Aber and Out West: Grand Canyon National Park

Elk! No way!
On our way to the Grand Canyon we stopped at the Four Corners monument to experience the thrill of standing in four states at one time. About fifteen minutes was enough and we were off to our next stop on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. We were met on the entrance road to the park with a serious omen when a crow dropped a snake onto the road directly in front of us. Talk about eerie and foreboding. Our campsite was located in the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world and was it ever beautiful. This was one of the most spacious and scenic campsites of our trip. After setting up our station we set off on our bikes to explore the city that is part of the infrastructure on the south rim. We were able to bike to the historic lodge, general store, visitor's center to get our passport stamped, and get a general feel for the layout of the park. We biked within twenty feet of three elk as they munched alongside the trail on this first trip out. There were many foreigners, and with school still being in session, we were among few other native English speakers roaming the park.  We had some lovely German neighbors at our campsite providing an opportunity for Jay to brush up on his German language skills.

Grand Canyon! No way!

Pie! No way!
With three full days at the park we were able to pack a lot into our itinerary. We visited the geology museum, attended an evening ranger talk about the first river exploration of the canyon, toured the exhibits at the historic canyon photography shop, and hiked galore. Our first hike, Bright Angel Trail, was a 3 mile 1,100 foot elevation trek below the rim. It also happened to be Jay's birthday that day so with a little luck I was able to secretly smuggle a miniature pie and candles in my backpack. When we reached the turnaround point on the trail I made an excuse to use the restroom and managed to get the candles lit and a posse of park rangers and other visitors to help sing happy birthday to Jay. Apple pie was great fuel for our long hot ascent back up to the rim. We also hiked the Trail of Time along the rim at sunset and the South Kaibab trail to the 6 mile stop at Skeleton Point. All the trails were riddled with mule scat and we had to hug the canyon wall several times as the mule tours passed by. We were also able to bike 21 miles along Hermit Road stopping at many scenic overlooks.

Nice RV, bro. 
Our evenings at camp were in the twenties and we were happy to have brought firewood for warmth and weenie roasting. We had several run ins with the ravens that roamed our campsite. While we kept all of our food stored away during the day they decided it would be fun to peck about twenty holes in our five gallon flexible water jug. We arrived at camp one afternoon to find the water cooler spurting like a sprinkler in all directions  The ravens also managed to unzip a bag of paper goods while we were gone one day. We came home to find all of our paper plates, towels, baggies, foil, and napkins torn to shreds and strewn across ours and the three adjacent campsites. We spent the afternoon doing a thorough trash cleanup of the tiny shreds of debris. Perhaps the most shocking event at our camp as foretold by the crow and snake omen on the way in was a surprise fire at six in the morning. Jay and I were awakened by the sound of loud popping and eventually a roar when we finally looked out our tent window to find that the camper trailer next to our site was engulfed in thirty foot flames. Someone had called the fire department and rangers but sadly the thing was reduced to ash before they could get the fire out. Luckily no one was inside and the surrounding forest did not go up in flames. Still this made us both glad we were in a tent without the potentially shotty wiring of a camper to pose a threat.

Leaving the Grand Canyon we had many future plans for rim to rim hikes, mule rides and visits to the ranch at the bottom of the canyon.  So much to do and so little time...

Laundry Day?


That's the 1000' tall cliff that we are standing on the edge of across the precipice.

Self explanatory. 

Yea, thats where we hiked to and back from. Bam. 

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