Sunday, June 26, 2011

Red Wall Bridge

The day time highs have finally moved into the low 80's, with night time lows around 50. We still have to run the heater once in a while first thing in the morning. The tourist season is in full swing and the gift shop is very busy. We are open from 8:00am - 9:00pm and the store is crowded most of the time. When I close two days a week we have people wanting to get into the store after nine since there isn't much to do at the North Rim after dark. This past week amateur astronomers had their telescopes set up along the rim and we had great views of Saturn. I did not get any pictures of the astronomers, it was dark, but I did get a good photo of the sunset on our way to the Star Gazing Party.
Wednesday we took a bike ride, it was frustrating at first as my bike had a flat tire and it looks like I will need to repair the valve stem. We took Sherri's bike and I used one the bikes from the rental shop, we get to use the bikes for free as employees. The ride we took was up a primitive road on the way to Point Sublime, we went about 5 miles up the road and got our bones rattled by the dirt and gravel road. After our bike ride we enjoyed the Cookout, which is a big event every evening for the visitors. Again, as employees we have free tickets. The food was plentiful and tasty, and the cowboy entertainment was a lot of fun.
Thursday was hiking day three miles down the Kaibab Trail to red wall bridge, and three miles up. The picture of the bridge is from about half-way down.
Going down was quick and easy, we made it to the bridge in about 1 1/2 hours. On the way down the trail it was still very sunny and we saw many people struggling to make it up the trail. When we made it to the bridge we took along break so that most of way up would be in the shade. The photos are of the bridge and our rest stop, about a 1/4 mile past the bridge.

After taking our break it was time to hike up, here is the view of the hike back up. The head of canyon we were in is the top of the red rock, the rim is way up at the top of the trees.
We started the hike about mid-day so that we would be hiking up in the shade. This picture illustrates how sunny it is on the east side, and the top two miles of the trail are on  the west side in the shade.
This week we are planning a shopping trip to Page, about a two hour drive. We are also planning to hike Antelope Canyon, which is a slot canyon on the Navajo Reservation just outside Page.
Till next Sunday

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cape Royal

This past week found us both with colds, mine was waning as Sherri's was just getting going so no hiking was planned. I do miss putt zing in the yard; while Sherri was working inside I raked up piles of pine needles. It felt good to spruce up the "yard".
Wednesday night we drove up to Cape Royal with co-workers and our new friends. The sunset and full moon rising took place 10 minutes apart. We took hotdogs to cook but for some reason Cape Royal does not have any grills, so we wound up eating cold hotdogs with the pasta salad and cookies Sherri made. We had a great time and the vistas are magnificent. Here are some photos from the evening:

Cape Royal is a 30 mile drive from the North Rim and is well worth it. We have both recovered from our colds and this week we hope to do a couple days of hiking.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ken Patrick Trail

We are starting to get into a routine. With us both having Wednesday and Thursday off we are becoming comfortable with our schedules. It is still hard to figure out what day it is, we both were M-F for 30 years.
This past Wednesday we did chores and took it easy. Thursday we had one of my co-workers, Anthony, drive us up to Imperial Point..Loni, another co-worker went along for the ride.
Point Imperial is the highest point on the North Rim at 8800'. Our hike was 12 miles from Point Imperial back to our 5th wheel. The first three miles skirts the rim with great views of Mt. Hayden.
We hadn't noticed it with the naked eye but the photo does show some smoke from the wild fires south of here creeping north. Fortunately, for us the majority of the smoke has not come this way. After three miles the trail headed off into the forest and stayed there most of the remaining nine miles. Close to the half-way point we descended into a beautiful meadow and in the middle of nowhere there was a sign.
 It was a different hike, since we only came to the rim once in the last nine miles. The nice thing was we only saw only three other people for six hours. In a burn area we did come across an interesting "African Sculpture".
Today, Sunday is our hump-day and we are planning for this weekend W-TH. We will probably head up to Cape Royal Wednesday evening and watch the full moon rise as the sun sets on the Grand Canyon.
Oh, at work I was promoted to Assistant Manager, the position had been vacant up to this point. I get a bump in my hourly wage plus our housing is now comped and we can eat in the dining room at no cost...not bad.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Trip to Kanab

Both of us now have Wednesday & Thursday off and we had not left the rim since we had been here. So, Wednesday it was off to Kanab Utah. Our first stop was Best Friends, which is an animal sanctuary located on several hundred acres in beautiful Angel Canyon just north of Kanab.
Best Friends is dedicated to eliminating the need to euthanize any animals world wide. Through their efforts the number of animals euthanized has dropped significantly over the past 20 years. The sanctuary in Kanab takes in thousands of animals a year with the hope that they all will be adopted. The cat houses are amazing, if I were a cat I don't know that I would want to leave. I better not show this picture to Zeke, our cat, or he might want us to remodel the 5th wheel.
After Best Friends we had a nice late lunch and then hit the grocery store. It is a challenge to shop for 3-4 weeks with a small RV frig and freezer, but we managed and left Kanab with a truck full.
Thursday was our hiking day. We choose the Widforss trail, a beautiful 10 mile hike along the rim and through the forest. The trail goes around the Transept Canyon which is near our RV spot. Here is Sherri at the first overlook.
We had a nice lunch at Widforss point and it was a beautiful summer day, it is actually warming up to the low 70's but the lows are still around forty. I know many of you are in a summer swelter, and here we are running our heater every morning. I will close with a couple of photos; one shows the Transept canyon floor and the other is a rock formation jutting out into the canyon.