September 29, 2013
Ok, so now we are ready to head out to the Grand Canyon and take it all in. Patty’s right ankle is much better today so it was a good decision for her to have taken it easy yesterday. We had a good breakfast of eggs, bacon, and crescent rolls. Then we got our backpack cooler filled with water and with our just made sandwiches.
We decided to hike west from the Bright Angel Trailhead to the Abyss point. This route is just over 7 miles. The 1st fourth of this route starts easy with paved trails and then goes to the next level with unpaved trails. We decided that we would go until we wanted to stop or if Patty’s ankle started having any issues.
A note about the rim trail: each viewpoint along the length of the trail is supported by shuttle busses. You don’t need to hike back. To can see as much of the canyon as you want and then just hop the free shuttle back to the trailhead. Very nice!
The weather couldn't be more perfect for a hike. The morning temperature started out at 33 and by 11 am it was 68 with full sun and just a light south breeze. We started with light jackets which we quickly removed before even getting to the trail. Since the air here so dry, you really don’t saturate with sweat either. The dry air and the weather just makes for perfect hiking conditions, just bring lots of water!
Patty’s ankle held up real good, no issues. However, we decided to stop after getting to Mojave Point, the stop just before the Abyss. We had been hiking for 4 hours and were just tired and ready to leave. This made our hike just a bit over 6 miles. The trail is actually about 5 miles but there are so many diversions to look over the edge of the canyon that the actual hiking distance is longer. Also, again the parking was insane. This is the end of September and the place is mobbed. We just can’t imagine the crowds that must be here in the summer! Anyway, we had to park some distance from the trailhead that also added distance to the hike.
|This is at the South West entrance to the park. People line up here to take a picture in front of this sign. I had to wait my turn to take this!|
|The Bright Angel trailhead is in the upper right quarter of the photo.|
|Looking down at the Bright Angle Trail. If you look real close there are people on it.|
|That bright line in the enter of the pic is the Bright Angel Trail|
|I can FLY!|
|Yellow Cactus top.|
|We sat and ate lunch here.|
|There is a family of Condors in a cave on the last of the 3 rock outcroppings on the right side in the picture. A ranger had 2 telescopes set up so we could look at the baby condor. The parents had left an hour ago to look for food was the guess.|
|Just a little close to the edge here!|
|Directly in the center you can see the Colorado River. The river is a mile below our view point.|
We got back to our site around 5pm after filling up with expensive fuel. There is only one gas station within 15 miles so the price was way above anything we had been paying. The price was $4.29 a gallon when we have been paying around $3.90!
Back at the RV, we put on comfy flip-flops and headed to the small gift shops and stores just up the road. We browsed for about an hour and, didn't buy anything other than a card for Patty's Mom's 80th Birthday. It was fun all the same.
|That's our RV in the center of the picture.|
|In front of a Mexican Restaurant in Tusayan AZ.|
|Just as an update, Rosey is doing fine after having her right side broken off a couple of months ago in a wind storm. She is handling the cool nights inside the RV with us.|
We made a traditional (when I was kid in Indiana kind of traditional) fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans for dinner. I even made real gravy from the pan dripping. Everything turned out great. One of the best meals ever!
The main difference from what I had as a kid was that our chicken didn't have skin and wasn't cooked in 3 inches of lard. Other than that it was the same.
That’s it for the Grand Canyon. Tomorrow we head to Flagstaff AZ which is only 90 miles south. That is just a bump and run, overnight stay. Then we are headed to the Petrified Forest National Park on our way to Albuquerque NM. We may not see the Petrified Forest as it looks like the parks may shut down on Tuesday due to the budget issue in DC. One of the rangers at the Grand Canyon said yesterday that they have been told that the parks will in fact close on Tuesday. We are just glad we got in the 4 main parks before Tuesday!