Our first full day on the South Rim...
Our second and final day.
We made the most of it.
Our morning began early.. Papa made Country Sausage on a NY Bagel
Sandwiches, washed down with some good Sumatran Coffee.
By 0800 we were washed up and on the road headed east to the farthest point in the park.
Our plan was to then hit all the overlooks from there heading back to here.
Our first stop in the far east was The Desert View Watchtower.
The four-story structure, completed in 1932, was designed by
American architect Mary Colter, who also created and designed many other buildings
in the Grand Canyon vicinity including Hermits Rest, and the Lookout Studio.
The interior contains murals by Native American Artist Fred Kabotie.
You might remember that Fred painted the Murals in the Painted Desert Inn
that was featured in a blog post a couple of weeks ago.
Each stone was hand picked, and hand placed to create a structure that would exist
in harmony with its' environment.
Later in the morning we were treated to a couple of California Condors
soaring gracefully on the thermals.
The condor is the largest North American Land Bird.
Its wingspan can reach 10'
and its weight up to 31 lbs.
In 1987 it's numbers were down to 22 and was all but extinct due to lead poisoning,
pollution, and poaching.
An agressive program was instituted by the US Government to capture the remaining
birds, and a captive breeding program was instituted, with releases to the wild.
Today the population is estimated to be in excess of 400 and growing.
Later we enjoyed the antics of this Raven
I had a piece of Styrofoam that I was using as a spacer in the truck bed
between my generator and air compressor...
Mr Raven decided to pick at it and in no time I had a whole bunch of
loose styrofoam in the back of the truck that I needed to clean up before
we headed down the road and it flew all over the place.
In the photo below you are looking at almost 2 billion years of geologic history.
If you look closely, you can see upper layers of rock that are fairly level but
as you go down the wall of the canyon you see purplish, then red layers that are angled.
The angled layers are called the Grand Canyon Supergroup and are ancient rock that was
created as much as 1.2 billion years ago. Around 700 million years ago,
This rock was forced upward at an angle as the ancient continents were forced apart
After hitting all of the overlooks on the east end of the park, we headed back to the coach
for some lunch and Doodle time.
The Doods were happy to see us, so we took them for a walk before we headed back
out for our afternoon.
In the afternoon our destination was the Hermit Road. A whole Western section along
the rim that does not allow cars and is accessible by shuttle bus, bike, or foot.
Grand Canyon, like many of the National Parks, has a world class bus system.
You can pretty much travel from anywhere, to anywhere and not need a car.
We took a couple of busses up the Hermit Road a piece, then hopped off the bus and
hiked along the rim trail. The rim trail follows the rim for miles and miles.
This particular section was beautiful and we had it to ourselves. We met only one
or two other couples the whole time we hiked.
Our walk took us several miles along the rim, the sights were simply awe inspiring.
As the temp was well into the 90's I had taken a pack and had several liters of water.
By the time we reached or destination, we were just about ready for a refill on the water.
Here is a picture of the busses.
At the end of the day we rode the busses back to camp, kicked off our boots,
and enjoyed a cool drink.
Tomorrow we once again will pick up camp and head back to a favorite of ours from
last year... Wahweep RV Resort on Lake Powell.
Wahweep is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
It is owned by the US Forest Service but a private concessionaire runs the park.
We plan to spend 3 days there, revisit the slot canyons, and see what other sort of
trouble we might get into.
See you at Lake Powell.