At the end of August, we took Mom and her friend Barbara up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I was the only one who had been there before, having visited in 1996 with my DaD. I had called a few months earlier and reserved the only two nights left at all for the summer: August 28-29, 2009.
Andrew and Jessica at North Rim
We arrived up after the very, very long drive on Saturday afternoon. It’s about 8 hours from Gilbert. We checked into our Pioneer Cabin and found it to be quite comfortable. None of us are considered hikers by any means, so we expected to stay at the rim and enjoy the views and the nice weather.
Scary Bright Angel Trail
We decided to hike out to Bright Angel Point before the sun went down. I had done this hike before – and was absolutely TERRIFIED of the narrow ledge out to the point. The others did not seem to be afraid of heights or the canyon, but I most certainly wasn’t looking forward to facing my worst fears again. Nevertheless, we decided to make a go of it.
Bright Angel Trail was a lot harder than I remembered it. With narrow paths, massive rock ledges and steep, steep hills, it is hard to traverse. About 3/4 of the way to the Point, Mom threw in the towel. She couldn’t go any further. She stopped on a rock and told us to go ahead without her. We were hesitant to leave her there but I knew we were very close to the end. Barbara, Andrew and I went out to the Point and took a look around briefly.
By the time we made it back to Mom she had made some new friends. A trail guide and his private tour customer were sitting next to her. The customer was very friendly and had advised Mom to take some aspirin if she felt ill. They were chatting it up and resting on the rocks. We said our goodbyes and thanked the two men for staying with Mom until we got back. It was at that time Andrew announced to Mom that she had just been shooting the breeze with Paul Simon! Sure enough we saw him later near the lodge with his family, and it most definitely was him. He was really, really nice. We decided not to blow his cover and approach him, as he seemed like he was having a very nice time with his family.
Sunset at North Rim
After Bright Angel Trail, we had dinner at the lodge. It certainly wasn’t anything to write home about. Just food – that’s about it. Time then allowed me to set up and capture a very beautiful sunset on the rim, along with some neat shots of Mom and the cabin. Then it was time to turn in for the night.
The following morning we headed out by car to see some of the outlying points. I had my 3D lens and captured some really neat shots of the points and some crazy tourist sitting out on the ledge of a rock. Mom decided she didn’t want to hike out to the points and stayed on the trail near the car. It really just wasn’t what she wanted to be doing.
On the way back to the cabin, I pointed out that it didn’t seem like any of us were really having a great time at the North Rim. Barbara and Mom both agreed – they didn’t want to stay anymore. I ended up going into the visitor center and found a couple who needed a room for the night. I worked it out with the registration desk to give us credit for the next night’s stay and the couple picked it up for the evening.
We packed up and headed out, not even 24 hours after arriving at the North Rim. On the way home we got to drive to Page and stop at Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam to do some more sightseeing. We took our time getting home and arrived back in Phoenix on Sunday night. I’m glad we went, but we most likely won’t be returning to the North Rim.
See more pictures from the trip on Flickr.
3D Crazy Guy on Ledge
Capturing the Sunset
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Colorado River through the Trees