Grand Canyon 4
After a fantastic day with trips to Ribbon Falls and with a great sunset at Plateau Point (I told you that I always get its name wrong!), we decided that we would go on another day hike. This time we decided to travel out Tonto Trail West.
This is the best moment of the whole trail. Do you see the scrubby desert brush everywhere? That's all there was along this trail. Now don't get me wrong; the scenery was still Grand Canyon beautiful. But the thing about that was this: we could see that same scenery from Indian Garden or from Plateau Point. We didn't have to trek across the desert in the hot sun to see it. So after some travel time (an hour? we didn't wear watches on this trip), we turned back.
After that, we played in the creek. I spent my time moving stones to change the water's path, variously damming the creek and letting the water go. I took special care at crossing points to make the crossings easier for someone with knee problems.
We also played various card games at our camp. I found that poker and blackjack lose their fun when there are no stakes to be won or lost (the point of the game is lost, too). I suppose we could have wagered our food. Yeah, that would have gone well. I can see it, Tara ends up hiking out with all the food and I'm a gaunt, emaciated shell of a human (but at least I'd have the lighter pack). We settled on Go Fish (would have been better with my special fish-shaped cards), Old Maid (what a horrible game), and Memory (thankfully a big gust of wind came through and blew our cards away, giving us a great opportunity to quit the game). I suppose the winner was Rummy. We actually had fun playing Rummy.
In the evening we set off for Plateau Point again. This time the condors didn't make an appearance. In fact, there were few who did. There was a group of 6 who followed us out the trail, but they only stayed for a few minutes before they returned to camp (and this was over an hour before sunset). There was a couple from Switzerland who came out (they camped next to us, mostly because I was wearing my Bayern Munich jersey and they figured I was German; at least I didn't disappoint as I can still speak German). They didn't stay for the sunset either.
There was one other group (the only others who stayed for the sunset) - they cracked us up. They were a group that had hired a guide to take them on what amounted to the same trip we took, except they only spent one night at Bright Angel and one night at Indian Garden. The guide carried a mule's share, set up all the tents, made dinner, cleaned up, and pretty much everything else. They were asking him questions such as, "Can you drive down here?"
It reminded me of the time when we were at the Brookfield Zoo shortly after a 3 year old child fell into the gorilla enclosure -- the ape house was completely inundated with visitors and the wait to get in was over an hour. One annoyed woman muttered, "They need to put that ape in a cage out by the road so everyone gets a chance to see her."
Again, we waited for the sun to set and went back to our campsite.
And it was evening, and it was morning, the fourth day.