A Dip in the Grand Canyon and A Brief Stop At Home Base

22 October 2012 in Memories, Trails/Hiking, Traveling

 

A View from the MiddleWe gave up on sleep early. It was obviously a hopeless cause so why not get an early start? Packing up our minimalist camping gear didn’t take long and soon we were bidding farewell to our picturesque campsite which was once again bathing in the faint glow of a partial sun.

With our water depleted and both of us in need of a proper restroom we stopped back at the campground, used the facilities and replenished our water reserves. Then we headed over to the North Kaibab trailhead.

This is my favorite trail in all of the Grand Canyon. Its descent down the Roaring Springs slot canyon provides amazing views and a true perspective of the immensity of this world wonder. You start in towering Ponderosa Pines with the depth and grandeur of the canyon fragmented by trees and shrubs, but soon you are at the first bench mark—Coconino Point. Here a large slab of rock extends out of the trees and affords a breathtaking view of the canyon unfolding below. From high above you can see the tiny pencil line traces of trail weaving here and there and disappearing in the distance.

At this view point Mickey realized he had forgotten his phone/camera and so we had the opportunity to hike the first mile twice! Getting back down we took in Coconino once more before continuing on our way. Down through Supai Tunnel and all the way down to Red Rock Bridge. It was a beautiful hike, but the sun was beginning to gain strength and bear down hard upon us so we turned around and hiked back out. Well I hiked and Mickey’s run crazy ass ran up short stretches and then waiting for me to catch up before running again. Slow and steady, that’s my motto.

We found ourselves in the parking lot right on time for lunch and then we headed toward home. On the way out we were greeted by Beefalo as they’re called. These are the remnants of a rancher’s attempt to breed buffalo with cattle long ago. They are now wild and both a blessing and a curse to the park depending on who you ask. We were entertained by their presence and the presence of a few babies.

From the crisp, cool air of the Colorado Plateau we made our way down to the arid desert and across several miles of boiling highway all the way back to Greenehaven. We went right past the turnoff to our apartment and straight down to the beach. Saying hi to Lindsay as we went through the entrance station. We were both in need of a rinse to wash off the dust and sand our bodies hand accumulated on the North Kaibab.

After Lindsay got off work drinks were in order. A routine of beer and pulls of whiskey from the bottle was developing and now a few cheap cigars were added. Scrabble was played, storms were watched and sleep was discovered in the sheltered, temperature controlled confines of our tiny apartment.

Morning brought a hike to Horseshoe Bend, a drive down to Paria Townsite and another visit to the beach. Followed by more beer, whiskey and cigars. And more sleep. This time we all slept in.

After awaking late, eating and packing we were on the road to Flagstaff to catch the train Mickey and I would take back to the Midwest. It departed at four in the morning the following day so we thought it best to spend the night nearer to the station.

After finding a cheap hotel the three of us headed to diner at Pato Thai. The restaurant Lindsay and I have grown to love. We caught an early dinner and a few drinks, did a little shopping and had a few more drinks before heading back to the room to finish off the beers we had purchased on our way into Flagstaff.

We were to bed late and up early. Then off to catch our train.

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22 October 2012 Memories, Trails/Hiking, Traveling

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