October 21, 2018

Grand Canyon, AZ

Sunday, September 16, 2018
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Campground: Forest Road 310
Cost per Night: Free (boondocking)
Duration: 1 night
Weather: Sunny and warm

I hope you all aren't tired of seeing my Grand Canyon photos. With digital photography, I no longer print my pictures to store in a photo album, but rather use this blog as an online scrapbook of sorts. I've already deleted hundreds of photos of the first two weeks of this journey, but there are so many that I love and want to save. So, feel free to scroll by quickly, but I recommend clicking on each photo to enjoy the beauty of this amazing national park.

After our delicious breakfast at El Tovar (click here for my previous post), we walked along the rim to the Kolb Studio, which we had heard was a "must-see," not only for the history, but for the spectacular views. Sadly, we weren't able to see the Kolb brothers' original photographs since it was the first day of "Grand Canyon Celebration of Art, Plein Air on the Rim," featuring the works of 25 artists. Click here to watch one of the artists create a beautiful image of the canyon. The Amazing Kolb Brothers Exhibit opens in January, so we'll just have to go back, right?

I love the shadow-play on the canyon.

We came upon this gentleman drawing along the rim 
near the Kolb Studio. It's my favorite photo of this trip!

My happy camper!

Kolb Studio

This was one of the most pushy squirrels I have ever seen. 
He wanted whatever anyone was eating!

He's obviously not starving!

Next time we visit, I would love to take this train 
up to the Canyon from Williams.

While I hiked, Rod stayed in the RV and worked on an editing project.

I found out about this hike after watching one of Less Junk, More Journey's YouTube videos (click here to watch) and knew I wouldn't have time to hike the entire way down to Indian Garden Campground (which is 9 miles round trip and approximately 5-6 hours to complete), but their video inspired me to at least hike the 3-mile round trip portion to the first rest house. I left at 1:00 and it was sunny and pretty hot (92 degrees!), but I had a lot of shade on the trail and plenty of water. There were a lot of people walking back up as I was walking down, but it never felt crowded. I stopped a few times to drink my water, but waited to eat my snacks when I reach the turnaround point. Going down the trail was pretty easy on my lungs, but I could feel it in my calves and quads and whenever I stopped, I could feel my legs trembling a little bit. I rested here and there and when it was time to head back up, I realized I wasn't taking nearly as many pictures. I was too busy concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. It was tough! At one point, as I was taking yet another rest break, a couple walked by and I noticed that the man was wearing a Nebraska Market-to-Market t-shirt. I made a comment about the Husker football team and they stopped and chatted with me for quite a while. Turns out they live in Lincoln and are related to a former Barnes & Noble coworker of mine! I joined them on the hike back up and we had a great time talking about life in Nebraska. It helped me pass the time on the climb and before we knew it, we were back on the South Rim. Phew! What a great feeling to have hiked even just those three plus miles. I was hot & sweaty, but felt great. I headed back to the RV and couldn't believe the number of steps on my watch: 18,559 = 7.55 miles. That may just be a personal record.

Here I go!

Pretty easy going down...

The views from below the rim are so different, but just as pretty.

Thankful for the occasional cloud cover. It was hot!

This is just past the 1.5 mile point 
where I stopped for my snack and more water.

Future goal: Hike 9 miles down 
and back to Indian Garden Campground

Met these Nebraskans (from Lincoln!) along the way.

We made it!

The day's total.
Definitely earned a beer!

Click on photos for larger view.


  1. We thought (for a fleeting moment) about attempting that part of the hike, but my knees have been a problem lately... didn't think they'd take either the trip down or the climb back up. Impressed that you did it during the heat of the day, too!

    Isn't it funny how you meet people along the way? We set up a picnic lunch in a remote area of Canyonland NP and were soon joined by another family from central NY. What a small world!

    Hope you frame the photo of the man drawing near the rim... it is absolutely perfect!!

    1. JoAnn, I was surprised how shaky my legs were going down the trail. There were a lot of areas on the trail that had dirt steps rather than just an even path, so that may be why. If I had started out in the morning instead of at 1pm, I think I could have managed the 6-mile loop, but I was happy to complete the 3+. Seems a little wimpy, since I can manage 4-6 elsewhere, but the heat, altitude and increase in elevation really kicked my butt! Next time I'll be more prepared. :)

      Yes, it really is a small world. Traveling in an RV makes it more so. I wouldn't be surprised if we ran into some of the people we've met on this trip on future trips. And, we hope to meet up with you two someday! :)

  2. I could look at those photos all day long. I'd love to go to the Grand Canyon but I'm petrified of heights so wonder if I could handle it.

    1. Kathy, I think you'd be fine along the rim. It's not as if you're looking out over an edge that drops down forever. There are ledges and ridges, plus lots of protective fencing in areas that could be dangerous. With that said, I had no desire to visit the Skywalk & Eagle Point!

  3. Hmmm...I'm with Kathy - not sure I could take ledges, but maybe. As to the up and down in the hiking, did I tell you that after all my walking on the trails at Bandon Dunes - up and down slipping through the sand, I got a blister under a toenail and lost the toenail? Never in my life have I had that happen. Never. It was from the coming down part when my toes pushed against the end of my shoe. I'm still suffering from 'naked' toes (no polish) while that nail grows back. Ha!

    And 18,000+ steps - good for you!

    1. Kay, no you didn't tell me about that blister! Ouch! I had something similar happen when I was running in a race and the last 1/2 mile was downhill. Really hard on those toenails! Ah, those 18,000+ steps are but a memory now. I'm lucky if I get 2,000/day. Too much sitting and driving and catching up on social media and nowhere fun to walk! :)

  4. These pictures are so beautiful, and they bring back such happy memories for me. I have never seen the Grand Canyon when it didn’t instantly bring tears to my eyes at the wonder of it all.

  5. Meredith, when I was first mapping out this huge trip, I didn't have the GC on our itinerary, wanting to save it for another time when we could spend a week or so camping in the forest somewhere. Someone in one of my travel groups said we were going to be so close, it would be a shame to miss out on it while on this trip. So I added in a few extra days so we could at least spend a little time exploring this national park. I am so glad we did! And I know we'll return (maybe with our granddaughter) in the not too distant future. Like you, the beauty of this place brought tears to my eyes several times and I'm sure when I look back at all these photos, I will be moved all over again.

  6. What a serendipity that you didn’t miss it! Sometimes the things we like the best are the things we least expected to find.

    1. Meredith, my thoughts exactly. And serendipity is one of my favorite words. :)


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