For one thing, not many people get a chance to take this hike. Not many people get to see the view from Widforss Point. And I wanted to be one of those people. But, I have a confession to make. It was one of the most stupid things I have ever done. I put myself in danger, because I am not in good enough shape to take that hike.
The Widforss Trail is a 5 miles one way, 10 mile round trip, trail that takes you from meadow through forest and along the edge of the Transept Canyon, up and down hills, ending at Widforss Point with a panoramic view of Bright Angel Canyon and Oza Butte.
I learned a lot from my project day, about hiking in general and about myself. Here are a few of the things I learned:
- Take more water than you think you will need. I did not take enough water, and that fact became apparent on the trip back. It was very embarrassing for me, to be in my uniform out on the trail, and have to ask other hikers if they had extra water. I will repeat this point, both for your sake and for mine: Take more water than you think you will need.
- Take more food than you think you will need. You use an awful lot of energy when you hike 10 miles, no matter what shape you are in. I had an apple, some applesauce, some cookies, some beef jerky, and some Fritos. I ate every bit of it, and needed more. I should have had at least twice what I took.
- Know when to turn back. I should have listened to my legs, to my entire body. I should not have let my heart and pride be in charge. They could well have killed me. Yes, that does sound rather dramatic, but it is very true.
- Walk slower, and rest more often. Don’t go out there trying to prove a point. I wanted to succeed, and in my desire to succeed, took on more than I should have for the shape I am in. Twice I had to lie down on the ground and sleep for half an hour because my feet would just not go another step. And in those times, I was terrified that I wouldn’t make it.
- I learned that I can walk 10 miles in one day, but that I should not have, and that it was a terribly stupid thing for me to do.
Now that all that was said, I have to say that I was greatly rewarded for my efforts. I saw some really awesome views. I met some very nice people on the trail. I ate my meager lunch with a hiker from Alaska. I saw a flock of western tanagers, swooping down into the canyon, and perching in the trees to put on a fabulous bird fashion show of yellow and red just for me.
I had my picture taken by a stately ponderosa pine that is more than 13 feet in circumference.
And I sat on a rock and soaked in the view from the end of the trail.
Most of all, I made it back out, much the wiser for the experience.
Today, on my day off, I am taking it pretty easy. My feet hurt, and I have a blister on the bottom of one of them. My legs hurt, all the way up to my hips. I am unusually thirsty, so I am drinking more water than usual. And I am hungry. I have already eaten breakfast, but I am still hungry. And, I am very thankful that I was able to make it out of the Widforss Trail.