Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 14, 2013 - South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park

We broke camp, and after stopping at the Jacob Lake Inn for a bakery goods, we were on our way to the South Rim at 6:55 am. The bakery doesn't put out fresh baked goods until around 10, so we settled for an apple and blueberry turnover from yesterday. Even at a day old, they we're very good. The had a large selection of great looking cookies. We found this store to have the best selection of Indian jewelry and I finally found a fetish necklace, after having looked for 3 years.

Highway 89A quickly descended from the tall pines and were back in juniper and pinion. Just as quickly we descended to the flat plains. 

Cliff Dwellers Lodge

We stopped for Mark take photos of the large rocks at Cliff Dwellers Lodge, looks like they must do river trips out of Lee's Ferry from this area. The Navajo were just beginning to set up there trinket tables. I found I no longer need my warm slippers and sweatshirt from the chilly morning as the temperature has risen 20 degrees in an hour, from 46 when we left Jacobs Lake to 70! Highway 89A skirted the Vermillion cliffs, until we crossed the Little Colorado and once again entered the Navajo Nation.

Little Colorado River Canyon Viewpoint from the highway

As we turned onto Hwy 64 we pulled into this viewpoint of the little Colorado River Canyon, only to find you needed to pay a donation to enter it.


As we continued toward the park, all the view points had stands similar to this, not yet open at 11:10, which we now knew was 10:10 Navajo time.

Desert View, our first view of the south rim

Upon climbing into the National Park we are once again in the Juniper and Pinon forests.

Watch tower at desert view.

View from Desert View

Went on ranger lead hike to view Tusayan Ruins and learned about the Hopi culture. 

Tusayan Ruins

This site was discovered around 1900 and dates back to AD 1185.  It was built by the Kayenta Anasazi, the Pueblos. The name Tusayan is from the Spanish nomenclature of the district, and the meaning has been lost.  It was discovered around 1900 and excavated around 1930.  It's unusual because it was deliberately left partially unexcavated, which is often done today, but was unique at that time.  

Tsayan Ruin Storage Rooms

The number of rocks excavated indicate that there were probably 2 stories on this structure.  It was occupied by 25 to 30 people at a time.  

Tsayan kiva

This dwelling had 2 kivas, which I learned was the Pueblo term used for the room similar to what the Navaho call a hogan.  This site is believed to be the western most site of the Kayenta Anasasi.


Approaching the populated area of the park we stopped at Grandview for the grand view!

We finally found our way around the maze of roads in Grand Canyon Village and located our campground, Mather.

Site #8 at Mather Campground

After settling in our campsite we walked down to the shower/laundry room to use the WiFi. As Mark sat down on the bench his back went out! Later at the campsite he decided he'd make it out to one of the lookouts on Hermits Rest to shot sunset. We were getting water and snacks together, I tried to open the camper door and it had slammed shut sticking the lock in a locked position. The key did no good. After much trial and error Mark was able pull out the cylinder for the lock and open the door with a screw driver. Things went back together and we were on our way, about an hour later than planned. We managed to transfer buses and find our way to the shuttle to Hermits Rest only to find a long line awaiting the bus out for sunset. The light was going, so we settled by the trail head to Bright Angel Trail in front of Bright Angel lodge.

Bright Angel View

By the time we arrived back at our campsite it was around 8 and we had to cook dinner in the dark. Mark's better back was now much worse, he had a difficult time sliding up into bed. He went to sleep with ice on his back and hope for a better back in the morning.

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