The Peak of the Canyon-Part II

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October 6, 2019, Jacob Lake-

I made a silent promise to my long-departed maternal grandfather, whom I never met in this life, but who has appeared to me, a few times, that I would not give in to a more irrational level of acrophobia.  He has been one of my spirit guides, all these years, exhorting me to face life and overcome obstacles.  He and Grandma imparted that message to my mother and her siblings; an examination of their lives bears out  that exhortation’s fruits.

So, as I readied for visits to three of the overlooks at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, there was no trepidation at engaging the heights of this wondrous place.  The North Rim exists at the highest point of the western Colorado Plateau. Had the canyon never been carved, one would face a 2,000 foot increase in elevation, from Tusayan to  the site of Grand Canyon Lodge.

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My first order of business, after looking around the Lodge for a bit, was a walk out to Bright Angel Point.  As today was one of the most gorgeous Sundays in quite a while, there were dozens of people, of all ages, walking about or at least lounging on the Lodge’s patio, which also offers views of the canyon below.

Here are a few of those scenes available to the sedentary.

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I then availed myself of a couple of overlooks, close to the Lodge.

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Bright Angel Point involves a fairly strenuous hike, mainly due to the elevation.  Those with pulmonary issues do best to stick to the Lodge area. An intrepid woman using trekking poles made it half-way, before concluding it would be a mistake to continue.  There were several of us late middle-agers who made the walk, though, along with folks as young as five.

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It was at the above guard fence that a little girl wanted to climb up, for  “a better view”.  You’d best believe her mother’s hands were firmly on her, for that exercise in bravery!

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The various striations in the sandstone clearly show the levels it has taken, to build this most magnificent of geologic records.

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In the next post, Point Imperial and Cape Royal offer a northeastern perspective of the Canyon’s wonders.

 

 

Trailheads and Trails, Volume 1, Issue 20: Walnut Canyon, Flagstaff

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August 31, 2014, Flagstaff- I spent Sunday of Labor Day weekend, nearly a month ago, walking and re-acquainting myself with two Flagstaff-area National Monuments that pertain to the Sinagua people, who were ancestors of the Hopi, Zuni and Tewa people of today.  I have been to both Walnut Canyon and Wupatki National Monuments, several times, but not since Penny passed on.  It was time to make another visit.

I went to Walnut Canyon first, as it is the more archaeologically-sensitive and needs to be shuttered and locked up, each night.  The centerpiece is the Island Trail, which takes visitors to a “sky island”, separate from the Colorado Plateau.  It is there that most of the Sinagua ruins are to be found.  The rest, in cliffs, to the east and

west of the sky island, can be easily seen from there, but are not accessible to the public.  First, is the view of the canyon, from the Visitors’ Center.

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The next several shots are of the Sky Island and its ruins.  It is my practice to walk around an area clockwise.  Most people prefer to go counterclockwise, so I find myself coming across more folks coming from the other direction.

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The overhangs made natural places of refuge, and many were used as open-air kitchens, hence the soot marks that are visible in some scenes.

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This informational sign describes the snowberry, a medicinal plant, used by the Sinagua for treating gastrointestinal ailments.

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Now for some views across the canyon, to the dwellings outside Sky Island.

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Lastly, Mother Nature throws in some rock formations that just seem to have personality.

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Walnut Canyon may be said to have been one of the safer spots for the Sinagua, given its relative inaccessibility in pre-Columbian days.

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NEXT:  Wupatki