After a day’s rest — a long walk exploring downtown Flagstaff — we headed back into the park and down the South Kaibab Trail. Does Ellen look geared up or what?!?
If we thought the view looking up the Canyon from the Colorado River was awe-inspiring, the view from down the rim is just as majestic. We couldn’t help wondering what the very earliest people thought when they first came upon this place. And to think that the Anasazi and others have lived in the Canyon is mind-boggling. No doubt about it — they had to have been strong and healthy to exist out here. And we were visiting at the time of the year that’s kindest to hikers!
This little bugger nearly escaped without being seen…
…and inspired some lounging in the sun activity of our own!
To give you an idea of the South Kaibab Trail, here’s a view of the upper part of the trail leading out of the Canyon (a series of cutbacks can be made out on the camera-facing side of the far ridge):
And here’s the same view, a little closer (are you starting to see the trail a bit?):
Okay, how about in this shot? See the hikers with their dark-colored backpacks?
They don’t recommend hiking all the way down and back on the same day, and we didn’t try it. We didn’t have reservations at the Phantom Ranch, which is the only place to stay in the Canyon unless you’re prepared to do some tent-camping, which we weren’t.
So back up the trail we went, taking a few minutes to relax in the shade before the shuttle bus arrived to take us to our parking area. Whew!
Of course there are a zillion things to do in the Grand Canyon, so you have to pick and choose, even when you have more time than the usual visitor. In our case, in our six-mile trek along the Rim Trail we stopped to pay our respects to John Wesley Powell and his intrepid comrades who didn’t so much “raft” the Colorado as they “boated” it, back in the late 1800s. No ride for enjoyment (though they might have had moments when they could relax a bit), they had work to do when they weren’t busy trying to survive the currents and rapids and wild animals and all manner of scary things.
We got out on the rim as close as we dared — and the Canyon looked Grander from the edge!