During September and October Susan and I embarked on a tour of several midwestern and western states, driving in our 2000 Toyota Siena van(215,000 miles before our trip)a total of 7,279 miles through 13 states. We were gone 33 days and spent the night in 21 different places. When we got home it dawned on us that we had been together virtually 24/7 for the entire trip with no major disagreements and without growing tired of each other. I think our marriage of 41 years will last.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wednesday October 5: Grand Canyon South Rim AZ

On our Tuesday afternoon drive to the south rim we passed through Cameron AZ and stopped at the Navajo Trading Post.  In the “museum quality” section I thought about buying some things but the prices were just a little too high for me:  a serape for $99,000, beaded moccasins for $11,000, and a woven basket for $16,000 were among the bargains.  I guess you just have to sell one serape to call it a good year.

By the time we reached the park it had begun to rain and turn cold.  We did manage a couple of stops at canyon overlooks along the highway before we headed to our hotel for the night.

The canyon from Moran Point.  The rain had stopped momentarily, but the clouds and mist were still present.  In spite of that, we were still somewhat awestruck.

The Colorado River

On Wednesday we got up early only to discover ice on the van.  We had spent the last several days in shorts and t-shirts, but now we had to bundle up.  Upon arrival at the park (another $25 savings) we caught the shuttle to Yaki Point for another view of the canyon.  You can see the clouds from yesterday had not left the area, and it was cold and windy.



From Yaki Point we shuttled to the South Kaibab Trailhead for a hike part way down the canyon.  After about a mile down the trail and being buffeted by high winds, we decided to return to the rim and see if the weather might improve.  However, I did manage to get a few photos of this area.

The initial part of the trail was quite steep as evidenced by all these switchbacks.

Canyon view


The sun managed to come out for a brief moment. . .

but didn’t take the chill off our bones.  At least we were dressed for the cold, but the winds were a real pain.

My thoughts at this point are “Ooh aah, I think I’m going back up.”

Go back up we did.  A shuttle ride took us to Market Village where we found a café for coffee and warming up.  Thus refreshed, we rode to Bright Angel Trail and again descended into the canyon.  The weather had broken somewhat and it was not quite so cold and windy on this trail.

A canyon view from Bright Angel Trail.  It seems that every view is the same yet every view is different, and the same view is different depending on the season and time of day.  Unfortunately, it was overcast the entire time we were there, so we missed out on some of the vivid colors of the canyon walls.


Grand Canyon wildlife.

Pretty flowers seem to grow anywhere.

We walked down about 1.5 miles, rested awhile, and then made the return trip.  Due to the uphill climb, it took us over an hour to make it back to the top and our frequent rests allowed us to be overtaken by this cowboy.  Our only mule sighting on the trail--a modern day Brighty.

When we reached the top we had a few refreshments (Coke, Gatorade, and M&M energy pills—our lunch!) and planned the rest of the afternoon.  By this point I was feeling somewhat under the weather, so I recommended we return to the hotel for a hiatus from all our touring.  When we got back I took a hot Dagwood-style bath—you know, water up to my neck—and read for awhile.  We had an early dinner, of which I could eat little, and then I slept for 11 hours.  Guess I needed that.

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