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John B. Deitz

Build: 100521.2

Day 9
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Saturday, 6 August 2005.  Grand Canyon

We left for the Grand Canyon about 9 am taking Route US180 north. A very nice ride up to the canyon, reaching an elevation of 8046 ft., mostly through the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests and the smell of aromatic Ponderosa pine. To the right (east)  was the 12,600 ft Humphreys Peak (the highest point in Arizona), part of San Francisco Mountain.  Then on to the high Colorado Plateau of northern Arizona.

There was considerable backup of traffic at this south entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park. The entrance fee was $10.  I suspect that normally there is less traffic at the east entrance which was our exit route.

Canyon magnificent . exceeding my expectations.   Mike warned me that pictures would not tell the story, and he was right. As with most visitors who enter the park from the south entrance, we parked at Mather Point.  We then hiked along the rim trail for about 3 miles to Grand Canyon Village. After resting for a bit on the porch of the historic El Tovar Hotel, Mike said he knew a short cut back to the bikes.  I don't know why I believed him we could have just retraced our tracks but a death march later we finally found ourselves back at Mather Point! Mike claimed he always knew where we were and that I exaggerate.  And to give Mike credit, when I looked at a Park map later the route he seems to have taken back was certainly no longer, and probably shorter than the rim trail.

We returned east on State Route 64 along the southern canyon rim to Cameron, and then south on US 89 back to Flagstaff. Very different terrain than the morning's ride. Passed through a corner of Navajo Nation lands. Along the east side of US 89 was a canyon in an otherwise flat plain -- probably the little Colorado River.  Mike was in the lead, and he's not much for photo-op stopping.  He complained that I dropped too far back.  But it was enjoying the scene.

A little shower after we got back to our hotel. I fell asleep, and we didn't get out to dinner until after 8 p.m. Surprisingly, there weren't all that many places open, at least in the old downtown area.  But we found a fairly decent meal at the old Weatherford Hotel.


Getting Ready for the Long March

John at Mather Point
Mather Point

That's Mike on the Outcropping
(Click to enlarge)

Mike at Mather Point

Mike's Picture of a Squirrel along the rim trail
a/k/a The "March of Death"

Rain Storm Over the North Rim

Resting on the Veranda of the El Tovar Hotel

Distance:  About 190 miles    

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23 October 2007