|Nave Album****1982 West Trip||Go Back|
August 6: South Rim, Grand Canyon
I set the alarm for 4 AM and we headed for the Grand Canyon to see sunrise over the Canyon. It was about 30 miles distant. We crawled out of bed and then moved the boys to the bottom bed so we could lower the pop-top.
Hitting the road at about 4:35 AM, we drove along the straight stretch of road, watching the sky already beginning to lighten in the east. We drove out on the East Rim Drive to Yaki Point, arriving at about 5:25 AM and expecting sunrise at 5:39 AM. I set up my tripod and had my backpack full of cameras standing by.
At first you couldn't see much down in the canyon - you could see the silhouettes of the top of the canyon against the gradually lightening sky. It was an awesome experience - hopefully the pictures will capture it better than words can - but there's nothing like being there.
We woke the boys to see the sunrise - Mark willingly , Jeff more reluctantly and later. Both seemed to enyoy the experience but are not old enough to really catch the splendor and awe of it.
Mark enjoyed the large number of tiny bats which were flying around Yaki Point at daybreak. He would toss up tiny pebbles to get the bats to dip and check them out.
We stayed at the point for about an hour, watching the changing light as the sun rose higher. Then we reluctanly left because we needed to be at Mather Campground before eight to claim a camping place.
I checked with the ranger at the camp entrance and she explained that they processed reservations from 6 to 7, handled renewals from the campground from 7 to 8 and accepted new campers from 8 until the campground was full. I actually signed up a little before 8. When we came back by about 8:45 the "Campground Full" sign was already up.
After settling the campsite for the night we drove out on the East Rim Drive and had breakfast in the camper. A relaxed and pleasant breakfast sitting on the rim of the Grand Canyon - who could ask for more?! The bright morning sun lit the formations of the canyon.
We spent some time riding around getting literature and information and getting the camper organized. Then Brenda took the boys and I to the head of the Kaibab Trail. The boys fixed their little packs with 2 quart water bottles plus apples and fig bars. I filled my pack with camera equipment and we headed out down the trail.
The trail started with fairly steep switchbacks and stayed fairly steep. We got terrific views of the canyon as we descended the trail about a mile and a half to Cedar Ridge, descending from 7200 ft to about 6000 ft. We really enjoyed the trip down and sat on Cedar Ridge and ate our apples and fig bars. The squirrels were very tame and Mark was able to get one to eat out of his hand - that was one of the highlights of his day.
The ascent was of course a lot tougher, considering the altitude, the steepness and the fact that we were approaching midday with no shade. It was a bit tough on Mark-but he was determined to make it without help.
While we were hiking Brenda toured Grand Canyon Village, went to the General Store, bought an ice cream and sat to watch everyone.
In the afternoon we decided to ride the West Rim Shuttle and walk part of the way to see more of the rim. We rode to Trail View Overlook and looked across at Grand Canyon Village and The Bright Angel Trail leading down from the ridge in an impressive collection of switchbacks.
We walked the 0.8 miles to Maricopa Point watching thundershowers sweep across the canyon. They caught up with us at Maricopa Point and we had to wait a few minutes in a cold rain for the next bus. Then we stayed on and rode to Hermit's Rest, the end of the line - with a packed bus of people who got caught walking like us.
We got off at Hermit's Rest thinking the next bus wouldn't be so crowded. We looked around in the ruggedly buiilt curio shop and caught the next bus.
We noted that you got good views of the Colorado River from Hopi Point and planned to come back the next day.
Stopping at the Camper Service area, we took showers and then went to our campsite. The boys pitched the tent and slept in it.
|Nave Album****1982 West Trip||Go Back|