Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Rim Trail (Day 11)

Last night, a guy yelled, "WOW" and woke me up. Mule said a mixed gender group arrived, built a campfire, and had a party. I said, "Maybe it was a church group setting up before sunrise service." He replied that the conversation was too rough for that. They kept him awake while I slept peacefully. Then finally a guy came to pick them up and they left. Hmmm, Rattlesnake night before last; party last night. I think I'm sleeping sounder than Mule.

Today, for the first time on this trip, we saw elk with antlers.

There are six lodges on the south rim of the Grand Canyon:

El Tovar, which was designed to resemble an European hunting lodge and which was decorated by Mary Coulter. It has 78 rooms on the canyon rim, two gift shops, and a restaurant. It hosted Albert Einstein and Presidents Ford and Clinton.

Kachina and Thunderbird lodges are on the west side of El Tovar. They are contemporary with 104 rooms.

West of the above two lodges are a soda - ice cream fountain, gift shop, and Bright Angel Lodge. Bright Angel Lodge was designed by Mary Coulter. It has 39 rooms and 50 cabins just a few feet from the rim. It also has restaurants, a gift shop, and a history room.

On the east side of El Tovar is the Hopi building (also designed by Mary Coulter) which contains Native American goods and art gallery. Next to it is the VerKamp Visitor Center which includes a gift - souvenir shop.

There are two additional lodges on the south rim: Maswik (278 motel rooms and rustic summer cabins, lounge, and cafeteria ;1/4 mile from the rim) and Yavapai (358 modern rooms and cafeteria; 1/2 mile from the rim).

This morning, we walked the rim trail from the VerKemp Visitor Center to Bright Angle Lodge (we also walked I yesterday). It's only about 1/4 mile.

Above: VerKemp Visitor Center
Below: El Tavor, which is designed to resemble a European hunting lodge.

Below: The Hopi Building, designed by Mary Coulter

Below: Bright Angel Lodge

Above:. The geological fireplace in the Bright Angel Lodge history room was designed by Mary Coulter and mirrors a cross section of the canyon's geology. The top layer is composed of Kaibab Limestone, 270 million years old and the youngest stone in the Grand Canyon. The layer below it is composed of thin stones of the Paleozoic Layers (270-525 million years old). The layer below the thin stones is the Grand Canyon Supergroup (740-1250 million years old). The Vishnu Schist (1.7 billion years old) from the inner gorge is. single dark stone. The fireplace is typical of Coulter attention to detail. (In some of the buildings, she even added soot and cobwebs.)

After walking that part of the Rim Trail, we decided to walk from Mather Point to Yavapai Point (.7 miles). When we reached Yavapai, we considered either returning to the village or walking the remaining 1.7 miles to El Tovar. We were short on water and the water station at Yavapai didn't work. The bookstore staff at Yavapai said that there was another water station on the trail that may work and so we set out . . . A little concerned. I didn't have a hat.

And, discovered the cold spring water spigot worked!

We continued to walk

And walk. It was very slow due to stopping to look at the vista, read the trail interpretation signs about the rocks, and take pictures.

Sometimes, there were benches . . .

in the sun. When we finally came to one in the shade, it was taken and the couple looked like they had settled in for long leisurely Easter rest.

Then we found some rocks in the shade. Ahhhhhh. Mule's hat is no longer on his head, because he gave it to the hatless person. But, on the other hand, it was originally her hat . . . before he lost two hats in Yosemite and she gave it to him.

We completed the maintained part of the rim trail and I took a picture to prove it.

Walked back down the El Tovar steps

And took the shuttle bus to Market Plaza Deli.

where we bought 2 new tan Columbia hats. (Mule's green one has no ventilation and is intended for rainy weather.) I see now why couple begin to wear matching clothes. They shop at the same store for the same purpose :)

Mishaps: 0

Times we have used our camp stove: 0

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