Grand Canyon, pt. 2

On Thursday morning I awoke at 4 AM and packed my camp in the dark, worried of course about bears.  I drove into the park, readied my pack and started hiking the 9.5 mile trail to the Bright Angel Campground.  The sun was rising.  At the trailhead:

Along the way, I met a deer:

And made it finally to the mighty Colorado:

Then I crossed this bridge:

And made it to the camp before 10 AM.  The base of the canyon is a desert.  100 degrees in the shade.  A stream runs through the camp.  The water is freezing cold.  Neither sitting in it nor standing in the sun is comfortable.  I spent most of my time sitting in the canteen at the Phantom Ranch, a lodge near the campground.  They have filtered water and running toilets and snacks and shirts and beer sold at New York prices.  Not bad, considering it all got there on the backs of mules.  One of the staffers explained her lifestyle: “I hike out, I go shoe shopping, I go to Vegas, I’m like everybody else, but the rest of the time I live down here.”  Charming place.

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