LOVE TO WANDER
This morning, we headed out for Canyon Village. It took 2 and a quarter hours to get there from our hotel - our concept of distance has completely changed. We have to do that trip back the other way at the end of the day too, of course - but there is no alternative of you want to see all this place has to offer.
We decided to do an 8 mile trail along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It took us about 3 hours to complete this - and it was absolutely spectacular. I will let the pictures do the talking here, but this was without doubt the highlight of the trip so far. Artist's Point is definitely a must see site.
Off the beaten trail again gave us the best experience - bubbling hot mud pools, a lily pad lake and a beautiful blue Clear Lake. This trail had absolutely everything.
As we walked along the Canyon rim, we thought we could see something moving on the other side. At first, it looked just like all a tree - but then - binoculars out - and - yes - that tree is MOVING. That tree - is a giant black bear! Amazing - and very glad we were safely on the other side of the Canyon!
We bought bear bells in the visitor centre - goodness knows if they work or not, but we felt a bit safer at least. There was one fatality in the park last year. A park employee disturbed a black bear and her cubs. he was breaking all the rules - hiking alone in the backcountry at the wrong time of day. she made short work of him. The bear was tracked and shot. they were pretty sure they had got the right one, but were certain when they found pieces of the man inside when they opened her up. OMG ..
I was glad we met up with a family from Montana and hiked the rest of the trail with the them - there is safety in numbers and the company was good too. He was a Dean of a Forestry School and spent a lot of time in the National Parks, so was really interesting to talk to. We picked up two book recommendations - Letters from Yellowstone and Wilderness and the American Mind. I am particularly interested in the latter - it is all about how the Americans use creation of the National Parks to establish an identity for themselves. without any historic sites/cathedrals etc., you have to have something that says what you are all about and the National Parks do that for Americans. They manage them absolutely brilliantly - fortunately for us!
We saw an elk crossing the stream on the way back home - in fact - we didn't' take a trip through either Alamar or ahaydn Valley WITHOUT seeing any wildlife!