Our last couple of days at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim were wonderful. We befriended Ranger Lori Rome, joining her and her cousin – on Lori’s day off – for a hike and dinner. Later that night we even snagged a free parking spot in the staff area of the park in the driveway of one of Lori’s friends.
Her dogs Soap and Salt have a story of their own. They were rescued by rafters making their way down the Colorado River and were brought to Phantom Ranch, where Lori adopted the dogs and the National Parks Service gave the two dogs the ride of their life: an eight-minute helicopter ride to the rim.
The following day we said our goodbyes and headed out toward the North Rim, stopping at Desert View where we were recognized by one of our readers(!). The 215 mile drive to the North Rim was partly boring and partly visually stunning, particularly the last 100 miles or so when we drove alongside gorgeous mountains, petrified sand dunes, and the Vermillon Cliffs. (I can’t forget our stop for a Navajo Taco on the way.)
After picking up some AWESOME cookies at the Jacob Lake Inn, we overnighted in Jacob Lake (pop. 559) and then ventured off toward what we heard was a sweet boondocking spot in Kaibab National Forest.
And sweet it was. We parked about ten feet from an overlook that gave us an expansive view of the “East Rim” (really Marble Canyon). The Forest Service road that we took to the site was nicely graded and well-maintained, and we met a cool group of trail maintenance volunteers who were traveling part of the Arizona Trail on horseback.
We’re now at the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, which to me is perhaps nicer than the South Rim. It’s much quieter, has a dump station and free wifi, and the Lodge provides comfy couches to sink into while taking in the view of the big, big hole. Here today, maybe tomorrow. We’ll see.
posted by yair