Monday, September 19, 2011

The Great Adventure 2011 Grand Canyon – 8/15/11 – 8/19/11

116For more pictures, click HERE

Day 1: On the way to the Grand Canyon at the North Rim, we stopped at Pipe Springs National Monument. I had never heard of this but I’m glad we went. This was the only water source for the area and a Mormon settlement was built right over the spring. This settlement was used to hold the tithing herd from the Mormon Church and also served as a hideout for the many wives when the anti-polygamists were looking to arrest the husbands. It also served as the first telegraph office in Arizona. I met a Native American who was making cordage out of yucca fibers. I also met a volunteer who was chipping obsidian to make arrowheads for tools. His wife brought out her drop spindle to show me how she makes yarn. What I thought was interesting was that her drop spindle was made from a stone disk that she bought from a rock shop and stuck on a branch from her yard.

At the Grand Canyon, we are staying in a Pioneer cabin with 1 queen bed and 2 bunk beds plus a futon double. There are 2 rooms with a bath and shower. It is pretty nice here. After 2 days w-e are moving to the Campground (site 64). We ate the pasta lunch buffet at the lodge ($13.95 including drink per person). We attended the geology talk which was a pretty good talk. After exploring, we attended the Condor talk too. Then we walked the Transcept trail along the rim to the campground. For dinner we shared a pint of Haagen Dazs Pistachio ice cream. We did see a bike company use the handicapped parking as a loading and unloading zone. (We took pictures and I will probably write to the company about this.) At 8pm, we attended the evening show about the Colorado River.

Day 2: The heat and the elevation has been hard on us. We hiked to the campground and back for a hotdog and ice cream. The price of food has been outrageous! In the afternoon, we came back to the cabin and rested while watching TED videos on my ipad. In the evening we went to the ranger program about the Geology of the North Kaibab Trail which was really interesting.

Day 3: Don woke up not feeling too well today and had a pop tart for breakfast. Then he crawled back in bed for about 2 hours before we had to check out of our cabin. After having the pasta buffet for lunch, we headed to the campground where we will be staying for 3 days. It was hard putting up the tent in the heat of the day. After setting up the tent, we relaxed for a little while. Then we drove around to Point Imperial. After doing some research, we decided Don was throwing off too many minerals from drinking too much water (mimicking heat exhaustion)and he had a package of salt and some salty pretzels which made him feel better. When we returned we had ice cream again for dinner (Haagen Dazs Amaretto Almond Crunch). In the evening we went to the Ranger presentation in the amphitheater on Grand Canyon geology.

Day 4: I woke up early and sat outside the tent waiting for the rest of the world to wake up. I listened to some podcasts on my Ipad and knit on my shawl. After a very light breakfast (poptarts and cookies) we took a drive to the Vermillion Cliffs where the Condors were released years ago. Then we drove to Cape Royal and did some hiking. By then the afternoon thunderstorms arrived and we went back to our campsite to relax. Dinner was ramen noodles.

Day 5: For breakfast we ate oatmeal and granola bars. We had a lazy day and spent it at the campground. It was overcast and we had some showers in the afternoon but not enough to even wet the ground. We did take the opportunity to do some laundry and eat more ice cream. I think 5 days was too much for the North Rim and we would have been happy with 2 or 3 days.

What I Learned:

· I had to change the time on my watch because Arizona is in standard time and doesn’t change their time like everyone else.

· A raven has a wing span of 54 inches.

· We are at 8500 ft. elevation here in the North Rim.

· Make sure the air pump for the air mattress has fresh batteries or it will take forever to pump up!

· Ice cream makes a great dinner!

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Photo: by Pat Hensley

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