Three Woodstock residents had a dream and November 2018 was the time these three friends decided to live it out. Rob Mecklenburg, Brad Woodsen, and Mike Kyezer had always had an urge to take on an adventure. Through their training and their location aspirations, the men settled on hiking the South Kaibab Trail down into the heart of the canyon and back out the North Kaibab Trail. The amount of time the men took to accomplish the twenty-one-mile feat: one day.
The greatest part is, they made it within their time limit. Mecklenburg, Woodsen, and Kyezer started their quest at an altitude of 7,000 feet. The three then descended to 2,400 feet, reaching the Colorado River. Afterward, the trio hiked back up the Grand Canyon, which was more than 8,000 feet.
“Going in, you’re excited and nervous, hoping you trained enough,” Mecklenburg said of their adventure.
This was not a rash decision for the men. Going rim-to-rim is difficult and can be dangerous. In fact, the National Park Service discourages hikes of this nature. The reason is that this type of long-distance hike causes hikers to be prone to serious injury and even illness.
One of the main issues facing the trio this time of year is the change in temperature. At the beginning of the hike, the temperature was between 35 and 40 degrees. At lower altitudes, toward the Colorado River, the temperature heated to close to 80 degrees. On the upswing, the temperature dropped again, until it was near freezing. Still, they weathered on triumphantly.
One of the most interesting things the men found during their adventure was that there was a lot of diversity on the trail. Even though the route they took was discouraged by officials, there were many men and women, from all different backgrounds. There were age differences and many other differences, with the only real similarity was the level of fitness. Considering the hike is physically demanding, this makes sense.
While the hike proved to be more challenging than the friends anticipated, the fact that they overcame it made the accomplishment even better. After all, what good is an adventure if you know exactly what to expect?
Additionally, being able to tackle the challenge invigorated the group. On the trip home, all the friends talked about was what they should conquer next.