A winter weekend at the Grand Canyon … 119 days until we hike

by Jean on February 3, 2013

2.1.13 GC

Whoa, the Rim gets a little icy in the winter!  Notice the safe distance I stood back while taking my 3,000th photo of the Bright Angel Canyon (aka “The Crack”) where we will hike in less than 4 months.

A winter weekend at the Grand Canyon = ahhhhh, peaceful.  My husband and I just ran up to GC for a couple of nights for a much needed break.   Northern Arizona is gorgeous in the winter.   Snow covers the ground, and the tourists are no where in sight.   You feel like you have the place to yourself, and you basically do.  At sunset there were probably 10 people on the Rim around us, but they all disappeared after the sun went down.  On any summer’s night, there may be hundreds just standing out by your lodge.  During the day we walked between Bright Angel and the El Tovar and saw maybe 5 people  (and they all said hello).

We went outside each night to sit on the benches and watch the stars, one of our favorite things to do.   No one else was there, we had the theater to ourselves.  As usual on so many Arizona nights, the Milky Way was clear and bright while Orion was lost in the midst of the other stars.  Spectacular.  The inner Canyon was inky dark and I bet we could see only about 10 feet down.  There was no moonlight to suggest that anything at all was below us.   I love to be there when it so mysterious, when not one rock is visible.

Despite going to the Grand Canyon regularly for the past 10 years, there are still places on the Rims we have not seen and we actively explore something new each time.  This trip we went to the Yavapai Geology Museum at Yavapai Point.  I did not know you could see the North Kaibab Bridge from there.  I’ll have to look up next time we cross and wave to the folks up in the lookout!  (JK about the wave)  We also drove 8 miles out to Hermit’s Rest and saw Mary Coulter’s incredible fireplace.  Now THAT is a Fireplace.  It intrigued us enough to buy a book about her and wow, what a firecracker/trail blazer she was.  Her fingerprints are still all over the South Rim, thank goodness.

I don’t know how many hours I have spent looking down into the Canyon, or how many photos I have taken over the years.  Way too many to count, that’s for sure.  My husband tells me with great frequency that he falls in love with me all over again, each day.  It is the greatest thing I ever hear, and the deepest love I have ever felt.  I have to borrow his phrase because in a way I feel like that about the Grand Canyon on these trips:  I fall in love with it all over again, each day I am there.

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