Let me first explain why we had decided to hike the Grand Canyon: it was there, and so were we. That seemed like a good enough reason.

We had made a right turn at Phoenix and had, in fact, come to the Grand Canyon, ready to hike into its midst. The midst, however, wasn’t so sure about that.

The Grand Canyon, we noticed immediately, is particularly … uh, grand. We looked down, way down. We did not see a single snack bar.

Nevertheless, we decided to go ahead and hike. We wanted to show that despite the fact many of our body parts tend to creak, we could still accomplish something demandingly physical and incredibly stupid. We could still extend ourselves to the point that would test our endurance, forgetting that eating Breyers mint chocolate chip ice cream does much the same thing.

And hiking, we felt, was a kind of natural, basic activity, something unspoiled and unencumbered by all the accoutrements of modern life, until we decided, of course, to encumber ourselves with all the accoutrements of modern life.

In other words, we came prepared.

We had hiking poles. These are not sticks you pick up by the side of the road but finely calibrated instruments that precisely match your height and SAT score — or would have, if we could have opened the calibration calculator and placed that into the docking station before setting it on defrost.

The poles — occasionally known by the more technical term, “$129 for two of them?” — help you keep your balance and provide stability, as long as you don’t put the sharp point of the right one immediately on top of the third toe on your right foot. (This is not a completely theoretical point, by the way.)

We had high-tech backpacks. They had sections for the sections and compartments for the compartments. They had attachments and bungee cords, coffee makers and garlic presses. They are very large and quite intricate and we still haven’t found where in the backpack we hid the directions on how to use the backpack.

The backpacks also came with water bladders. These are ingenious devices that enable you to carry hundreds of pounds of water directly on your back so you can’t straighten up and hit your head on an overhanging cliff.

The bladders are connected to a hose that shimmies up from the depths of the backpack, around a couple of compartments, across the bungee cords and through the garlic press to hang right in front of your mouth and drip cold water on your shirt. You can also drink from them, as long as you can unscrew the cap, flip the switch, bite the mouthpiece, angle your head, snap your fingers and count to seven in Turkish.

Fully loaded, we headed into the abyss. More to come soon, including the discovery that what goes down must come up.