Monday, May 23, 2016

Grand Canyon - North Rim

May 20, 2016 Pt 2

After visiting the Pipe Spring Monument we got back on the road to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  It was very windy on the road with a constant wind of 25-35mph with gusts higher than that.  It sure did push our little car around.  We still had a lot of miles to cover before we got there and made a beeline for the park.  We did slow down enough to get a picture of a white tail squirrel in the Jacob Lake area.  There were two of them running around so fast it was almost impossible to get a clear picture.

By the time we were in the Jacob Lake area it was mostly pine trees alongside of the road.  We went through a forest fire burn area a few miles down the road.  It lasted for miles.  It's hard to imagine all those trees burning in that rough terrain and having to fight the fire.  Not for me.

After driving many miles through the burn and then through a couple nice meadows we came to the entrance to the North Rim.  We still had many miles to go to get to the North Rim Lodge.  Since I had the Golden Age pass, we were able to not have to pay to enter the park.  Nice!

We saw numerous herds of deer in the meadows and alongside of the road as we left.  The herds were in groups of 5-15 deer and separated by a 1/2 mile or so.  I guess they stake out their turf and stick to it.

Our first destination was the North Rim Lodge and a short hiking trail.  The temperature had dropped to around 55 degrees and with the wind it was very cold.  Gerry decided she wanted to take the hike and I thought better of it.  She said it was beautiful but very difficult to be hiking at that altitude. 

Panorama taken near the North Rim Lodge

The white spot, center, on the rim of the picture below is the lodge at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  It was over 10 miles away and there was a lot of haze, but I managed to capture it with my 300mm camera lens.

North Rim Lodge

Photo spot

We checked out the Lodge area and thought about having lunch there, but we were running late and the prices were quite high.  It was a beautiful lodge from what we saw and would be nice to spend a few days there and just chill out.

There are a number of trails in the area and most were 1.5 plus miles long and considered moderate to tough.  Too bad we didn't come here 20 years ago and hike some of them.  We did drive to three outlook points and enjoyed the views there a lot.  The lookouts had better views of the Canyon than around the lodge and they weren't overrun with people.

 Did I mention that it was windy at the outlooks?  Well, it was so windy that I had to lean against a tree in order to hold the camera steady.  That didn't stop Gerry from going all over and snapping pictures like crazy.

This was the highest point in the park that we were able to access without hiking a long distance.  It was more than high enough for us and we could feel the thin air as we were breathing hard.

The high winds blew down a few trees on our way up to the lookout points.  Two trees were covering a lane and would have caused some damage to the car if we had run over them.  I sure wouldn't want to be trapped up there waiting for the Rangers to clear the road.

These stands of trees were beautiful with the sun glistening off of them.  I couldn't get a good picture to really show off the beauty of the trees.

 We saw this hawk eating some prey it had caught near the road.  We stopped and took this picture and it didn't seem to be worried or concerned we were there.

 It was getting late and we still had a 130 mile drive back to the rv park in Hurricane so we had to reluctantly start the trip back.  It got a little hairy driving at dusk with all the deer alongside of the road.  They blended in with the shrubs and foliage and were difficult to see.  One panicked and ran right in front of us but I had slowed down and avoided it.

The ride back took a lot less time since we didn't sight see and just drove the speed limit.  All in all we drove almost 300 miles in 10 hours and sure felt it when we got back home.  It was worth it doing the drive this way rather than taking the motorhome down there and hoping to find a campsite.

We drove by Colorado City, Arizona on the way down to the North Rim and noticed a number of houses that looked like they were in various stages of being built.  It looked strange but we thought they were only building when they had funds to do so.  Evidently they have lower property taxes if the house is under construction so, the homes are never fully finished.   For those who don't know anything about Colorado City it is the home of the FLDS group who believe in multiple wives for one man.  They have been in the news lately for a number of their practices.  I really don't know a lot about the group and can't say that much about them or their practices.   A documentary was published today about the group.

FLDS Documentary 

That was our day, how was yours?

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful trip you had. I know the pictures do not do it justice but we can get an idea of the beauty.