Skip to main content

Visiting the Grand Canyon: Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

By late afternoon on Friday, October 3rd, we'd reached the Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim.  We checked in to the Yavapai Lodge, where we were staying, and headed over to the canyon rim to see what we could see.  The view was lovely; we managed to arrive just about at sunset.  We walked along the rim in the village area, looked into the El Tovar - the oldest hotel on the property - and had dinner at the Bright Angel Restaurant.  Then it was time for bed in preparation for our hike the next day.



If you know us, you know we are not morning people.  So on Saturday, we did the best we could, and managed to get out of the hotel, eat breakfast, gather some snacks, and get on the bus to the trailhead by around 10am.  In the parking lot we saw a huge elk wandering around, so be on the lookout for nature everywhere!  For our hike, we took the Bright Angel Trail, which starts right in the village.  And then it was a long walk down the side of the canyon, fortunately mostly in shade and at the perfect temperature. Most of the way down, we walked along with a group composed of a woman with her 80-year-old father and a guide.  We made it our goal to go farther than this adventurous gentleman.  We arrived at the first rest station, the 1.5 Mile Resthouse, around lunchtime and had our lunch.  The other group turned around at that point, and we decided to head back as well rather than continue on, since we had a schedule to meet; we may not have made it further, but at least we made it as far as they did!  We were back up to the top around 2 or 3pm, and at the same time, there were crazy people returning from having hiked to the river and back that same morning.  Apparently this is something people train for, like running a marathon, and come back to do annually.  Matching t-shirts seem to be part of the draw.  After resting a bit, we then walked along the Rim Trail for some great views back toward the village.





The canyon is so massive that it's hard to get a good sense of it.  It hardly feels like a discrete feature, in the way that a mountain or a rock formation does; it's an entire landscape.  At the top, you can't see the river, and I don't think we saw it at all on our hike.  What's really amazing is to consider that the river carved this entire landscape over time (with some help from erosion and uplift).  It would be great to be able to do the whole hike down to the river, but there's no way I could get back up the same day, and I'm not much for camping...  so it's probably not something I'll ever do.  I'm still glad that I got to see this natural wonder.





After the hike we were pretty tired, but not too bad, and ready to continue on.  If I went back, I'd probably want to start earlier and try to make it to the 3 Mile point.  We had such a packed schedule on this trip that there just wasn't time to do more, but I think we got a pretty good idea of what the canyon is like.

Our next destination:  Page, Arizona, where we would visit a slot canyon and actually touch the Colorado River.  On the way there, we stopped at the Desert View Watchtower, from which we could actually glimpse the river at the bottom of the canyon.  The Watchtower was built in 1932 by architect Mary Colter, modeled after Native American watchtowers of the region, but much taller (about 70 feet tall).  The views from the top were carefully planned, and are indeed impressive.  Finally, we could see the river!



After this stop, we kept driving until we arrived in Page, and then across the Utah border to Dreamkatcher B&B, where we would spend two nights.  This was the nicest accommodation of our trip, and I would definitely recommend it!  Eric & Jarod were wonderful hosts and their breakfasts were amazing, which is saying something since I'm not a big fan of breakfast in general.  We didn't get to try out the rooftop hot tub, but compared to staying anywhere in Page, I think this was the clear winner.

After checking in, we checked out Big John's BBQ in Page for dinner, which was mediocre, as was all the food we had in Page.  But we weren't there for the food, and what we did find was pretty spectacular.

Continued in Part 3.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Vertical Bike Rack

The work of our hands!


A little backstory:  We bought two bikes as soon as we could after moving here, so we could both bike to work.  After a few uneventful months of chaining up our bikes next to our car in the carport of our apartment building, Justin's bike was stolen.  (Mine was mysteriously left behind, together with Justin's pannier, which the thieves helpfully folded up and placed on top of my bike.  My only guess is that the chain holding my bike was harder to cut than the chain on Justin's.)  Since then, we've kept our bikes inside, hauling them up and down two flights of stairs to our third-floor apartment every time we take them out, which is usually a few times a week.  Ugh.  Better than buying a new bike every few months, though.

We needed a rack that would keep the bikes off the floor, off the walls, and in as small a footprint as possible, without requiring us to drill into or otherwise damage the walls (or floor or ceiling).  This proved a challenge t…

Book Review: "Theory and Design in the First Machine Age"

Reyner Banham's Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1960) is an engaging overview of the important theoretical developments of the early 20th century leading up to the "International Style" of the 1930s-40s.  Banham does a fairly good job, in my opinion, of avoiding excessive editorializing, although he has a clear viewpoint on the Modern Movement and finishes with a strong conclusion.  In opposition to his teacher, Nikolaus Pevsner, whose own history of modernism came out in 1936, Banham dismantled the "form follows function" credo that became the stereotype of modernism, arguing instead that formalism (a preoccupation with style and aesthetics) was an important, if not overriding, concern of Modern architects.  Two sections of the book struck me in particular: his analysis of Le Corbusier's famous book Vers une architecture (Toward a [new] architecture) from 1923, and his Conclusion (chapter 22), where he breaks the link between functionalism and …

LEED Green Associate

Today I am pleased to report that I have passed the LEED® Green Associate exam, so I am now officially a LEED-accredited professional.  I have a few thoughts on this process that might be helpful for others looking into getting their own LEED Green Associate credential.  While I'm certainly in support of sustainable building practices, which is why I went to the trouble to get the credential in the first place, I don't think it's inappropriate to take a critical stance toward the whole enterprise in order to challenge the profession (and the industry) to be more self-aware.

The preparation: I passed the exam by using only resources that were freely available to me through my school library, including an e-book version of the LEED Green Associate study guide by Michelle Cottrell and the USGBC LEED Core Concepts Guide.  (Although I asked the library to obtain a new copy of the official USGBC LEED Green Associate Study Guide since the one they had was lost, they still haven&…