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Grand Canyon Part 2

After settling in, we found some benches in the creek and “iced” our legs in the cold water. As tired as we were, we feared that napping would hinder our ability to sleep that night (especially given the communal “bunkhouse” accommodations with likely snorers in our midst), and the canteen had already closed to prepare for dinner. So, Dan and Brian and I headed out to explore the ranch, and ended up walking a loop from the Silver Bridge to the Black Bridge. We enjoyed seeing the effect of the long shadows on the rocks and the moon rise over the river.

Sunset on the Colorado

Sunset on the Colorado


Moonrise on the Colorado

Moonrise on the Colorado

We came back in time for dinner: hiker’s stew with corn bread and salad and chocolate cake for dessert. The five of us managed to stay up a little while after dinner telling jokes and playing cribbage, but decided that 8:30pm was a fine time for bed. In the women’s cabin, I was the last one to settle in and turn out the lights. The women’s bunk house was pretty quiet until 4:30am, when the ranger came in to wake up the early (5am) breakfast crowd. A group of 6 women had hiked in from the North Rim and were hiking out the Bright Angel trail that day, so they all got up and chatted about their blisters, soreness, snacks, and excitement. They also killed a scorpion in the shower and warned me to wear my sandals, which I appreciated. I managed another hour’s sleep before they returned to pack up, and it was time for me to shower and get ready for breakfast.

After breakfast, Dan and Brian and I decided to head up the North Kaibab trail to the Ribbon Falls, while Hanley and Steve opted to try some other routes near the camp. Hiking along the Bright Angel Creek Canyon and seeing where the Phantom Creek joined it was quite a different hike than the South Kaibab Trail. There was even a swampy area with tall grasses, much different than the desert we’d hiked through the previous day. It started to rain on us about halfway to the falls, but our rain jackets provided sufficient coverage and it wasn’t too cold. I stopped at what seemed like the end of the trail while the guys ventured further to the falls themselves. They enjoyed the refreshing water while I enjoyed a snack break.

Lower Ribbon Falls on Dan's Head

Lower Ribbon Falls on Dan's Head


Directly under Lower Ribbon Falls

Directly under Lower Ribbon Falls


Beej in Lower Ribbon Falls

Beej in Lower Ribbon Falls

The day seemed to clear as we headed back to the Ranch, and we met up with Hanley and Steve on the trail on our way back. We once again cooled off in the river before heading to the canteen. Suddenly there was a loud racket, and we looked outside to see half-inch diameter hail falling. The temperatures also dropped about 20 degrees, making us very glad we were off the trail. Once the hail subsided we all had to leave the canteen, but this time there was a ranger program that Dan and I attended. The ranger opted to do a question and answer session due to the rain, but it was really interesting to hear about the history and infrastructure of the ranch, as well as his job as a ranger there. He studies cougars, and told some fun stories about tracking them with accompanying pictures he had taken. After dinner he did another program, this time on the history of the canyon and how it was made – the alignment of the rock layers being pushed upward, the turbid river cutting through and carrying lots of rock and sediment to form the canyon, and then the natural erosion that widened it over time.

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