9/21/13

Grand Canyon North Rim

Today we headed over to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is about 75 miles from Kanab. It was a nice drive, mainly through desert and forests of Ponderosa Pine. The North Rim is higher in elevation than the more popular South Rim by about 1,000 feet. Supposedly, it receives about 10% the number of visitors, but there were still plenty of people there today.

We didn't plan to do any hiking, since most of the hikes had too much elevation change for us to muster. Consider that we are old, out of shape, and at nearly 9,000 feet of elevation, and we decided we were too weenie to do anything that strenuous. We stuck to the driving part of the tour and to the very short 1/4-mile trails out to the best viewpoints.

We drove straight to the historic Grand Canyon Lodge, which was well worth the visit.  The lodge was built in the 1920's on the lip of the canyon and then rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1932. From its Sun Room, you see an excellent view of Bright Angel Canyon. We took a short walk outside onto a viewpoint where we were able to see some spectacular views of the canyon. Look to the right, and this is what you see:


To your left, this is what you see:


Of course, the canyon is so vast that a panorama is the only way to even begin to capture it. Remember that you can click on the image to make it larger.


From the viewpoint, we could turn back and see the lodge.


Look a little southwest of the center of the image below, and you can see where we were standing when I took those images above. It was very windy out there.


We decided to have lunch in the lodge. We both had the Navajo Taco, which was Navajo fry bread smothered in elk chili with cheese, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, and guacamole. Yum.


Also, we visited the gift shop while we were there and were able to find a replacement for Mike's lost hat. I picked up a cookbook that I think Mae will enjoy too. (It's nice to have a son and daughter-in-law who enjoy cooking as much as I do.)

After that, we headed back toward the park entrance and turned off on Cape Royal Road. Along the way we passed aspen forests, and we stopped at one of the pullouts to take some pictures. I've always loved their bark.


I was able to get this close-up of some of the turning leaves.


And this one of some peeling bark.



When I looked down at my feet, there were other pretty things to see.



Sadly the section of road heading out to Cape Royal is closed, but we were able to go out to Point Imperial, which at 8,803 feet is the highest point in the park, north or south. When you look out across the canyon to the left, you can see the Navajo Indian Reservation.


Look to the right, and this is what you see.


And here is the requisite panorama to give you some idea of the size and scope of the canyon.


I've been to the Grand Canyon many times, although this was my first visit to the North Rim. The canyon is so vast that one loses the ability to see in three dimensions and at a certain distance, everything flattens to two dimensions. It always looks to me as if I am standing on a sound stage, where the foreground is built in three dimensions, and then beyond is simply a painted canvas. It is hard to even take-in the distance from one side to the other. It is 18 miles wide in some parts and 277 miles long. Even from the best vantage point, one can never see more than a tiny fraction of its entirety.

After that, we headed back to the trailer. Smitty has been out for a good walk. He's a brave little cat, and doesn't panic easily. He takes approaching cars and strangers in stride, but keeps a close eye out for woofies. Today, he had a good roll in the red dirt, and turned all of his white parts a nice shade of pink. 


Can you see the red on his left paw and around his neck (his ascot). As I am writing this, he is cleaning himself up, and in a short time, he will be spotless again. Oh, scratch that. He just talked Mike into taking him out again. He does like his walks.

We are about 30 miles from Zion National Park, and that is on tomorrow's agenda. We're going to stop in at the visitor's center and see if we can find some slot canyons within the park that we can hike. I know they exist, but with the rain that has fallen lately, many of them are full of water. In any case, we will find something to hike...slots, or no slots. My knee is feeling pretty good, and I haven't noticed a huge increase in pain since finishing my anti-inflammatory. That's a very good thing.

So that's it from me today. Have a very good evening. Do some sewing for me. 

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

Scrapatches said...

Fabulous photos! Really the best I have seen of this vantage point of the Grand Canyon. Thank you for sharing! Smitty looks quite content after his roll in the red dirt. Does he take walks on a leash? ... :)

WoolenSails said...

I can still see some pink on him, lol. That is just so gorgeous and stunning, definitely a place I would like to visit someday. That fry bread looks good and I looked up recipes, have to try it. I make a flat bread but that would be fun to try.

Debbie

Tami C said...

I have never been to the Grand Canyon. It does look very majestic! Thanks for the gorgeous pictures! I have been to the Royal Gorge, but I stayed way back from the edge as I'm afraid of heights. So, pictures are probably the best way for me to see the Grand Canyon! Your Navajo Taco looks really yummy! I too love aspen trees. A friend gave me 10 little aspen twigs about 5" tall that she pulled out of her yard. I planted them fairly close together in my back yard. I was hoping that at least a couple of them would take hold. To my great surprise, every single one of them made it! We ended up moving because my knees couldn't handle the stairs, but we drive by there now & then and are just amazed at how tall those aspens have gotten. They are at least 2 stories tall now. It's great to hear that you knee is feeling pretty good! So glad it hasn't gotten worse since finishing your meds. Have fun tomorrow!

Ray and Jeanne said...

Gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing! Haven't been to the Grand Canyon in years and it was nice to "visit" again. ~Jeanne

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Gorgeous photos! What did the elk taste like....not sure I could eat it, but the taco looks pretty.

quiltzyx said...

What a lovely day to visit the canyon! I don't remember seeing any aspens when I visited way back when, to the south rim. (We didn't do much hiking, but did take a great bus tour.) The aspens remind me of your white tree quilt!

Continued safe journeys!

Lynn - JnL4God said...

The two ladies from OR on vacation close to the Grand Canyon .. we are in Laughlin NV :) We were going to go to the south rim ob Tuesday but plans got changed. :) Have fun. Lynn

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos again. I love the pink version of Smitty.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Gracie would probably think Smitty looked just perfect with a bit of a reddish tint!

Little Quilt Shop said...

Wow! I remember being there!! funny feeling!!...I remember being drawn to the vast open space as we stood on the edge at some point...we did not have time to do the donkey rides or any walking...but what a imprint at 15 it made on my faith...Are you going to be inspired to do a pictorial quilt?..those white barked trees would be so awesome in a quilt...maybe you inspired Me?....that you have!!...Enjoy your day!!! We have and do!!

Kathy H said...

Thanks for sharing all of your photos. They are beautiful. I have been enjoying reading about your adventures. Love hearing about the kitties too.

Lia*s Handmades said...

I've been enjoying your last blog posts so much! All the pictures and scenic views you're posting are just breath taking!

Brown Family said...

The one time I saw the Canyon was in winter. We had two little babies with us so did not get to stay long. We walked one trail just to see the snow and deer.

Jacque said...

What fun to have a virtual tour of the Canyon....never been there yet. I wonder if aspen trees will grow just anywhere? I'd love to have some here. LOL Love the photos of the bark, and those cool white flowers - what are they called? :)

Kate said...

You should write travel guides. Your pictures are gorgeous.