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Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Grand Canyon Volkswalk

I slept good last night, melatonin is great. It's nice to wake up while camping. The sites right around me are filled up but it was still quiet at night since there wasn't the constant traffic up the road like you get when the campground is full.

I took the shuttle to Yavapai Point to do the Grand Canyon volkswalk. I was going to get in one of the nature/geology talks but it was the wrong day so I just started walking. The walk took me west on the rim toward Bright Angel Lodge. It was a great day for a walk. I started out wearing a sweater and breathed in the clear air. There weren't many people on the rim trail and the quiet was great.

I came out into the relative bustle of the lodges. The people were still sparse compared to what it's like in the summer and a little bustle was nice. I had a short rest stop but kept on going past the lodges and the Bright Angel trail and started up toward Maricopa Point. The trail get's rougher here and starts up. I curved around so I could see the village from the trail and kept on going. Everytime you go around a bend the canyon looks different and the shadows are in a different place.

The turnaround place was Maricopa Point and my feet were tired but I wanted to go to the end at Hermit's rest so I caught the next shuttle out there. It seemed like I had walked a long way but it was a much longer way out to Hermit's Rest. I didn't stop there long, just a look over the edge and I used the restroom. It has these strange stalls where you have to climb up to the toilet. You really feel like you're sitting on a throne.

The shuttle doesn't stop at Maricopa on the way back so I got off at Hopi Point and walked back. West of Maricopa the trail isn't paved which is always much more fun. A little too much fun at a few points as it's right on the edge. I had to go to the higher trail (I guess other people don't like heights either!) even though I really tried to stay on the edge until I just froze and crawled back and up. Fun. What is so frustrating is that I see other people just tripping along without a care. I wonder if it's because I've always been a bit unsteady on my feet?

At Maricopa I was back on the paved trail and headed back down. At the Tovar I stopped to look at some gorgeous photos of the canyon. So beautiful. I ate my lunch by the rim and watched a crow getting his picture taken. He knows people eat food here and will feed him. The crows at the campgrounds are just as forward and big.

Then it was back to Yavapai and sitting down. I took the shuttle back to the campground and took off my boots and sat barefoot in the sun. It felt so good.

I finished reading "A Rumor of Bones" by Beverly Connor. Lindsay Chamberlain is working on a dig as a forensic anthropologist when a body is found that is only 50-60 years old instead of several hundred. Then Lindsay is asked to identify bones of a child. Soon she is helping the sheriff look for a serial child molester and handle vandalism at the site. It's a good book. I like archaeology mysteries.

I went out to Yavapai Point for the sunset and saw a good one. Not a great one. It had been cloudy most of the day and I hoped that would help with the sunset, but it was only good. I only came from Tucson. I feel sorry for the people from Japan and Germany with all their equipment who draw just a poor or good sunset instead of a great one.

Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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