Saturday, July 30, 2011

Kanab Shopping

Sherri and I switched our days off to Thursday and Friday because the manager's meeting is supposed to take place on Wednesdays which we previously had off. Unfortunately, the past two weeks the meeting has been moved to Thursday mornings so this has cut into our hiking and time off.... working on a day off, one of the responsibilities of management.
We did get away on Friday for a shopping trip to Kanab UT and a trip to Best Friends Animal Society. We turned in our passport applications. Can you believe that neither Sherri or I have had a passport? We need to get out more. We will be volunteering on the Arizona/Mexico border this winter and want to make sure we can get back into the country if we stray to far. I got my watch fixed and we had lunch at a decent Mexican restaurant, being from NM we need a chile fix once in a while. The last stop is the grocery store to stock up for 3-4 weeks.
Before we started shopping we went up to Best Friends for the Wild Friends and Parrot Garden tour. The two tours are back-to-back in the same area and are fascinating. I love all the birds and their different personalities. Most of the birds have been injured in some fashion or their owners could no longer keep them. The only pictures I took this week were of birds so I will close with bird pictures. The guy in the tye-dye is the tour guide. I like how his shirt blends in with the birds.
If you can, donate to this organization they do great work for thousands of sick, abandoned or surrendered animals.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cape Final

This week we were supposed to go on a hike Thursday and the weekly manager's meeting was scheduled for Wednesday. On Wednesday morning I found out the meeting had been moved to Thursday. I was upset at first, I do not like a change in plans, but we quickly got ready and set out for a hike to Cape Final, which is a short two mile hike with eastern and southern views. Here is Sherri ready to go:
The trail goes through the woods and comes out along the rim with some beautiful views. The Cape Final, Cape Royal areas are the only places you can see the Colorado river from the North Rim.
The Cape Final area has many rim views and overhangs; Sherri is standing on one of those overhangs and it makes my knees weak just looking at this picture.
We had a great day...despite the change in plans.
Friday we had a pizza party in the back room for Liya. Liya is from Singapore who came over for half the season and is leaving the North Rim Today. She is very smart and funny, and was a great asset to the Gift Shop. We got along great and I will miss her.
Last night we went with our Friends, Ken and Karma, to dinner at Kaibab Lodge. The lodge is just outside of the National Park, about a 25 minute drive, in the Kaibab National Forrest. We had a nice dinner and it was good to get away for something different. Just inside the National Park boundary a large heard of Buffalo were grazing in a meadow. In the early 1900's settlers tried to cross bread buffalo and cattle. The animals are mostly buffalo but DNA shows they still have traces of cattle and they are also called beefalo. People are encouraged to keep their distance as bulls have been known to charge folks who get to close. So I did stay back and zoomed in on a portion of the heard.
It's been a good as we settle into another new routine. As the Gift Shop manager my hours vary and my responsibilities have grown. I am enjoying the far.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Point sublime

Thursday we set out to drive the 18 mile primitive road to Point Sublime. The road is okay for stretches but much of it has large rocks and deep ruts. We made it 8 miles in 1 1/4 hours and decided we did not want to beat the truck up anymore. A small stretch of road:
We found a spot to turn around and went back to a beautiful meadow; there was an old road that was closed off which turned out to be a nice hike through the meadow and forest. Ryder was able to join us on this day since we were not hiking on any dog restricted trails. Here is the meadow and Sherri and Ryder on the Hike:

On Friday night we went up to Cape Royal for a cook out and sunset. Some of our co-workers cooking hotdogs and having a good time:
The sunset was of course magnificent, in one of the pictures smoke can be seen. This fire is 10 miles west of the Lodge and started on July 4th by a lightning strike. We have had enough rain to keep the fire in the underbrush, so far it is a beneficial fire burning only dead wood.

The big news this week is I am now the Gift Shop Manager. Zac who was the manager dropped a bombshell on us Monday morning, he does not want the continued stress and responsibility of running the Gift Shop. On Wednesday the GM asked me if I wanted the manager position and I accepted. I now manage the Gift Shop and warehouse which employee a total of 15 people. It is an honor to be chosen manager; when we came up to the North Rim for the season this was a challenge I was not anticipating but one I am looking forward to.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Roaring Springs

After a couple of snowfalls in May it has been very dry, and living in the forest makes one uneasy when the dry lightning starts hitting the ground. Fortunately we have had several rains, which started July 4th. The rain did put a damper on Independence Day festivities, but most welcomed the downpour. On Friday an afternoon thunderstorm lowered the temperature to 56 deg. at 4pm, the gift shop had a great day selling jackets and sweatshirts to tourists in shorts and tank tops.
On Wednesday we went on our most ambitious hike yet; five miles down to Roaring Springs and an elevation change of 3,000'. The calculation of 400" up equals one mile means the up part of the hike equaled close to 11 miles. Last week at the Wal Mart page we bought hiking poles. here is Sherri modeling them:
The trail becomes narrow and right on the edge of the canyon. I was trying to walk as close to the wall as possible.

We continued on  and reached the springs to relax and enjoy some snacks. Roaring Springs provides the drinking water for both the North and South Rim. The spring comes out of the side of a cliff and continues down the canyon.

As we started back up the clouds started to build, a very welcome sight. It was one of the warmest days we have had this year and after some rain the two previous days the humidity was up. The temperature at Roaring Springs was about 95 deg. We made it up in about 4 1/2 hours so we made good time and had a great day.
The building clouds and the rim is is in view:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Page-Antelope Canyon

Wednesday morning we went to Page to do some shopping and sight seeing. It is quite a shock to leave the North Rim and 65 deg. and get out at our first stop Marble Canyon and it is 101 deg., at 11:00 am. The Marble Canyon Bridge, over the Colorado River, opened an eastern route to the canyon, prior to 1923 the route from the south had travelers going several hundreds of miles around the west side of the canyon and then back east. Here are pictures up the Colorado River and the old bridge; the new bridge is to the left.

There are several activities to do in Page, especially on Lake Powell; but with limited time we had to do shopping and we wanted to tour Antelope Canyon so Lake Powell will have to wait for another trip. Antelope Canyon is only five minutes east of Page, but it is on Navajo Land. To get to Antelope Canyon requires a fee to the Navajos and paying for a guide, it adds up to $31 a person plus tip. It is a three mile drive down a sandy wash either in a Suburban or an open air four wheel drive. The young guides drive down this wash at break neck speeds with the hope that they don't get stuck in the's a "fun" drive.
The Upper Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon which is about a 1/4 mile long. The colors are amazing and each bend in the walls brings a different light into the canyon. Our guide was very knowlegeable about cameras and the settings needed to take quality photos in the canyon. I took many photos, most were not so good but I will post some good ones:

After Antelope Canyon we were off to Wal Mart for different images. After two hours of shopping we headed back to the North Rim. We did stop for a great dinner at Cliff Dwellers along the beautiful Vermillion Cliffs. It was a great day and it always feels good to get out and explore.
Yesterday, after dinner I played some volleyball with our co-workers. It was a lot of fun and I did not get hurt; always a positive.
Tomorrow is the 4th and there are many activities planned for the employees. Unfotunately for me, I will be working 1 to 10. I hope I can get away for some BBQ dinner.
Sherri and I hope all of you have a safe and Happy Independence Day!!!