Days at the South Rim:Aug 5Aug 6

Aug 7Aug 8

Daily Log
  Nave Album****1982 West Trip Go Back

August 9: North Rim of the Grand Canyon

We arose at 5 AM, brought the boys down to the lower bed and departed for Grand Canyon North Rim about 5:30 AM. We drove through the beautiful forest toward the North Rim, startling five deer at different places along the road. There were stands of Ponderosa, Aspen and Douglas Fir.

We pulled in to the area of the Grand Canyon Lodge about 6:40 AM. I shaved and we cleaned up there.

The atmosphere of the North Rim immediately strikes you as totally diferent from the busy commercial South Rim. Rows of neat log cottages fan out from the stately log- structured lodge. There is an air of quiet luxury with the emphasis on quiet. People were enjoying the beautiful views of the canyon from the rear of the lodge, and the people were again quite international, but the atmosphere was much more relaxed.

We decided to splurge and have breakfast at the stately lodge dining hall. We had a big meal of buckwheat pancakes, sausage, bacon and eggs. Brenda and I enjoyed the luxury of lingering over our coffee while the boys explored a bit out on the canyon rim. We could see the canyon from our table. Our waitress was a young girl from northern Idaho who worked there for 4 1/2 months a year and spent the rest of the year at home.

We walked for a while on the canyon rim, taking pictures and exploring. Then Mark happened to overhear that there were openings on the 2 PM mule trip down into the canyon. We hadn't anticipated this since the South Rim trips were fully booked with about a four page list of backyup riders. We poinced on this opportunity and bought tickets for the boys and I.

We had had a lot of canyon views so we decided to walk down part of the foot trail leading to Widforss Point. I had read a good bit about its beauty and we had about an hour and a half to spend. We drove down a gravel road to the trail head - passing a nice meadow with wildflowers flanked by Ponderosa and Aspen.

Brenda and Jeff walked up on the trail while Mark and I came along more slowly, trying to photograph wildflowers along the path. We finally caught up with them on the rim of the canyon. We just had time to return and have lunch before the mule trip. The boys went ahead to the van where Jeff started sandwiches for lunch. Brenda and I enjoyed the walk back on the beautiful forest path.

Around 2 PM we mounted the mules and headed down the canyon walls. I had anticipated the boys and I riding together so I could take pictures of them, but this was not to be. There were about thirty riders who were assigned mounts and divided into three groups - we wound up in three separate groups. It was not such a big deal though since the trail was so wooded that photography was nearly impossible anyway.

The trip started at about 8300 ft and descended about 6000 ft, taking about 3 1/2 hours round trip. We rode down the Kaibab Trail to the tunnel, had a short break and then returned. It was quite a treat for the boys. Mark had expressed interest in the mule ride the whole trip but we had been almost sure we couldn't get on one. Jeff also enjoyed it and said that if he came to Grand Canyon again he would choose the North Rim.

Brenda again worked while we played, getting the laundry and grocery shopping done. She took pictures of us as we left and as we returned on the mules.

We showered at the camper services showers and drove back to Jacobs Lake to prepare for the run to Bryce Canyon the next morning. We drove only 93 miles this day.

Map for Day 9
  Nave Album****1982 West Trip Go Back