We made it up a little bit earlier today and didn’t spend quite as long getting ready before heading out at around 1030. Our first stop was just around the corner at the railway line crossing, because the train was using the line to turn around.
We drove to the visitor centre where we parked and got the shuttle bus to the South Kaibab trailhead. South Kaibab is one of our favourite trails here. We set off, enjoying the views, passing Ooh-Aah Point and reached Cedar Ridge after an hour.
We spent 50 minutes or so enjoying the ridge, walking right to the far end, soaking up the view, taking photographs, dodging squirrels, spotting a Canyon blueJay (???) and relaxing before starting the climb back up.
The first section is quite steep and it always catches us off guard – you instantly feel extremely unfit! The rest isn’t really that much easier, but you settle in to a (very slow) rhythm and keep plodding onward and upward.
The mule supply train passed us whilst we were on the way up. They are very well trained and very resilient animals. We also spotted some birds circling on the thermals near the cliffs. Maybe hawks???
Once back up at the trailhead we watched the elk try to get water from the bottle filling station (the water is turned off for the winter season, but they have obviously learnt to expect it). We then boarded the bus back to the visitor centre.
After a trip to the General Store, we went back to the room to relax and shower, before walking over to the rim for sunset.
Then it was time for dinner at the Bright Angel Lodge, which is always more upmarket and substantial than at Maswik. Just as well, as we had missed out on lunch today.
After that, we tried some night photography, but the moon has been getting bigger (and therefore brighter) during the trip. This made it hard to get enough exposure to see the stars without the rest of the picture looking like broad daylight. Still, we gave it a go.
And then it felt like bedtime… not yet 8pm! Time for a bit of blogging and TV first.
(Editor’s note: bird identification would be appreciated… but obviously you will need to wait for me to have sufficient Wi-fi to load the photos!)