We Have Arrived

A balanced rock in Marble Canyon

Just wanted to come by here and let you all know we arrived safely at the Grand Canyon on Saturday afternoon. The wind died down a bit in the morning, so we left Flagstaff. Everything was fine until we rounded the bend in Marble Canyon, and were in a head wind. It was blowing about 45 miles per hour, and made it feel like the brakes were on. I have never experienced anything like it! That was the worst of it though, for about 20 miles, then it was fine the rest of the way. The trip up the plateau went smoothly.

There was one tree blown over and lying in the road, but we went around on the other side with no problem. There was not nearly as much snow on the ground as last year when we got here.

The weather has been warmer, too.
I started working on Monday, after sitting on my behind all winter long. Let me tell you, with the high altitude (8800 ft) and the lazy winter, I am wiped out when I get home! Add to that the 15 pounds I gained over the winter, and well, I have to get into better shape. My pants are way too tight! Training the newbies starts this coming Monday. Can’t wait to meet all the new co-workers. It is going to be another fun season, I just know it.

I had ordered our telephone service way back on April 14th, with a requested installation date of April 24th, our planned arrival date. When we got here on Saturday, the 25th, the phone wasn’t working. Repair service told me there was “trouble on the line”. So when they sent someone out, they discovered they had installed the service at the wrong address. They fixed all that yesterday, so now I have my telly and am back on line. Yay! But why on why can’t a telephone service get it right???

Scenic Sunday

This is the entrance station at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The photo was taken on May 9, 2008. The park opens on May 15th each year. I was there because this is where I work. I am a seasonal park ranger there. I just love my cubicle!

For more Scenic Sunday photos, click here.

Scenic Sunday

Snow at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This was taken last year on April 26. To see other photos from Scenic Sunday, click here.

Scenic Sunday

Project 365 Day 15

Surprisingly, I was up before sunrise this morning. I was standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, watching the sun come up. There was this beautiful cloud formation, making it all just exquisite. I love my life.

Grand Canyon Star party

Ever been to a Star Party? Well, last night we went to one here at the Grand Canyon. George , a volunteer here at the North Rim, hosted this party over by the rim of the canyon. What a beautiful night!

Of course there was food first, and we all got a chance to practice our social skills. I took chicken and rice so there would be something I knew I could eat. MMMM, lots of good stuff . I have to find Andrea and get her recipe for spinach artichoke dip.

Then as the sun was setting we went over to where George had his huge telescope set up, and we all star-gazed. We had been down to the lodge a couple months ago when he had his telecope set up there for looking at the moon. Wow, what a great view it was, too. But last night, we were viewing Jupiter and Venus. You could see Jupiter’s moons all lined up. It was gorgeous!

Here I am with the campground hosts, Bill and Dee, and Adam. He brought his telescope, too so we could all take a look. I have never seen such huge telescopes. And you know, aside from the Big Dipper and the moon, I have always had trouble finding the different stars and constellations up there. I am truly in awe of anyone who can read the sky like that.

Here is Jim taking a peek at Venus. And look at that fabulous sunset behind him! While we have had some really great sunsets here, this one is definitely one of the best.

One last view of that great sunset. I am really going to miss this place when we leave here. And not just for the canyon and the sunsets, either. The peole we work with here truly are the best!

Hiking The Cliff Springs Trail

If you ever get to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Cliff Springs Trail is one you are definitely going to have to hike. FabGrandpa and I went on that trail today. The day was beautiful, with blue skies, a gentle breeze and the temperature around 65 degrees.

(The beginning of the trail)

The trail starts at the Angel’s Window overlook. It is a half mile to the springs, but you can go beyond that point if you want to. We went about a mile out, then turned around and came back. The views were breathtaking, absolutely beautiful.

(A huge boulder at the side of the trail)

The springs are more like a “drips”, as the water was dripping out of the cliffs onto the ground, making a small pool. Lots of plant life was taking advantage of the moisture there, so it looked cool and green. I can see why ancient Indians sought out this place in the summer as a respite from the boiling sun down in the canyon below.

(The cliffs, wow!)

The drive up the Cape Royal Road to the Angel’s Window Overlook is about 30 miles from the entrance to the park. There are four or five paved parking areas on the drive up so you can take advantage of the awesome view up there. At the end of the road is Cape Royal, where you can take a paved hiking trail out to the gorgeous viewpoints. You can see the Colorado River from this trail.

(Looking up. The cliffs hung over life a roof in places)

I’m going back up there in two weeks, because the Aspens are just starting to change to their blazing gold color, and I want to get some pictures of them at their peak. Of course, I’ll be putting some pictures up here for you to see.

(Looking across the canyon to the other side)

In other news, Becca and Ken have moved into their new apartment in Denver. She has already found a job, just two miles from home at the Williams Sonoma. She worked for them in Norfolk for years, so it was just a matter of interviewing with the manager there. Today they went sightseeing in their new hometown. I can hardly wait to make use of their guest room!

(Taking a rest on a stump)

The FabGrandson Owen had his first birthday on Friday. Judging from the pictures his mother sent me, he loved his birthday cake! And his Dad, Seth, told me he is feeling better than he has ever felt in his life since having his surgery for sleep apnea. His exact words “I feel high just from breathing”.

(Cliff Spring. Indians came here as early as 1100 A.D.)

Emily has gone back to school to get her master’s degree in education. She has her hands full with her teaching job, her own school homework, and her son, The FabGrandson Spencer. He is in first grade and doing pretty good this year.

(Another view across the canyon)

And my stepdaughter, Becky just got back from Mexico on a business trip, a two-day training class. Lucky dog!

(Click on this picture to see the tiny little people up ahead of us, to get an idea of the size of these cliffs)

(In some places, the cliffs where so low you had to crouch down to walk on the trail.)

(A gnarled tree on the edge of the canyon at Walhalla Overlook)

(A bee on a dried thistle flower.)