They're Baaaaack!
They're baaaaack!!

Yes, for only the second time, we've made the GC trip twice in one year, and it was a doozey of a trip! Perfect weather, very little wind, rather cool temps though. Without further ado, here we go!

Herb and I usually have this long discussion - which route to take to get to the Grand Canyon - 15 to the 40 or 8 to the 95 to the 40. We went 15 to the 40.

Interstate 40 Miles

A tad difficult to read but the 40 ends in Wilmington North Carolina, 2554 miles away. We were only driving about 20% of that distance. North Carolina will have to wait.

You Are Here

Made a pit stop just east of Barstow. We really got concerned because "they" knew where we were but we didn't know who "they" were! Matter of fact, "they" wanted to know where we were during this entire trip! Watch the slide show - "they" were using aircraft to keep track of us, even on the way home!

Big Brother Spying on Us

Continuing on though...

Colorado RiverAZ
GC Sign
GC Sign
The drive was flawless.

We knew we were getting close since the moon was rising and the trees were green.

Downtown Williams, AZ
Downtown Williams, Route 66.

Williams AZ, Super 8 Motel
Our preferred home away from home. They're really getting to know us here.

Room with a view
The view from our room.

4:30 AM came rather quickly. During our April trip, we missed the first hiker's express bus to the South Kaibab trail head. We didn't want to miss the bus, so it was an early start. Our arrival at the bus stop wasn't without excitement though!

Morning Elk
As I was walking to the bus stop, I heard this noise to my right. This bull elk appeared about 15 feet away from me! The antlers were so big, my outstretched arms couldn't touch the ends, they were wider than the car! It's a little dark because with a large beast with even larger antlers is walking towards me, I didn't want the flash to fire. He kept approaching and I walked backwards towards the bus stop. I figured he couldn't fit in there if he charged me - it's amorous time of year for elk!

Elk walking away
The elk made a left to walk up towards the rim. I turned my flash on and took this photo. Click on the photo; If you look closely you can see just how big the antlers are!

The bus ride was pretty good. All seats were taken but no one was standing.

South Kaibab trail head
South Kaibab Trail.

Herb ready to go
Me ready to go

View from South Kaibab Trail Head
View from South Kaibab Trail Head

Heading down South Kaibab Trail
Heading down South Kaibab trail

South Kaibab Sunrise
Sunrise on the South Kaibab Trail

Appropriatly named. First full view of Grand Canyon

South Kaibab Trail Sunrise
Sun slowly rising

Pair of Crows
Pair of crows - I was three feet away when I took this shot.

The Shadow Knows
The shadow knows....

Cedar Ridge Rest Stop
In the center of the photo is Cedar Ridge Rest Stop

Cedar Ridge Temp
Arrival at Cedar Ridge

Cedar Ridge Rest Stop

Leaving Cedar Ridge
Leaving Cedar Ridge - more South Kaibab Trail

South Kaibab - Skeleton Point
Skeleton Point - that's what's under the rocks.

South Kaibab - "Snake Trail"
Yeah, it's as bad as it looks

Herb Looking for Gold on South Kaibab
Herb went looking for gold.

South Kaibab - Half Way Point
Halfway to Phantom Ranch!!

South Kaibab - Tonto Rest Stop
Tonto Rest Stop

Grand Canyon Rock Squirrel
Rock Squirrel - Gimme sumthen mista!!

Colorado River
First view of the Colorado River

Phantom Ranch from high above
Phantom Ranch from high above.

 Herb looking through a hole we've never seen before.

Mark looking through hole
Me looking through the hole after Herb looked through the hole we've never seen before.

Grand Canyon Black Bridge
First view of Black Bridge. We'll be crossing it in about an hour.

South Kaibab Trail approaching Black Bridge
The reason why it takes an hour to reach Black Bridge - still a bunch of trail to go.

South Kaibab Mule Train
Oh, and waiting for a mule train too. We spoke with the lead rider. There's two mule trains a day leaving Phantom Ranch. One with people, one with their luggage and trash.

Right turn
Right turn to Black Bridge

South Kaibab Black Bridge
Black Bridge up close.

Tunnel to Black Bridge
There's a tunnel you have to walk through to reach Black Bridge.

Black Bridge Tunnel
When you walk through the tunnel, you'll end up on the other side! Totally amazing!!

Upstream view of Colorado River
Upstream view of Colorado River from Black Bridge.
Black Bridge Colorado downstream
Downstream view of Colorado River from Black Bridge.

Grand Canyon Deer
On our way into Phantom Ranch, we just about tripped over these two deer.

Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch
A further way up the trail, we finally arrive at Phantom Ranch. Great welcoming party too!

Phantom Ranch
Here we are just relaxing at Phantom Ranch. While taking a rest, Herb and I did the usual, ate and had a few glasses of Lemmy. Lemmy is lemonade and without a doubt, the best lemonade ever. We stayed about 45 minutes before heading out.

Phantom Ranch Departure
Herb leading the way to Silver Bridge

Phantom Ranch Creek
Creek that runs next to Phantom Ranch

Grand Canyon Silver Bridge
Herb approaching Silver Bridge

Grand Canyon Silver Bridge
Crossing Silver Bridge

Silver Bridge upstream Colorado River
Looking upstream at the Black Bridge from the Silver Bridge
Silver Bridge downstream Colorado River
Downstream view of Colorado River from Silver Bridge

Silver Bridge to Bright Angel Trail
Right turn to Bright Angel Trail

Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail River side
Anyone home??

Final view of Silver Bridge
Final look back at Silver Bridge.

The river trail is a nice break between all the downhill of South Kaibab and the impending uphill of Bright Angel.

Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail left turn
This is where the Bright Angel Trail takes a left turn and the uphill begins.

Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail water crossing.
Plenty of water crossings on the Bright Angel Trail

Bright Angel Trail uphill
As you can see, the uphill is just beginning!

Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail
Herb overtaking a 20-something youngster on the trail.

Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail
Yes, we hiked up that trail; that's the good news. Bad news is, almost 4 miles more to go!

Bright Angel Trail waterfall
Waterfall on the Bright Angel Trail

Indian Gardens, just a hop, skip, and a jump away!

Indian Gardens 4.5 miles to the top
Puts us about halfway to the top.

Bright Angel Trail
More uphill, it's just one though.

Bright Angel Trail
Looking back down the Bright Angel Trail into the canyon. Sunset is approaching.

Bright Angel Trail
Grand Canyon is getting smaller.

Bright Angel Trail - 3 mile rest house
3 mile rest house - that means there's 3 miles to the top!

Bright Angel Trail - 3 mile rest house
Looking back at 3 mile rest house and the uphill trail.

Bright Angel Trail
Center of picture is Indian Gardens, with trail on the right, and sunset quickly approaching.

Bright Angel Trail
Climbing still, on the far left is Indian Gardens with plenty of trail we just hiked.

Bright Angel Trail moon rise
Moon rise over the Bright Angel Trail.

Bright Angel Trail moon rise
Moon was playing hide and seek with us.

Bright Angel Trail Head - the finish
Bright Angel Trail trail head, still smiling, the best climb out we've ever done. Felt like we could have done it again!

Williams Arizona is growing up - they now have a Denny's. It's nice to have breakfast there. On the way out there was this sign:

Denny's sign

Heading Home
Heading home

Grand Canyon - October 2012

All 452 photos in a slideshow.

Until next time...