Then Larry, Derek, and Erin headed to the next rest house at mile 3 on the trail
. I filled my water bottle and headed back up. I really took my time. At first I watched the three of them as they descended the trail. When I could no longer see them, I headed up the trail in earnest. I went really slowly, stopping to rest and hydrate often. I enjoyed watching a squirrel eating along the trail. I found some beautiful Eaton Beardtongue (red flowers) along the trail. I stopped and had my lunch in the shade with a couple who were heading down. I got to the top shortly after 1:00. I sat for a while and drank a lot of water. When I felt rested I headed back to the car on foot as the line for the shuttle was really long. When I got to the car I changed into my sandals, drank a cold Gatorade from the cooler, got my book and headed back to the trailhead. By this time it was 2:00. As I read I watched for them. I saw a group of people come up who had hiked from the North Rim. They got water, poured it over their heads, laid down in the shade and went to sleep. I was 3 pages from the end of my book when Erin said, "Hi, Mom!" It was just after 3:00. They had made it up in 2 1/2 hours which is about what it took me. They were tired, hot and thirsty. They took a few minutes to rest.
Then Derek said the Grand Canyon Train would leave at 3:30, so we walked down to the tracks, crossed them, and waited for the train to leave. We took pictures and video as the train pulled out
. Then we walked the spur tracks back to the parking lot which was a lot quicker than going back the other way. When we reached the car, they took off their hiking boots and got a Gatorade. On the way back to the house we stopped at the grocery in Tusayan for more Parmesan cheese but of course we also got more beer and a bottle of Moscato wine for me. Then we stopped for gas and we got some matchlight charcoal for the brats tonight. We got back to the house about 5:00.
We took some time to rest and download pictures before starting supper. Larry and Derek got the grill going, then Larry went upstairs to take a shower. I asked Derek to check the grill and it had gone out. They lighted it again and I started the spaetzle to go with the bratwurst. We ate about 6:30. Luckily the bratwurst were precooked or we would have had to wait a lot longer to eat. After supper we were all very tired especially Larry, Derek and Erin. Everyone had showers and Erin and Larry were out for the count by 8:00. I cleaned up the kitchen, finished my blog, and went to bed. Derek was up with me watching TV.
We got up, dressed, packed lunches and ate and were out the door about 8:15. We drove to the park and tried to park close to the Trailhead for the Bright Angel Trail. The closest parking was about a half a mile away at the Back Country Permit lot right by the railroad track. We stopped at Maswik Lodge to use the restrooms and then walked to the new trailhead. We started down the trail at 9:30. We came to the first tunnel shortly which was a great picture taking opportunity. We continued down the trail one switchback after another. Soon we came to the second tunnel. Before long we passed from white dust and rocks to red dust and rocks. There were a lot of people on the trail going both directions. We kept going down, down, down. In an hour we were 1 1/2 miles down the trail. Here was the first rest house, restrooms, and spring water. We had a snack.