One of my most memorable hiking adventures comes from a time that was particularly challenging for me.  Our dog, Ally, battled bone cancer for the last 8 months of her life.  During those 8 months we decided that we were going to give her the best months we could.  Twice a day walks, treats, homemade doggie ice cream, new toys and as much time and attention she wanted from us.  After a brave 8 months of cancer, the pain was finally too much.  It was time to say goodbye for now…  She was so special, I have never known such a sweet animal.

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Alan and I decided we needed to get away for a little bit.  We decided to head to Sedona, Arizona the next week.  We had been to Sedona many times before and we knew it would be a good place to get a little fresh air, which is just what we needed.

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While day hiking in Sedona, I kept thinking how much I wanted to see the Grand Canyon with snow.  A few years back we had hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and it was great.  Alan randomly called to see if we could get a reservation at the Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  We lucked out, there was a big snowstorm headed that way and someone had cancelled their reservation.

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It was an interesting drive to the Grand Canyon.  It took a couple of extra hours to make it to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  We did not have much time to waste. It was getting later in the afternoon and we had dinner reservations at the bottom of that Canyon for 6pm!

We decided to take the Bright Angel Trail. It was so quiet and beautiful.  It felt like we were the only ones around.  There was at least a foot of snow at the top.  This was a deterrent for some, not for us!  About halfway down, the clouds broke and the sun came out.

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Shortly after sunset we made it to the bottom.

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We had a cozy little cabin and knew we needed a good night’s sleep for our hike out the next morning.

The views on our upward hike were beautiful.

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After 6 hours and 20 minutes we made it to the top.

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Usually we have a lot of planning involved in our trips.  Alan is known for his very detail-oriented itineraries. This was not the case with this trip.  This is one instance that I think Alan would agree with me that sometimes the best trips in life are a little unplanned : )

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