Posts Tagged ‘Grand Canyon’

Grand Canyon: North Rim

January 11, 2011

The drive to Grand Canyon, through southern Utah and northern Arizona, is long and empty.  On the way, you’re likely to remark that Bryce is more beautiful than anywhere else and to doubt your earlier, novice impressions of Grand Canyon.  And then you get there and wearily clamor to the edge and stop remarking altogether, your jaw dropped too low and your voice squelched.  If you recover from that initial shock, you may find yourself quoting the late president Teddy Roosevelt, declaring Grand Canyon “one of the great sights which every American if he can travel at all should see.”  At least, that’s how it went for me.

I mean, look:

I don’t have enough megapixels for this kind of sweep.

Selby and I talked to a most-knowledgeable ranger who outlined all the best, secret camping spots in the Kaibab National Forest, which surrounds the park.  We ended up driving forty minutes down a dirt-rock road, my Hyundai Accent vibrating all the way and my CD skipping, to clearing bordering a hardly-accessed section of the park.  You’re not technically allowed to camp in the park without a permit, so we pitched our tent on the forest-side of the fence.  It was dark when we arrived and we were hungry and cold and frustrated by the drive.  So we setup camp by the light of high beams and Selby cooked steaks on the campfire like a hunter gatherer (with a grocery store).  In the morning, we made coffee and walked forty feet into the wood, where we stood on the canyon edge, not a soul in sight, our voices once again squelched.  Not bad.

Here are some photos not taken there:

If you’re bold, you can sit on the rim:

If you’re even bolder, you can do this:

Or, really pushing it, this: