May 01 2008

Grand Canyon Here I Come…(gulp)

Published by ross at 8:30 am under To The Future....

So 2 weeks and counting until my trip..

I will be hiking the Bright Angel trail so if anyone has done this I would appreciate intel.  By then I will be 10.5 weeks post surgery.  Rehab has been going well, swimming, biking, treadmill along with PT.  Actually seeing some definition in my calf, no swelling, occasional heel soreness.  Only problem is stamina, get very tired after a day at the office.  Would appreciate any info from the veterans/front runners as to how they felt endurance wise at the end of 10-11 weeks.

Below I found Bright Angel trail facts.  Luckily all down hill with an average 14% grade.  Wonder if they’ll let me bring my mountain bike.  Not sure how long they want to take to get to the river, cause I know I’ll be slow.  Hopefully I can hitch a ride on a donkey if not my buddys are carrying my 6 ft 200# butt.

Thanks for everyones support.

We are……………one day closer to the end

 Doc Ross

13 Responses to “Grand Canyon Here I Come…(gulp)”

  1. johnkon 01 May 2008 at 10:53 am

    Doc Ross,

    Good luck with the trip in 2 weeks, donkey ride sounds a cool option to hiking :)


  2. dennison 01 May 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Ross - have a great time! I will do a trip like that in a couple of years. Which travel company did you sign up with..? (for future reference when I plan my trip. thanks!)

  3. Tomon 01 May 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Doc Ross - I’m really jealous of your trip. It sounds fantastic. And, like Dennis, I may have to look into taking a similar trip at some point in the future. I’m trying to recall how my stamina/endurance was at around 10-11 weeks. At that point I was back in shoes for a week or so. I could move around okay, but my lower leg got tired pretty quick when I would take a walk. I think a mile long walk was a pretty good challenge at that point. Your protocol is a bit more aggressive, so I think you’ll be better off at the 10-11 week mark than I was. Plus you’ll have the distraction of the Grand Canyon. I’m guessing you’ll still want/need to take frequent breaks to give the leg a little rest. And, a little assistance from a donkey may be helpful!

  4. brendanon 01 May 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Ross - I think you should skip the donkey and mountain bike and go for a MUni (Mountain Unicycle) Here’s a shot of someone riding one:

    Just being in the boot FWB for a week and I’m feeling a lot stronger…I’m sure you will be fine with your more agressive protocol. I would just be extra careful that you don’t step on any rocks with your toes…other than that I think it will be your knees that take the most abuse walking downhill for that long. I always preferred climbing up while hiking for that reason. Have a great time!

  5. rosson 02 May 2008 at 4:15 am

    To All…

    Appreciate the responses..
    I have been without crutches or cane for 2 weeks. Initally stiff and had to do steps one at a time as there was a lot of stress/pulling on the calf. Within 2-3 days that let up and now going up and down like a normal person. No pain just weak but can acutally see improvement daily.

    Dennis…with your PT are you still doing the treadmill? Have they added any additional workouts to your protocol??

    Canyon outfit……..Wilderness River Adventures
    website is…
    we scheduled the trip 1.5 years ahead of time as they fill up pretty quick. Also starting 1-1-08 the canyon park system instituted a one person per year policy. I was planning on going twice this year, once with the guys and another with the family but that policy axed the family trip. So we plan on going next year.

    Tom…thanks for the input

    Enjoy the weekend

    Doc Ross

  6. Michaelon 02 May 2008 at 6:37 am

    Doc - You’ll have a great time in the Colorado with the Wilderness River folks. We did their upper canyon trip in July 2006. Fantastic! Even the hike out on the Bright Angel Trail with my backpack and. for a few miles, my son’s also. That hike was the toughest thing I’ve even done physically, but it was well worth it. Hopefully you won’t have the 100+ temperatures we had. Also, remember, the river is VERY cold. Just the fact that you’re going post-ATR is great. Enjoy.

  7. Doc Rosson 02 May 2008 at 7:11 am


    Have not been able to see an actual picture of the trail. Can you give me some visual.
    Wide, rocky, steep, solid rock or gravel, trying to get an idea what I am in for as far as footing.
    Is it straight trail or is climbing involved at all??


    Doc Ross

  8. Wendyon 03 May 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Enjoy your hike! My sister and I did the hike last year over 4th of July weekend. It was over 110 degrees hiking up Bright Angel Trail. We had made it to the 3 mile resthouse where a park ranger was standing by and warning people of the signs of dehyration. We rested there a few hours until the sun created a shadow on the trail. Great advise from the ranger there!

    We did learn a few things from an earlier hike (in May 07) to Plateau Point.
    - good hiking shoes
    - good pair of socks (not cotton)
    - a sock liner to wear under your socks
    - a brimmed hat that can be used for scooping water out of the creek to pour over you - it helped on the last hike doing this and keeping wet/cool
    - most importanly we noticed a huge difference using 2 walking sticks!

  9. johnskieron 03 May 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Doc ross - the cold river will be great to “ice” your foot after your hike in. a 14 degree average slope if pretty steep…a highway with 5 or 6 degrees is a steep road.

    How’s your gait now? Can you push off on your toes? Can you get your knee out over your toe?

  10. rosson 04 May 2008 at 4:09 pm


    Thanks for the insight. Went out a bought new hiking shoes, socks and sock liner. Did you walk the entire 9.5 miles of Bright Angel? How wide is it?? Loose gravel??


    Full mobility of ankle in all directions. Gait is normal except after getting tired then limp shows up. I can do full squats with some mild tightness. Biggest problem has been my heel getting very sore by days end. With the ATR the biomechanics of the ankle, foot and gait are altered. I am going to be casted for orthotics this week and hopefully that will help to correct it.
    How are you?? you must be stiff.

    Doc Ross

  11. johnkon 05 May 2008 at 2:51 am

    Doc Ross,

    75% mobility on the ankle but increasing daily, my gait is normal as well, but similar to you when i get tired i start to kick out to the the side to relieve the pressure on my ankle.
    On Sunday morning we walked to the locla shop for the papers and found that i was quite stiff on the way there and easing off on the way back, about 1/2 mile all in. Sitting this morning after having done my streatches and massage thinking about going out on my bike for a few mile just to loosen up. I have found that my good leg also needs a massage just now, I think that this is due to lack of movement in the past 10 weeks.
    All in all very pleased with my recovery to date !

  12. jennion 05 May 2008 at 5:12 pm

    Hi Doc Ross,
    You must be getting very excited! I’m happy for you - it sounds like you are recovering very well.
    Thanks so much for the info re: the roll about - and for your positive comments, and other helpful info. I am so glad I came across this site.
    Take care,

  13. momon 13 May 2008 at 8:20 am

    i am so proud of the progress of dr. ross. seeing this man limping was a rude awakening of the severity of his injury. bright angel is another milestone towards healing. i will be with him every step and anxiously await his return. i am always in awe. mom

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