Back to Bright Angel, June 19-20, 2012- Part I

I had not been in the Grand Canyon since Penny and I went in June, 1981.  We slept in the open that night.   In 1983, we went for a day trip to the North Rim, but only went about a mile on the North Kaibab.  We took Aram along the Rim Trail in 1996.

About a month ago, I read about the Alzheimer’s Association having a Longest Day campaign, to raise awareness on the plague of dementia.  I didn’t have the money to formally register for the event, but decided to do a hike along the Bright Angel Trail, to make a statement, and maybe better-off people would feel like chipping in, on their own.

So, Tuesday afternoon, I headed north, through Williams and Valle, to the South Rim.  Williams is the southern terminus of the Grand Canyon Railroad, a narrow-gauge system that also goes to  the South Rim, ending at Bright Angel Lodge.

Here are a couple views of Williams.

8232661807_9364100aa9_m

8232660239_4a962b5d5a_m

Williams was named for Bill Williams, a roguish mountain man of the mid- Nineteenth Century, who is also the namesake of nearby Bill Williams Mountain, which I plan to hike over Labor Day weekend.  His name extends to a river which flows from this area into the desert between Wickenburg and Kingman, eventually meeting the Colorado River, south of Lake  Havasu City.

After a nice cup of joe at AmericanFlyer, I headed on to Valle, home of Flintstones’ Bedrock City- a nice diversion for families with very young children.  The outfitters’ supply store in Valle is made up of two pyramids.

8232658675_14b08e5e8d_m

The area from here to Tusayan varies between grassland and pine forest, but mostly has the former.

15179627374_df97e796bf_m

There are occasional buttes, like this one just north of Valle.

8233721116_9f2034020e_m

I got into Tusayan, the service town just southwest of the park, and purchased a few more necessaries, like granola for breakfast and ice for the cooler.  Then, it was off to the campsite.  Like South Carlsbad State Beach before it, Mather Campground was full.  I took my reserved spot, at the tail end of the grounds and jerry-rigged my rodded tent, using twine and string.  It served its purpose and any snickers were kept to a dull roar.  NOTE TO SELF:  Pick up some tent rods next week, before the three-day camp-out.

Here are a few shots around the Mather Campground area:

It’s dry here, so the ponderosas need all the help they can get.

8232655755_555118b0e8_m

At 6:30 PM, Ranger Kim gave a talk on the area’s wildlife.

8233718092_15801e3ab6_m

At 7:15, one of her subjects introduced herself.

8233716502_3c7d9077d6_m

I arrived  at Mather Point, the site of my evening photo shoot, around 7:20.  Here is what awaited.

8232648143_8893e6f783_m

This is Kaibab Limestone, the topmost (for now) layer of the Grand Canyon.

8233708728_127fdf42a4_m

Here is a formation of Navajo Sandstone.

8232641155_ca4d5c3858_m

Various Coconino and Toroweap (Limestone) formations bid farewell to the Sun.

8233703006_903b34216a_m

This ominous looking creature is an outcropping of Kaibab Limestone.

8232635127_8ef6de5c43_m

Coconino Sandstone and Hermit Shale in twilight  were awe-inspiring.  These sights evoke my bird fantasies.

8232627205_e0b8789b5e_m

Sunset at any of the overlooks is a must-see.  Now, for the piece-de-resistance.

8233686274_4a43d129c6_m

This is one of the features that made me fall in love with this canyon.  Next, I will present some of the others.

2 thoughts on “Back to Bright Angel, June 19-20, 2012- Part I

  1. Whenever I see pictures of the canyon, I am always reminded how insignificant we humans are. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance to see it myself. It is an awe inspiring sight to behold.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.