Grand Canyon, AZ day two

7 06 2018

 

OK, yesterday we checked out the eastern side of the South Rim, and glimpsed the sunset. One thing about the Grand Canyon, and some of the other Planet Earth Famous places I’ve been (like Torres Del Payne, and Angkor Wat) is that these are international superstars. We heard Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Hindi, and at sunset, one language we could not pin down. It was a family, so we asked them. It was Portuguese, they were Brazilians!

Okay, for this day the idea was to spend a few hours “getting into the Canyon.” Tully had been here before twice, the first in high school, and he’d hiked all the way down and back up. We certainly didn’t have the time to do that today, but we decided to hike the well-trodden Bright Angel Trail down a ways and back.

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Icicles clinging from flora at the start of our hike!

A well-known fact about hiking in the Grand Canyon is transitional climates. The weather or temperature at the rim might be chilly but at the bottom it can be unmercifully HOT. On the day we hiked we struck a PERFECT balance. It was chilly when we started but nice and warm on the return.

I forgot to mention the altitude. I did feel some altitude oxygen deprivation my 1st 36 hours. But by the day our hike arrived, I was acclimated just fine. So my suggestion if you head to the park: Don’t try to do these hikes your first day. Spend that day doing less strenuous activities like hiking the flat rim. The 7,000 to 8,000 ft. altitude doesn’t sound like much, but if you are accustomed to living within 100ft of sea level, believe me, you will notice it your 1st 24 hours.

 

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On this wall something had “scratched” the rocks.

Today it was much more busy. People had rented bicycles, the “Grand Canyon Train” had arrived, somewhat like some kind of cruise ship, and the “village” was packed with folks from all over. I ought to mention the North Rim was closed. If you get to the Park later in the year, go to the North Rim and you will get a much more up and close personal experience. It gets more snow, and was closed in mid -April when we were there.

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We continued down the Bright Angel Trail to its 1st rest stop. This was only about 1.5 miles. There were a lot of other folks. Some had done the hike down to the bottom and spent the night there, and were coming back up. Others were completely unprepared. I saw women in fur coats. Saw flip flops. And a guy trying to run the trail with his smart phone in his hand. On our way down we passed through millions of years of geologic time. We chanced upon a National Park Guide, who told us that this trail hugged a geologic fault and pointed out that the rocks on one side of the trail mis matched the rocks on the other side because of faulting!

We did not spend as much time down there as anticipated, but it was OK as this place, an international magnet, was getting super busy. Once back at the Rim, we saw even more tourists. It was time to head back. Next stop: Sedona Arizona and meeting up with more friends!


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