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APRIL 14, 2009   

More Grand Canyon trip pictures & commentary on this site from 4/11 to 4/20. Our travel tips and suggestions at From the Cuyahoga to the Colorado.

Hike on the Dripping Springs Trail

Trail map for Hermit's Rest and Dripping Springs trailsLonger hike today—about 5 miles, almost to Dripping Springs. Joanne lost interest at some point and I continued alone for about 15 minutes more. Turned back when after I went around the 3rd or 4th bend that I'd vowed "just one more bend in the trail and I'll be there."

Sign for Dripping SpringsI just now googled "Dripping Springs, Arizona", and found that I was less than a half mile from our destination when I turned back. Now, in the canyon a half mile—depending on where it is—can be a serious bit of hiking. According to the website, though, the last section of the trail is fairly level.

So I missed "a fern-filled cave trembling beneath a massive amphitheater" and "some of the most fantastic views the Canyon has to offer." Oh well.

View into side canyon, Grand CanyonThe scenery as we hiked made it worth the time and energy even though we never got to Dripping Springs.

Huffin' and puffin"

Walking downhill Joanne goes slowly, favoring her bum knee. On the way back up, though, she sets a brisk pace. In this video you'll hear me huffin' and puffin' as I try to keep up.

Lowered expectations

Today has been a day of adjusting expectations. We were going to get up at 5 a.m. tomorrow to get on the Phantom Ranch wait list, and we were supposed to be at the Backcountry Information Center today at 8 a.m. for the lottery for sites at Indian Gardens campground. But... the weather report calls for 28 degrees, snow and high winds tomorrow, so we're wussing out on the camping, at least.

Lobby of El Tovar Hotel, Grand CanyonNow that we're here I see how more preparation beforehand would have helped. I booked our (expensive) rooms at the historic El Tovar Hotel thinking that it had a soaring lobby built with huge Ponderosa pines. There is a hotel like that...unfortunately it's not the El Tovar. This place is built with logs, OK, and is historic, but honestly isn't that spectacular. Tomorrow we've moving to the less historic and much cheaper Bright Angel Lodge.

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2009 APRIL