The Grand Canyon

We’ve seen a lot of canyons in our time — heck, we’ve seen a lot of canyons in the past week — but we ain’t never seen a canyon like this. I guess that goes without saying.

After camping out in freezing weather and high winds, we transfered to the old-fashioned gentility of the South Rim lodges, with their ice cream parlors, tasteful curios, and graceful buildings.

Waiting for the sunrise at Bright Angel Lodge.

We hiked halfway down the canyon along the Bright Angel Trail as far as Indian Gardens and back, about 9 hours hiking altogether.

California condors were circling above the trail as we set out.

Three mule trains passed us on our way down.

As you pass through the stratifications of different kinds of rock, the trail changes color, from white to yellow to red to white again. The red is the dustiest. We were literally ankle-deep in powdery dust through this part.

A helpful fellow hiker pointed out these petroglyphs. He said they were Hopi.

The canyon is very green at the upper levels.

Look at the blue belly on this lizard.

This is the second of two water stations on the trail.

Indian Gardens, so named because it used to be used as a garden spot by local people.

After a pleasant picnic, we headed back up the canyon.

The creek in the distance is Bright Angel Creek.

Phew!

We spent the next day recovering among the luxuries of the South Rim. Many of the buildings were designed by Mary Colter. I thought her Hopi House was particularly beautiful.

The El Tovar is the oldest hotel at the Grand Canyon.

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