Stopping in a pastrami-crazy Wasco for lunch on the long drive to the Grand canyon from San Francisco
It's a dive but the food was good and cheap!
Our rental Durango barely squeezed in (packs loaded on the top)
Hmm...food theme! Dinner in Williams, an hour from the Grand Canyon
Mmmm....margaritas and beer.
We spent the night at the Yavapai Lodge on the South Rim
It's a gear explosion as I try to sort out what I really need
Paige and Dave talk to the ranger and pick up our backcountry permit.
Everyone has to be honest here - they have a scale for pack weights!
Should have weighed them on the way out, too. Lots of the weight was food and drinks. My pack felt half empty on the hike out.
Waiting for the shuttles
We left the car at the Bright Angel trailhead where we would be exiting in six days, then took the shuttle to South Kaibab for the hike down
On the bus - it's a beautiful spring day on the rim.
We had been warned about ice on the trail and were carrying crampons and shoe chains
Finally on the South Kaibab trail and heading down into that big hole in the ground
Many people here, but the further down you get the fewer people you see
The views as we dip below the rim
That's the Tonto Plateau - we can't even see the bottom of the canyon yet
Looking back to the start of the South Kaibab
The switchbacks came down the gulley in the middle of the photo
Our first mule-train encounter.
Traffic jam at Ooh Aah Point
Many dayhikers turned around here
Tonto Plateau and Zoroaster Temple on the north side of the canyon
We'll be seeing a lot more of Zoroaster in the next few days
Looking back up the South Kaibab from Ooh Aah Point
Still can't see the bottom of the canyon, although the big crack running down the middle of this photo is close
The Cedar Ridge rest is coming up
O'Neil Butte also
The S. Kaibab is wide to accomodate the hikers and mules
David photographs the canyon below
John spots for us as we come down an icy stretch of trail
Cedar Ridge - time for lunch!
Cool tree at Cedar Ridge
The gang at lunch
Paige, Dave, John, and David taking advantage of a small piece of shade
I can see the Tonto trail below us
The tonto trail runs along the relatively flat Tonto Plateau
O'Neil Butte and the second mule train of the day
We're not even half way down and it's getting warmer - david is in shorts now.
Tonto Plateau and Zoroaster Temple
Wildflowers - to be identified
Our first view of the Colorado
We can also see the trees where Bright Angel Campground is, our destination for the night
Paige explores a cave along the trail
Down, Down, Down
My calves hurt for three days after this trail
Below Skeleton Point (and the cave)
We're about half way there, still over 2000 feet to descend.
Typical cliff-hugging trail
We drop into the Redwall layer of rock
See the teeny hikers on the trail? The scale of this place is mind blowing
Getting closer to the Colorado and Bright Angel
But there is no such thing as as-the-crow-flies distances here - we still have a lot of zigzagging to do to get down there
The trail hugs the canyon walls
Rafts at Boat Beach
The Colorado, Silver Bridge, and Phantom Ranch outbuildings
The Bright Angel Campground is in the Cottonwood Trees
Paige and Zoroaster Temple