Tuesday, July 8, 2008

MIA Update

Hello to everyone out there! I know I have been pretty MIA as of recently. Things are pretty crazy right now. The wedding is a month and a day away, so we have been trying to get things ready for that. I am also trying to get a NPS paleo network report I have been working on a bit closer to finished. My computer that crashed in May is now recovered (!), I will definitly have to write more about that later since it cost a tenth of what Dell wanted to charge me!! Traveling has also been a big piece of life. John and I went down to Grand Canyon for the 4th (more on that below) and I am working out of town right now on a paleo survey. This weekend we are heading to Denver to do more wedding things! So, life it pretty nuts right now!

John and I headed down to Grand Canyon last Friday. It was nice to go on a road trip together (even though my iPod is now trying to die - not sure why all my electronics are freaking out on me). I went down some roads in southeastern Utah/northeastern Arizona I had never been down and got to see Mexican Hat, Utah and Monument Valley!

Once we got to Grand Canyon we were not surprised to see it flooded with vacationers - RVs and people everywhere. We found our campsite (thank goodness you can make reservations now!) and got all set up and our dinner cooked. For the number of people in the campground it was not too noisy.

We woke up bright(!) and eary to start getting our packs ready for the hike down the Bright Angel trail. John had applied for a backcounty permit so we could stay at the Indian Garden campground about 4.6 miles down the Bright Angle trail. When we woke up to rain we were not to sure about the hike down. That, plus my recent battle with allergies, which has left me a huffy-puffy mess when it comes to hiking, made us decided to can our plans to stay at the campground. It was to bad, but we did not give ourselves enough time to get down, back up and drive home in a 2 day period. Instead, John and I hiked together down to the mile and a half mark (which is still 1140 feet of elevation change). From there John continued down to the campground and then came back up and we hiked out together. It was a tough hike, with lots of switchbacks. I could not believe the number of people on the trail - and people who were not dressed for it or prepared, water wise. It was rather disturbing.

We spent the rest of the trip being tourist (but not 'torons') and enjoying the overlooks. We even got to see two condors! It was rather annoying to see the number of people that just cold not read the signs telling them to stay on the path and not go near the edge - I guess many park visitors can't or just don't, read. Highly annoying. But over all the trip was really great. We had quite a bit of rain, but it was still nice and not as hot as it could have been. Gas was also really expensive, as one might have guessed, although I guess it is just as much there as it is in California. (more trip pictures here)

Back to the real world now.


Silver Fox said...

Some great pictures! The Bright Angel Trail is a long one, especially going back up, which I've never done.

Mike Keesey said...

I could not believe the number of people on the trail - and people who were not dressed for it or prepared, water wise. It was rather disturbing.

Well, the canyon's bigger than the human mind can comprehend, so unexperienced people tend not to act very sensibly in it. I remember on my first visit (on a whim during a road trip), I thought I'd hike out to a certain rock and then head back. I got 1/3 of the way there and turned back, realizing that the canyon looked enormous but was actually far bigger than it looked.

Excellent cautionary (and chilling!) book: Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon