Hiking/Camping/Eating in the GRAND CANYON

Porter and I have launched most of our big adventures–hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail, and biking the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, at Easter, so this Easter we descended and ascended the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Our son, Philip, and his triathlon buddy, Constantine, joined us for the expedition.
Constantine, Gail and Porter, Philip

The three guys headed down into the Canyon for three days of hiking and camping, while I hiked the entire South Rim solo from the South Kaibab Trailhead to the Hermit’s Rest Trailhead, with spectacular views the entire way.

From the South Kaibab Trailhead they descended all the way to the Colorado River at the bottom the first day. Constantine, a Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgical Fellow, is also a stellar photographer, and had a blast photographing the Grand Canyon up one side and down the other. Philip, currently a Surgical Retina Fellow, and Constantine raced up to the North Rim and back on the second day. Porter, Jolly Good Fellow who outfitted all three of them with gear including tent, backpacks, and clothes, cooked them all gourmet breakfasts (frittata, fruit muesli and cinnamon rolls from scratch) and dinners (chicken pad thai followed by cherry/blueberry cobbler, salmon risotto followed by fresh hot gingerbread with lemon icing) on his homemade steam-baker.

Meanwhile, Amber spent the entire week riding the free Grand Canyon Village shuttle bus from snack bar to snack bar, fortifying herself for the ride to the next snack bar.



  1. The Grand Canyon certainly IS grand,

  2. Ina Sue Fox says:

    What a GRAND way to celebrate LIFE!! Hiking the Grand Canyon over Easter. Always enjoy reading about all your family adventures Gail. You are living life to the fullest!

  3. Ain’t it truly grand! Though long, long ago now, I went hiking into the Canyon with three friends. Once on the bottom of the “inverted mountain,” we explored along the Clear Creek trail for several days. Our trek began on the last day or so of a February. It was snowing! And then we descended, going from snow to rain to light showers. By the time we reached the Colorado River, not a drop of rain was evident. I recall gazing back up at the rim where the snow was still falling. Sublime.

    Glad you, Porter, Philip, and Constantine had a great experience, Gail!!! Keep on hiking, girl!!!!!

    (Oh, bonus, while we were there, John Travolta passed us at Indian Gardens . . . riding a mule!)

  4. stephanie says:

    It is a beautiful trip and I was a LOT younger when I did it

  5. sallie greenwood says:

    Fun! Porter’s menu sounds exotic and excellent. So much for freeze dried and multiple meals of ramen.

  6. Schwab Bonnie says:

    Another spirited wild adventure with your Fellows. Deep bow!

  7. Jerrie Hurd says:

    Ok, people had choices here. I pick Amber. She had this whole Grand Canyon thing figured out. Ride, Baby, Ride!!!
    That said, Jon and I —not known as hikers–have done rim to rim Grand Canyon. One day down. Two days up. Loved it.

    • Wow, Jerrie, so glad to know you and Jon hiked rim to rim, very impressive! Amber is especially impressed. She said if she ever does it, it will be on a mule.

  8. Brenda Liebling-Goldberg says:

    Breathtakingly gorgeous!!!


  9. Donna Bonetti says:

    That sounds like a fun trip!

  10. Your fabulous adventures always amaze me! The Grand Canyon looks gorgeous (and grand)! xo

    • Susan, it was gorgeous indeed! We hope all is well with you and the family there, we’ve been reading about the ice storm and keeping you in our hearts.

  11. Vicarious thrill time, Gail. I love Grand Canyon!

  12. How wonderful! Sounds like a fabulous adventure on many levels!

  13. The Grand Canyon is one of my favorite sights in the universe. For me it also has family and other personal memories and it is truly awesome in the real meaning of that word. It sounds like each of you is having a wonderful adventure, each in your own way. I had not realized you were going this early in the season but I would guess that eased the crowds that visit later in the summer. Congrats to all

    • I’m so glad you too have had great experiences at the Grand Canyon, Rosemary. It was actually already pretty busy, so I can only imagine how busy it gets in the summer!

  14. Can I get a reservation for dinner?! Glad to see Amber’s eating healthy. Hope the triathlete could keep up with Porter!
    So fun to watch your adventures! Miss you guys!

    • We miss you too, Pam, but we think of you and your personal training all the time! It’s obviously working for us! We’ll definitely be seeing you one of these days. Hope all is fantastic with you! We signed up for your new newsletter.

  15. Dawn Kimble says:

    So like the Porter I’ve seen to thoughtfully support and share his knowledge and skill and love of nature with Phillip and Constantine. May we all have such friends.

    • Yes, Dawn, Porter is extremely generous with his skills and gear with the guys. He’s outfitted them on other expeditions to the point where they show up with pretty much nothing, LOL!

  16. Andrea Welch says:

    You are amazing! From one adventure to another, you and Porter never cease to surprise me!! I love the photos and the venue of the magnificent Grand Canyon. Your husband truly is a gracious host as well, providing all of the needs for the two boys in tow, whom I’m sure were delighted with the adventure. What a fabulous time you all must have had enjoying the views and the hiking throughout the valleys. I also loved seeing Amber kicking back. She truly brightens my day with her ready smile, and appreciation for fun and food! Thanks for sharing with us Gail. We miss you at the pool…. Hugs, Andrea

  17. Jill Hyde says:

    Oh those men! I’m so glad you allowed them the male bonding time and you chose the solo route…but honestly, Amber had the right idea in my book! You are amazing, Gail!!! hugs, jill

  18. Hi, good to see you all looking so healthy and happy. We have hiked trails in the Grand Canyon, down and back up, but never all the way to the river. It is truly spectacular however you see it.


  19. Charlie Stein says:

    What I want to know is… can Porter camp out in my backyard and cook me one of his gourmet meals?

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