OFF THE BEATEN PATH - We read in Frommer’s Travel Guide that if you venture more than half a mile away from any parking lot, you will feel like you have the park to yourself. That bit of wisdom could not be more true. Today, we found ourselves pushing through throngs of tourists and, as predicted, hit the magic spot and were pretty much alone. Which is a very nice thing in the midst of such spectacular scenery.
WISH WE COULD LIST IT ALL - The GC has been a haven for honing in on the good, the bad and the ugly of tourism. Wish we could list all of our thoughts here, as we’ve met and overheard some very interesting people (in addition to the variety of things we’ve seen). Today, we were cracking up when we saw this very focused young teen (13 or 14???) marching ahead of his sister and parents. When he looked back, he noticed that they were significantly far behind. He shouted “Oh, for god’s sake!!!” as he scurried back to collect them. Probably funny to us because we both remember playing the exasperated take-charge role on family vacations.
USE YOUR NOODLE - That’s what a guy shouted at his daughter as she ran around like a maniac on the edge of the rim. Lots of people here could probably use that advice (including us) during these hot days in the park. We’re guilty of taking off on these treacherous hikes with about 8-ounces of water in tow. Today, a Ranger snapped us out of our hard-core mission-from-god approach to hiking (yes, the same one we took in the DC museums) by urging us to be careful about water intake. She kindly gave us an extra bottle and reminded us that people run into all sorts of health problems around here - especially on these hikes that descend into the canyon.
VERTICAL DESCENT - That hike today - on the Bright Angel Trail - was a butt-kicker. It was straight down and straight back up. No nonsense. The picture above was taken from the trail. We paced ourselves, drank lots of water (thanks Ranger lady), and took in the landscape. Near our turnaround point, we came across a kind woman who was helping a girl suffering from the intensity of the hike. She was doing a nice job of putting her at ease. Three cheers for good samaritans.
STAR GAZING - Tonight we want to fully enjoy the sun setting over the canyon and then stick around for some star gazing. We’re geeks for those Ranger-guided events/talks. After that, I’m certain that we’ll sleep like logs.