Sunday, September 23, 2012

Not Just A Big Hole In The Ground

No, it isn't.

It is THE biggest hole in the ground.

The last few days have seen some traipsing around the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona.

The day started with a bit of a surprise as I opened the door of the RV to "check the plumbing". I was literally at arms length away was this little fella! Two little kids were totally blown away and I haven't seen them get out of bed so fast before. Ever!


He looks more at home in this photo, but it was still in the middle of the trailer park.


Today we were going to check out a small portion of the South Kaibab Trail which snakes down into the Canyon. We planned on hiking down to Cedar Ridge which is a 4.8km walk with 300m(950ft) down and 300m back up. Not too strenuous until you consider that the trail starts at 7260ft and the low point is still over 6100ft!


The trail quickly got serious with a very impressive series of switchbacks dropping us down below the rim. Impressive from a trail building standpoint that is. I found myself mentally calculating the hours that went into building this section of trail.


From here the grade eased somewhat and it was a very pleasant and shady walk. Something like 5 million people visit the Canyon each year and the thick dust on the trail stood testament to the number of feet it sees during the "season".


Around every turn was another breathtaking view.


On the bus to the trail head Lucy was talking about how she would like to be a Ranger. She was almost speechless (yay) when this friendly Ranger stopped to chat. He seemed truly excited about his job. 


I guess when it is your job to walk around here all day, then I can see what motivates him.


Dropping down to Cedar Ridge had been an easy stroll, but the sun beating down on the back of our necks was a warning of what we faced on the climb out.




A sign at Cedar Ridge was very telling. It said "Remember, walking down is optional but walking back up is mandatory!" 


Yup. Warm, 6000ft air is thin........so we took a few rest stops on the way back out.




This is the way to do it though.


We took around 3 hours to complete the walk and were finished in time for lunch, which disapeared in short order.

The afternoon consisted of more gazing into this big hole, all washed down with a $1.49 Corona(well, for the grown-ups anyway).






Next stop.....Moab........










3 comments:

  1. I am going to guess you don't have elk wandering around your back yard. I can imagine how surprised the kids were.

    Beautiful pictures. It looks like you had a fabulous day. I bet all that exercise and thin air made for a good night sleep too.

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  2. Correct on all counts Brandy. It wasn't too hot and apart from the RV blowing a power steering gasket it was a great day out. We managed to get the steering fixed and were on the road by mid day, but it was a long haul to Moab last night!

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  3. Nice pics bro and I like your new header pic its awesome.

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