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Day 149 – 6th May 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on May 6, 2009

Day 149 – 6th May 09

Wednesday – Grand Canyon, Arizona

A lot of walking today, but worth it

A late sleep in was in order thanks to the beers, but due to the inconsiderate people with cars that slammed doors from 5am on, it was a dozy sort of start and I had left my ear plugs on the bike somewhere. I eventually got vertical around 7.30 and got a cuppa brewing and some porridge, or oatmeal as they call it over here.

Said good bye to Chuck and Bob a bit later and rode into the visitors centre again, just to find out about the north rim. Chuck and Bob said when they came past the other night the road was closed still for winter and they had to stay somewhere else, but I had thought I heard someone saying it was open. Well, it is not open until May 15, so that buggers that plan up as well. I bought a ticket to the Imax movie of the canyon while I was there, it was brilliant, well worth the measly $12.50 to get in. After that, as there was a free WiFi hotspot, I sorted about a dozen emails out and posted a small days blog. I had not been able to find a computer place to get this damm workshop thing printed, for the shock absorber, so that will have to wait until I get out of this place, when ever that may be 🙂

After a bite to eat as it was now lunchtime, I started the rim walk after posing on my way back into the park 🙂

They have this shuttle bus system which does continuous loops around the area, I decided to take the hike along the west rim to Hermits Rest. So, first I needed to get there, another navigation problem solved, once you work out the system, it is not too bad.
You can apparently get a train from the town of Williams if you don’t want to drive up here.

This was taken from the top of Bright Angel Trail Head, it shows the hiking train down into the canyon.

In the above map, I had come from the right on a blue route bus, swapped to the red and I started my hike at point A. As it was now after 1.30pm, I needed to conserve water and energy, so the first bit I skipped 🙂
From the Trailhead Viewpoint, (A) you can see the trail as it switches back and forth across the canyon walls.

And then you can see it all the way down in the bottom of the valley, heading to the river.

That is Maricopa Point, my next stop about 1/2km away.

Some flowers on the way.

Looking back towards the trail head from Maricopa

They have these black beetles that hover everywhere; sometimes I have seen 3 at once, quite easy to get a photo in flight.

On the way to Powell’s Point

Me 🙂

They had a mine site here which was high in Uranium, they are now trying to clean up the area so the trail can be modified, as it is it cuts right around this area.

That funny stuff in the middle of the photos was reclaimed land. Now, from this point on, I had to put the hubs in as the paved track was finished.

The trail continued on to Hopi Point where you can now see the Colorado River, way down there!

Well, the view is not as bad as the photo made out, I could actually see the mountain, although it was hazy. The pollution comes in great part from the industry in Southern California, which they are trying to fix as nearly every 2nd shop down there is a Smog fixer for cars.

Then a bit more hiking, it was getting quite hot now and I was nearly out of water, which was no worries, as I just can jump on a bus at the next stop, ride to the end and get some more 🙂 As I was quite high up I have about 20% less oxygen as well. Of course I had to get there first, which is called Mohave Point, (B). You can see in the river below the white water, this is one of the famous rapids on the Colorado.

Ahh, made it , well, actually the bus arrived and took me to Hermits Rest (C) 🙂

They have a small shop here and an old building replica which has this enormous fireplace inside it, it would be great in winter, too hot today.

Now that I had filled up with water and had a rest and a snack, I legged it back the other way towards Pima Point, away from the lowering sun which had been in my face. I saw some birds, but I do not think they were the Condor, which I had hoped to see.

I arrived at Pima Point (D) and read about why it was called Hermits Rest and could see the remains of some type of buildings down below.

The rapids from a better viewpoint, and how they are formed.

At this point, I was too hot to walk any further, so I took the bus down to Mohave point (B), where I had been before. I had not looked at anything then, just hopped on the bus, so this time I could look around.

After that the next bus to The Abyss (E)

As you can see the shadows are lengthening and it is starting to get very hazy. Next stop was Monument Creek Vista (F)

That was the final stop and I was glad as it was 5pm and I still had to get back to the bike. This took another hour of shuttle buses as if you miss one, you need to wait about 15 minutes max. Aha, there it is!

I had been thinking about having a few beers, but decided against it for a number of reasons. The first and foremost was that during my walking today, I had decided I would hike down into the canyon, not too far, maybe as far as the first rest stop. I also did not have any firewood, so cold beer and a cold night, not a good combination, and finally by the time I sat down and had some tucker it was gone 7pm as I had been to buy some food for the hike. My meal was good though 🙂

When the sun went down not long after I had a bit of a bath and sorted out the days photo’s, a lot! Basically a quiet night as an early start was needed for the hike 🙂

Day – 16 miles and 26 km
Trip – 680 miles and 10,429 km


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3 Responses to “Day 149 – 6th May 09”

  1. Jan Ferrari said

    Again great photos, I think if I read much more today I will have square eyes lol. I think I am going drink for drink with you and that is scary as I am reading a few months of your trip at a time 🙂

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