Veterans Day Weekend | Wednesday – Saturday, November 10-13, 2021
I can hardly believe that it’s been over three years since I last set foot on the Esplanade in 2018! Back in 2019 Diane and I took the year off from visiting the North Rim so we could finally go see the Waterfalls of Havasu Canyon on the other side of the Grand Canyon, and then in 2020 we cancelled our planned trip due to the weather forecast and other things we needed to get done at home. I’ve been looking forward to getting back and was happy to finally return this extended Veterans Day weekend with Jerry. It felt great to be back on the Esplanade! The sky was clear and the high temperatures were in the 70’s while the lows at night were very comfortable in the 40’s. We even found some water in a couple shallow potholes. As usual, I’m not going to get into all the specific details of this trip, but I will share plenty of photos below. We found everything we were looking for and had a pretty great time, until we started climbing out of the canyon on Friday…
Welcome back to the Esplanade!
The Candyman Site
Red Dog Site
White Dog Site
The Basket Panel
Unfortunately, our trip was cut short abruptly on Friday when I had to use the SOS button on my SPOT device to call for help. I’ve been carrying a SPOT with me for almost 15 years now, and this is the first time I’ve ever had to use that button. During a very steep and loose climb out of the canyon I had some sort of medical episode and my body pretty much became incapacitated twice. The episodes lasted for around 30-40 minutes each and then I was back to feeling 100% fine again. Not knowing if help was actually on the way or if it was going to happen again, I quickly climbed to the rim of the canyon while I was still feeling OK since I knew we were in a pretty bad location for a rescue, and I sure as hell didn’t want to spend the night on that cliff! We met the helicopter on the rim of the canyon and I ended up not needing a flight out or a rescue. I have never experienced anything like this before and it was very scary not to have control over my body, especially in such a sketchy and remote location. I really don’t ever want to feel like that again. I’d also like to send a special thanks to Jerry for sticking by my side and helping me get out of the canyon.
Update: I’ve now been to the doctor and have had some bloodwork done, but so far they have found no issues and I am apparently in perfect health…