July 27, 2010

Jonathan Hikes at the Grand Canyon!

It was late afternoon when we arrived at the Canyon, so we went straight to the Bright Angel Lodge, out the back door, and Jonathan got his first awesome view!  Conditions were a bit hazy, but I managed to get a couple of nice rim pix before it got too late.

The Mather campground at the village had availability, but lots of construction, so we opted to stay just south of the Park entry at Ten-X, a very nice Forest Service CG within minutes of the front gate.

Jonathan was anxious to "hike the Canyon", but not having any clue as to the depth & effort required, we convinced him that the hike down Bright Angel to the first rest stop at mile 1.5 would give us all a good workout.
We got a late start, about 8:30, but the temperature was fairly nice hiking down.

There were numerous opportunities for pictures, but again, the haze limited the colors a bit.  I did the best I could working with the light available.

The trail was fairly crowded, but we did manage to find a couple of nice curves that gave us some isolation from others and made for a nice pause in the effort.

At the rest stop, Kim found the "tame" squirrels were execellent beggars, and Jonathan got a kick out of the pack mule train passing by.

This vantage point also gave us a good look farther down the trail, and of Plateau Point (another 5 or so miles) far below.

Jonathan literally sprinted back up to the Rim, he knew I'd promised ice cream!  We all gobbled it down before I thought to take a picture, except for Jonathan giving one of the local beggars the last of his treat.

Next morning we headed East, along the South Rim, hit the visitor center, and got some nice views from  rock outcroppings there.

The finale was a stop at the Desert View WatchTower.  Kim & I enjoyed the walk from the parking lot to the tower, where many samples of the rim wildflowers were in full bloom.

Jonathan got a kick out of being able to see the River for the first time,

and especially enjoyed using the spotting acope atop the Tower for a closer view.

All in all, a short but rewarding visit to one of the world's most spectacular wonders.  And, there's no doubt in my mind that Jonathan will be back for a go at the rim-to-rim hike within the next couple of years!