Three members of the Sun City Vistoso Hiking Club recently achieved a major accomplishment by trekking into the Grand Canyon and back, and doing it all in a single day.
Barbara Antrobus, 80, can now cross off an entry on her bucket list to hike Arizona’s natural wonder from rim to rim in one day. In May, Antrobus and fellow hikers Verdie Pavelko, 72, and Millie Sparling, 70, made the trip in just 14.5 hours.
Antrobus estimated it took about 13 hours to actually make the 24-mile trek, adding the trio spent the other 1.5 hours in breaks.
The octogenarian said they had tried to do the trip a year ago, but a car accident prevented them from getting to the canyon.
This year, Antrobus said they made plans and then hoped the weather would cooperate. Luckily, it did. The temperatures never exceeded 84 degrees that day. Any hotter, and the trip would have been much more strenuous, she added.
“It was really difficult toward the end of the hike,” said Antrobus. “We were dead tired, and being older didn’t help. But, as tired as we were, when we finished we just felt pure elation.”
The three celebrated with a champagne party, and had T-shirts made to mark the accomplishment.
Antrobus, who hikes between two and three days a week, said completing the Grand Canyon has been her biggest accomplishment.
With the three women being older than the average hiker, Antrobus joked about the rangers who are trained to approach people who appear to be in distress, or they know shouldn’t be attempting the hike.
“We were approached several times by the rangers,” she said. “It was good they asked. We were happy to know if we did have problems, there are people there who can save us.”
Antrobus said it became a now or never situation, noting that legs get old, and it would be tougher to do if she waited any longer.
After every major hike, Antrobus said most will say never again, but in six months to a year, she wouldn’t be surprised if the three will be ready to again check off another item from their bucket lists.