In all seriousness, there is no way I could have fit everything I wanted to say about the Grand Canyon into just one video. It was a big project for me to take on (and honestly way more work than I thought it would be), but at the end of the day I am grateful to have the best souvenir ever – the memories. While I certainly make my videos to share with others, I know my biggest fan will always be “future Mandy”, the one who will thank me in 20 years.
And now for the stunning conclusion in the 3rd and final installment of my Grand Canyon trilogy! (I’m sure you’ve all figured out by now that I survived, right?)
Final thoughts & tips
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the Parks & Rec department, it’s the necessity to “treat yo’ self” every now and then!
And the best way to do that in the bottom of the Grand Canyon? A steak dinner. But be forewarned, if this is something that interests you, plan far in advance, especially during busy seasons. The cabins have a lottery and book up over a year in advance, and the dinners book up weeks ahead of time. Luckily Kendrick and I were going in the middle of the week during the low season, so we were able to snag the last two steak dinners two weeks in advance.
But no matter what you decide – don’t forget to reward yourself for doing what only 1% of visitors to the Grand Canyon do – make it to the bottom.
I can’t tell you how often I get the question about how I keep clean on the road. I promise I will do a full video blog about showering and pooping… I’ll get to it one day, I swear! But I can tell you it’s quite a bit different when you are backpacking.
In my day-to-day road-life, I always count on my go-to soap for everything, REDBUDSUDS. (seriously, shampoo, soap, shaving… everything!) But when you are backpacking, you typically don’t have the luxury of carrying soap and bathing in safe, leave-no-trace water.
I have been an avid consumer of baby wipes for quite some time. They are great for a quick clean up – but they are small and I often have to use 2 or 3. So when I discovered a product actually geared at adults who stink, I was stoked! Shower Pouch is basically a large (12″x24″) wet towel (3x thicker than a baby wipe)! When I opened the very small and easy to carry pouch, I discovered a large and surprisingly wet towel. In fact, it is so moist the Kendrick and I could almost share one (of course we are lower maintenance than most). The towels gave us a quick bath that we could easily pack out with the rest of our trash.
If you want to check them out, go to their website and use the code “Mandy” for 30% off your order.
5 FINAL THOUGHTS
Creating these 3 episodes of our adventure has allowed me time to fully reflect on the experience. At the end of the day, I came to the same conclusions I alway do:
- Challenge yourself. Does it scare you? Good. Now remind yourself that fear is not an excuse, but rather a reason. Facing our fears is one of the best ways to grow.
- Learn from your hardships. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to forget something, do something wrong, fail. Don’t waste this opportunity, learn from it.
- Look Up. It’s easy to become so focused on completing the difficult parts of the journey that we forget to enjoy it. Look up, look around, appreciate it.
- Treat Yo’ Self. I have the bad habit of thinking I don’t deserve things, but remember we each live one fleeting life, and we should celebrate ourselves.
- Be Present. I am a huge proponent of documenting your experiences, but don’t get so caught up in it that you forget to live the moment with those you are with.
PART 3 PHOTOGRAPHY
Each of the following images was featured in the video in the chronological moment they were actually taken.
THAT’S IT FOLKS!
Well, until the next adventure…