Many years ago in my 17th year, Dad, Lee and I along with two of my friends took a backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon. All five of us, along with all our backpacking gear drove in Dads 1958 VW. It was Easter break of my senior year of high school and it was cool when we arrived. We spent that night camped out on the rim and started down the Kaibab Trail after breakfast the next morning. After hiking for most of the day, we arrived at a campground downstream from the Phantom Ranch. It was beautiful in the canyon and very warm, about 90 degrees as I recall. We spent the week doing day hikes and swimming in Powell Creek where it intersects with the Colorado River.
We were lucky to be on the beach when the 'Woman of the River' Georgie Clark stopped during one of her trips down the Colorado. She guided trips down the river beginning in 1945. Dad knew all about her, and told us about her exploits.
On the day before we hiked out, the local ranger came to our camp and asked if we had been drinking the water from the campground. We had. He let us know that a septic tank was leaking into the water supply and not to drink. Too late, we had been drinking it all week with no ill affects.
The next evening, after dinner we began our climb to the rim. We were all young and in great shape, and made the hike in hours. At the rim, we all started to feel the sick. Imagine the drive from the south rim to the San Fernando Valley with five sickies stopping every few miles to be sick. A memorable ride. We all survived to tell the story and to make many more backpacking trips with Dad. He instilled a love the outdoors that we all enjoy to this day. Thanks for the great memories Dad.