Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 15 – Wednesday, July 23 - Grand Canyon North Rim Hiking & Kaibab Lodge

Good day Folks! Today David and I got to the Grand Canyon! We left Fillmore, UT and came into Arizona around lunch time today. Arizona is a little weird with their time…..they are on Mountain Time but don’t observe daylight savings time…..which means it’s like they are on Pacific time over the summer. Threw me off a little bit but I’m getting used to it. The only bad part of that is on Friday when we get up to head towards Oklahoma, we are essentially losing 2 hours instead of 1. Anyways, today we got to the Grand Canyon and decided to go for the North Rim, instead of the more popular and populated South Rim.

The views were amazing, as I’ve always thought they were. We got SO lucky calling hotels in the North Rim area (there are only 2 that are relatively close)……First we called the Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim and although they didn’t have anything for Wednesday night, they did have a room for Thursday night. So we booked that. We still didn’t have a place to stay Wednesday night and ended up calling a lodge that is 18 miles outside of the North Rim and they just happened to have a cancellation and we got the room. The other closest hotel is 45 miles away so we felt very lucky to stay just out of the Canyon one night and on the North Rim (literally) the 2nd night. Anyways, we hiked about 5 miles today on some trails and got some amazing pictures. I will not flood this post with pictures, but believe me, it’s awesome here. One of the trails we went down led to absolutely NOTHING. We didn’t realize they had a trail gated off and we couldn’t go as far as we had wanted. Once we hiked about 2 miles, we came upon a gate with NO view. Nice. But, some of the views on the way down were great. We also went to a small trail that had a plaque dedicated to Teddy Roosevelt who was an amazing advocate for the parks systems and the Grand Canyon in particular. The views from there (which I will post) were awesome because you could see the South Rim, the Navaho Indian Reservation, the Painted Desert and it displayed a depth that doesn’t even register to me.

At this point, we were tired and ready to head to our Kaibab Lodge to check in. Kaibab (pronounced ‘Kybab’) means “mountain lying down” and is in the Kaibab National Forest. This lodge (main house which is the front desk, Cracker Barrel-style gift shop and restaurant) was built in the 1920’s and originally going to be a cattle ranch. Now, there are cabins spread out around the lodge with relatively rustic accommodations (by rustic, I mean no TV or phone with western décor).

With the very slim choices of places to stay near the North Rim and our extreme lack of planning with reservations, we are SO happy to at least have a bed tonight. Even the campsites were full and we were considering sleeping in the car. So we ate at their cozy little restaurant and had the BEST key lime cheesecake EVER and are planning on hitting the sack early since we have our (hopefully) full day of mule riding in the canyon tomorrow. Hope the mules sleep well too! Adios!

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