Their product is not only great but also affordable!!!

Go to www.skinstrong.com and check out their products. They are in the process of developing many more great things and I am looking forward to using them. The SKINSTRONG SLIK is my absolute favorite: after many years as a runner (collegiately and as a triathlete) you would think that my feet are used to running and I wouldn't get any blisters or sores anymore...yeah...right...I guess I have very sensitive feet, but I have sprayed the Slik on the heel of my foot and have not gotten a blister. Even better, it can be used on ANY body part. I have used it in open water swims under my race suit and my wetsuit on the really tight spots and it has work there better then anything else...the spray is easy to apply, you don't need a lot-unlike other products.

Another great product is the SLATHER - I am looking forward to all those riding miles in the winter in AZ :-) The SLATHER is a great tool for cyclists as well!!!

And at 9.99 $ the product is very affordable, which is what athletes, especially triathletes need (with the entry fees for races increasing and increasing, and products getting more expensive).

If you want to try it out you can go to the homepage and shop right there!!! Add to your shopping cart and it will be on its way.

Also, the product was developed by athletes for athletes. They have been competing in IM events, cycling, running, ... they know where we hurt. And on top of that they are super nice people, always happy and very supportive to athletes like me.

Thanks SKINSTRONG for letting me be part of the journey!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Winter is coming...Phoenix is cooling down to a low of 58 during the night now :-) (which is pretty much the nightly SUMMER average in Flagstaff) This morning the pool was steaming during morning practice, and I have to admit, it was chilly whenever my arm was out of the water...brrr...I am excited to see how training at 5:30 am in an outdoor pool feels like in December/January...

JR and I spent last weekend in Flagstaff for Cyclocross race number 1 and 2. I had two fun races with 2 W, but JR had 2 races with a lot of bad luck. In the first race he got rear ended and lost his chain completely...then it just kept jumping and skipping...same the next day, so he had to pull out and we discovered that his chane was actually broken.

I am still working on getting my foot healed up (sleeping with "the sock").I am back to building mileage in running, but have to take all the precautions...taping...PT...icing...stretching...exercises...the good thing is that the "limited running" gives me time to improve my swimming!!!

Jack had one of his friends over the other week and they had a ton of fun digging holes and playing.

This little guy was hiding in the yard...AHHHHHHHH...so I had to eliminate him :-) Hope it was the first and the last dinosaur-looking animal I will see in my yard.

Friday night the Endurance Rehab team went Go Kart racing. Here is a shot of the men's podium...noooo, there was no fighting or bumping involved...not during the race and not after...

I am very excited to start planning the 2011 season. It looks like I will kick it off with the National Wintertriathlon Championships in January. Also I am hoping to get to race in the Super Sprint Triathlon Grand Prix which involves all out racing for short distances!!! Sounds GREAT!!! They just had the kick off race last weekend in Oceanside and I think it is genius to bring a race format like that on the race circuit. I am really looking forward to all 5 of the races next year!!!