Saturday, August 27, 2011

North Kaibab

Seven weeks from today is the last night that the North Rim facilities are open. The last two weeks have been the slowest of the summer, but past year's numbers show that Labor Day through the end of September are very busy. The visitors without children like to come in September.
We are working on our rim-to-rim hike in October, but we are having trouble finding a spot to spend the night in the canyon. We did not realize that reservations need to be made up to 13 months in advance. We will keep working on it and hopefully we can get a campsite.
Friday we went down the North Kaibab Trail to Supai Tunnel. This is the fourth time this summer that we have hiked to at least Supai Tunnel. Each time we go the light and conditions are different. This time Sherri took a picture of me on Coconino Overlook:
This is monsoon season in the southwest and shortly after we started our hike the clouds began to build. We saw lightening in the distance and heard thunder echoing around the canyon. Some ominous clouds were building overhead:
By the time we hiked to the tunnel most of the storm had moved off toward the south rim.
We did have a couple showers, which felt good. A ranger on the trail told us that a little earlier in the day the temperature was 98deg. at the tunnel, which is 1,400' below the North Rim. When we got to the tunnel the temp. was in the low 80's. I took a neat photo out of the tunnel toward the rim.
By the time we hiked back up to the Coconino Overlook the skies were clearing and we were fortunate that we did not get hit with a heavy rain and hail. Here is a final view from the Coconino Overlook, in a different light, which is named such becauses it looks over the Coconino Plateau on the South Rim.
This was a relatively short hike of four miles, but the hike up is a heck of a climb. We hope we will be ready for our rim-to-rim in six weeks.

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