March 2014

We made it back after a long hiatus. This time we took Herb's youngest with us for his first and quite possibly his last trip!

So, what theme could I come up with this time? Well, odd things in the canyon - other than the three of us! It actually turned into a mix of odd things and panoramic photos. I didn't bring my usual camera with me, I used my Galaxy Siii phone. The camera in this phone is rather amazing and it has this automatic panoramic feature! All I need to do was put the camera in panoramic mode and take the first photo. Moving slowly, the camera will automatically take the next photo. If I have the camera too high, or too low, it'll warn me. Once I've corrected, the phone takes the next photo. It can even detect when it's gone a full 360 degrees! Anyway, lets get going!

Herb and I pretty much have this trip down to a science. We don't fill the tank prior to departure - we know exactly how much gas we need to make it to Arizona, where gas is $0.30/gal cheaper. Man, they must have a lot of refineries out there! With a bet on some DQ my calculations were correct, we hit the road. That is until....


Danny's freaking out that he's going to have to push us to the next gas station but no, we made it - BUT we're still in CA. While I was putting 3 gals into the Taurus, they enjoyed their DQ.


3.14159 miles later, we make it to AZ.


It's a very scenic drive to the Grand Canyon.

Even more scenery...


Still more..........................

Jackpot!


After all our frequent stayer points at the Williams Super 8, we got a room with a view!


Morning always arrives quickly when you're about to hike the canyon. Even in March, it can be cold while waiting for the express bus.


Normally it's SRO on the bus, but not too many people on this particular Saturday morning.


Selfie at the South Kaibab trail head.


Panoramic standing at the South Kaibab trail head.


Looking down the South Kaibab trail.


Look across the the canyon from the trail. I'm not sure how many billions of years can be seen in this photo.


The first odd thing spotted. A bar of steel inside some kind of steel shell hammered into the side of this rock. It was way out of reach so I'm not sure what it was used for, or how it even got there in the first place.


Danny and Herb taking it all in. Probably the best view of the entire hike.


Da view...


Why yes, that's where we're headed.


Interesting spot for a tree.


We started somewhere up there.


Selfie somewhere on the South Kaibab trail.


Panoramic about a quarter of the way down the trail.

Shadow man...


Watched this young couple and their sleeping baby out on the trail. I thought that was not a good idea to hike to the bottom. They didn't, they turned around at Cedar and the young man was really chatty on the way up!

Yes, we're headed that way.


Someone is really going to be upset they dropped these!


We've arrived at Cedar Ridge. That's my pack. Wasn't warm at all and rather calm winds.

Looking out over Cedar Ridge.


Here's another odd piece of rebar made into an eye bolt. I guess it could be used to tie off something.

Yet another panoramic.


Look at that! Why it's President George Washington!!



Herb on the double-wide mule trail.


My very early relatives, the start of the Schoonover family tree!



@Skeleton Pt


The transition from the light colored dirt to the dark signifies about 1.5 billion years.


That's where we're going...


Smaller panoramic photo.


Please stay to the right!


This is a 360 degree panoramic photo. The Siii knows when it's gone a full 360.



Brand new Tonto sign. We were the only one's there. Normally it's pretty busy. Yes, there's a Tonto West, we'll get there much later in the day.


View from Tonto.


I spotted something out near a cistern. This bag had a few bottles of PowerAde and water. I haven't called the number on the bag. Not sure I should.


Colorado River coming into view.


Herb and Danny RFM.


Yes, we're headed to that bridge. Black bridge, one of the coolest places in the canyon.


The Siii takes really good close-ups. It felt warm out, but I wouldn't think it was 90 degrees. I wasn't sure how accurate the thermometer was in this watch but I've compared it to other thermometers and it's within a degree most times.


Yes, we'll be hiking those trails. Boats on the beach too. Sometimes they're there, sometimes not.


Nice view of the Colorado River.


Now this bolt is rather cool. I think I'll take a picture of it.


Right turn Clyde!


The tunnel, from here, it's all just one hill of any significance!


Me taking a picture of the front of Danny & Herb & Herb taking a picture the back of Danny & the front of me. Get that??


Rather warm down by the river and it's only March. Makes you wonder what it's like in August. We're less than a mile from Phantom Ranch.


Danny & Herb at Phantom. They're smiling because of the Lemmy!


Can you spot the gray fox in this photo??


Oh, here it is! S/He was pouncing and eating lizards. Have never seen a fox before - other than my wife. :) Watching it for awhile, it has some cat like mannerisms. Didn't try to pet it, probably not a good idea.


On our way out, a group of mule riders arrived.


Silver bridge. The coolest spot in the canyon. It's fun to make the bridge swing too!


Upstream view of Black bridge.


Herb's wearing his Silver bridge cammo - can hardly tell he's there.


Another right turn Clyde!


Upstream photo of both bridges.


Cool group of rocks. I think that'll be the name of my next band.


River trail looking downstream.


Nice downstream river photo.


Yes, we're going up there.


Under all that green is a hidden waterfall.


We didn't tell Danny that's where the bears live.


Yeah, we hiked up that.


Danny and Herb still RFM up the BAT.


Yes, we're headed up there somewhere.


That was about it for the photos. I filled up both the phone and the memory card. Hiking to Indian Garden's, we found a nylon jacket, with what looked like expensive prescription glasses. I stashed them in my pack, sometimes at the Bright Angel trail head, people will ask if anyone has seen something they've dropped. Sometimes were even asked have you seen my friend/brother/sister/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend. We spent about an hour at Indian Gardens. Normally we don't stay all that long but it was such a nice day. There was an older gentleman laying down on one of the benches. A few minutes later, one of the rangers arrived, and started talking with him. He wasn't sure he could make it out of the canyon, he'd been out all day, and it was much harder than he thought to hike out. Plus he said he lost his jacket & glasses. I said no you didn't, and pulled them out of my pack. The ranger got him a tent to stay overnight, and a call to his wife that he's OK.

We left Indian Gardens and made our way up to the 3 mile rest house. No one was there, other than us. We took another break before heading out. Did the same at the 1.5 mile rest house. We ended up doing a couple of hours of hiking in the dark. I really enjoyed that part. By the time we got to the trail head, we could hear the wind just howling above us. The night sky was totally amazing, no lights, near 8000' altitude. We got back to the car around 9 PM - the latest we've ever finished. Our favorite restaurant in Williams closes at 9, so we had to settle for McDonalds in Tusayon.

We skipped Denny's and had breakfast at our favorite restaurant Sunday morning.


After that we hit the road home and let the rigor mortis set in. I didn't use all the photos I took. You can view them here.