Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Grand Canyon

We spent a very hot July weekend exploring the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It's pretty from the top, but it's easier to take in the beauty from the less crowded area below. Just remember it's easy going down, but you have to climb back out. Pack lots of water and salty snacks to keep your body going.

We did Desert view drive stopping along the way at each vista or pull out and eventually ending at The watch tower. We walked along the Rim Trail to Pima Point where we caught the shuttle to Hermit's rest because there wasn't much daylight left. We road the shuttle all the way back in the dark.

Our big Grand Canyon adventure was hiking on the Bright Angel Trail. We started off later than we planned and my husband wanted to make it all the way down to the river (16 miles), which is not recommended as a day hike especially in the summer. I was pretty sure we wouldn't make it to the river and back up so I had opted to at least make it to Indian Garden Campground (9.6 miles), but hopefully plateau point (12 miles). Less than a mile from Indian Garden I started to hear thunder, but no one else on the path seemed to notice so I didn't say anything. Then out of nowhere the wind picked up with full force. We had to stop and cover our faces because we couldn't see anything from the dirt blowing into our eyes (we now have motorcycle glasses to prevent this). A group of us all strangers huddled together near the wall. Next came the rain a very cold rain especially after hiking in the heat all day. Thankfully, the rain stopped the dirt from blowing in our eyes so we started our long, cold, tiring trek back up out of the canyon. When we reached a shelter we stopped with pretty much every other hiker to wait out the rain, but after 30+ minutes we decided to continue on in the rain. Finally when we were half way up the rain stopped, but the sun never came back out to dry us off. I was now tired, cold, wet, and my hip was hurting so I wasn't paying much attention to my surroundings when my husband hollered "look out!" Much to my amazement a Desert Bighorn sheep was a few feet in front of me on a popular trail. I of course scream and startle it and as I jump to the edge of the trail it charges passed. By the time my husband got a picture it was well passed us. We finished our hike and wandered through the south rim.

On our drive back to the KOA way outside of the Grand Canyon we passed a National Geographic Museum. We passed it each day and always commented on the elk statue in front. On this particular day there seemed to be a lot more action in the town than normal and we soon figured out why. A live elk was standing next to the statue. We pulled over to catch a picture and the elk had crossed over into a gas station and finally into a lot behind a hotel. This thing caused a whole lot of commotion by tourist in such a small town, but it didn't seem to care at all.

View from Rim Trail

 My hubby with the Elk

Me with the Elk --- Excited tourist, unexcited elk

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