Do rim-to-rim-to-rim runners give a crap about the Grand Canyon?

Trail through Roaring Springs Canyon in the Grand Canyon
On a rim-to-rim-to-rim hike last week I managed to have the latter seven miles of the Grand Canyon’s North Kaibab trail just about all to myself. I was accompanied on the soon to be crowded pathway by couple of ultra-runners who were taking a few hours to best the coveted route before the Canyon’s swelter season kicked in. This is clearly becoming an increasingly popular accomplishment for the high milage sect, as I passed four teams throughout the weekend.

Just above the Bridge in the Redwall, one of the runners stopped to squat behind a bush. His partner came to a rest with me on along the metal span. “No chance he’s going to bury that, huh?” I knew the answer.

I don’t expect these guys to carry trowels. Plus, where the hell would they bury it? It’s not like coconino sandstone is real easy easy to penetrate without explosives. I also know what ultra-running does to a body. I’ve seen elite runners broken apart into stumbling, incontinent zombies. It’s all part of pushing your body to such limits.

However, these guys were in control. This was an easy training run for them. Plus, there was a pit toilet just over a mile ahead at the Supai Tunnel.

It’s very possible I witnessed an isolated incident because I didn’t see any members of the other groups acquiesce to the processes of their digestive tract in such a fashion. If so, then the guy I watched bust a deuce on the North Kaibab trail is just an inconsiderate savage and not at all representative of his fellow Grand Canyon runners. Or, it’s pretty common and others do a better job of concealing it. I don’t know.

Still, I wonder what’s worse, the occasional trail dump or the trash left behind by ignorant hikers? Maybe I should ask that question to the teams of NPS workers and volunteers I came across working on the corridor trails that weekend.

What can’t be argued is that a lot of people still don’t give a shit about maintaining our national parks. Then again, I guess some people do.

Landing a double backflip on a mountain bike doesn’t come without the pain

I’m not surprised at all that someone has landed a double backflip on a mountain bike. Actually, I thought it already happened. Nevertheless, it’s impressive as hell. More impressive though is Paul Basagoitia’s walking away from the couple of face-first diggers he took while trying to land his feat. Jesus they look brutal.

The Snaz makes environmental advocacy sexy

If you don’t check up on thesnaz.com every few days, you should start. It’s a minimalist, photo-heavy blog about all things Jackson, the Tetons and western Wyoming. So yeah, it’s about the outdoors. For the last couple of years The Snaz has been sounding the bell on whitebark pine destruction with an effort called Tree Fight. Check that out, too.

The other thing The Snaz is really good at doing is finding some seriously attractive outdoorsy chicks and putting them on the Internet doing very cool outdoorsy things. In this case, they accomplished that yet again and got me to click over to the Tree Fight site. Again. Enjoy.