The Great Ho Race of 1997 ~ Mountain Mama

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Great Ho Race of 1997

If you've ever wondered why I'm not an outdoor girl, I give you Exhibit A:

I once dated this guy who was an animal when it came to grueling, death-march hikes. He hiked to the summit of Long's Peak in four hours (mere mortals taking six). He trekked for five days across a desert. He proposed to me and I married him.

Like I said, he enjoys a challenge.

Before our engagement, he had this splendid idea to road trip to the Grand Canyon. For some silly reason I assumed this would be a fun archaeological tour through the great Southwest.

When we got to the Grand Canyon, I found a nice little guided walk that talked of rock formations, flora and fauna, and native tribes of the area. Halfway into the walk, he pulled me aside and asked if would be okay if we just hiked in the canyon.

Sure. No problem. What do you have in mind? This was before the ring so I was a bit more accommodating at the time. Sucker.

We He decided to hike halfway down the canyon to a lookout point* and then make a decision to see if we could do the entire canyon in a day.** I was agreeable and off we went.

One of the problems with the GC, is that your hike starts with the downhill part. Another problem is the desert heat kicks in about four miles after you've started. Another problem? The remarkable wildlife we saw included two snakes, one of them a rattler, and a millipede that was at least 8 inches long. Clearly this was not the date of my dreams.

I We decided to turn around after the lookout point. It was past noon and there was no chance in hell I could climb all the way down to the bottom and back out.*** So halfway it was.

It was hot, uphill and for some stupid reason you can only rent burros at the top (totally missing a money making opportunity if you ask me). I was miserable and sweaty. The Businessman was losing patience with my stopping at every switchback and kept pushing me. Gradually, we noticed another couple in pretty much the same situation. We became instant friends, until the other girl and I realized something: The boys were racing us.

I wish it was just hallucinations from heatstroke but TBM admitted it later. The boys had made an unspoken bet that whoever got their 'ho' up the canyon fastest won the Manly award. I was so exhausted at this point there was no way I could lay the smackdown on him.

Can't say the same for the other girl. About 3/4 mile from the top, she started shrieking, sobbing and tore her man up one side and down the other. It was a beautiful thing. Beautiful enough that TBM harnessed my mood and promised me a steak dinner once we reached the top.

Another problem about the Grand Canyon: There are no steak dinners.

He still owes me big for winning him that Manly award.

*, **, ***The literature clearly indicates to never hike the entire canyon in one day. It also suggests not to attempt this lookout in one day during the summer. Don't become a ho.

ETA: The Businessman informs me that he is willing to take me out any time for that steak dinner. Convenient that I don't eat steak anymore.


  1. I would say he does owe you (maybe not a steak) but a very fancy dinner for winning him the manly award!

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  2. I have a friend who actually did do it in a day, but he admits it was crazy and wouldn't do it again. Good point about the burros!

  3. Get dessert with that steak dinner - and perhaps request a re-do. This time YOU take TBM hiking...through like a yarn shop or Victoria's Secret. Hold up frilly things that will induce stammering & a little drool. Afterwards tell him that whoever gets their hubby to blush in public first, wins!

  4. Oh wow! I've hiked that canyon, but was luckily not raced. LOL. My husband is not an outdoorsman though.

    No, it's never a good idea to do it in a day. Even perfectly healthy people die there every year. Last time I was there a few months ago, we saw a rescue 'copter out on one of the lookouts. Not good.

    Not sure what could make that one up.

  5. Stopping by from SITS to give a little blog ♥


Blog Widget by LinkWithin