North Rim of the Grand Canon, Cape Royal

I woke up tired this morning, which is never a good thing.  I’m not sure if it was the five mile hike at altitude, or the altitude, or staying up late with excellent companions, or being too cold and not being smart enough to realize it during the night, or all of the preceding, but I was tired.  The hot showers were excellent but I didn’t wake up like I anticipated.  I was really glad that we had filled up with water yesterday afternoon.

I ran the generator and charged the batteries.  We are doing well with the house batteries, but it’s looking more and more like having something solar on the roof will allow me to run the generator at a minimum and save the gas for hot water and heat. Pancakes were the entrée for breakfast, but it wasn’t until I sat down that I realized that I forgot to cook any sausages. Duh!

Even after a shower my head smells like dust or dirt.  I don’t know how the people in the 1930’s dust bowl survived. The dust isn’t terrible but it’s on everything inside the RV.  It will take a week of really good cleaning to get this place back to some semblance of presentability.

While Louise did the dishes, I started some writing, and although I’m behind and don’t know the last time I posted anything, for there simply is no connectivity hereabouts, I wasn’t as behind as I thought.

Everything was broken down and we drove over to site thirty and stopped by to say good bye to our guests the night before.  They are on the homebound leg and have only one additional night of camping.  While we were saying goodbyes and talking, we saw some kind of strange ferret animal.  When we later stopped at the Visitors Center it was determined that it was a long tailed weasel.  The rangers at the interpretative center had not seen one, and this was the first picture brought in.  For the day overall, it was a possible condor, some vultures, a mountain bluebird, buffalo and buffalo calves and mule deer browsing on the meadows.

We said our last goodbyes and set off to the Visitors center.  On he way we stopped at the dump station, took care of the necessary.  There had been a big sign at the entrance of the park, and again at the entrance to the campground that announced that there were no vacancies at the campground, but I lost track of the empty campsites and it was past 11 AM, I think.  For further explanation, please read a previous post regarding tome zones in this part of the neighborhood.

We took off to see Cape Royal take in the views along the way.  All the lookouts, turnouts and spots large enough to park a 24 foot RV were fair game and we tried to use them all.  We stopped at the Walhalla Overlook and had lunch.  It’s a great site with a view of the Colorado River and the surrounding canyon.  All the Navaho lands are off to the east, and thought I would take a short nap.  Louise had a great view of the Canyon and I thought that it would be a quick cat-nap. The nap turned into a two hour plus snooze fest, and at the end I felt much better, but still very tired.

The remaining drive to Cape Royal was very short, and it appears that the interpretative trail is brand new.  There is a new blacktop walkway with nice signs that describe what you are looking at. The nice part is that the signs are actually next to what they are describing, and not fifteen or twenty feet away, as we have experienced. All the trees were trimmed, and the asphalt wasn’t even dusty.

After taking in Port Royal and meeting some really nice people from Arizona, we headed back to Roosevelt Point, which turned out to be the best stop on the trip back.  We also stopped at the junction of the Ken Patrick Trail to walk down the road and take some additional, much needed pictures, of white columbines.

The rest of the trip was a nice drive as we returned to the visitor’s center.  We didn’t take any pictures, but the light was perfect and illuminated a hillside of newly leafed aspens in their springtime outfits, with the white bleached trunks of the trees remaining from the fire that opened the hillside for the aspens interspersed. In the RV at the parking lot for the Visitor’s Center we cleaned up and went to mass.  I really need a haircut, so I made an attempt to trim the hair around the ears.  I have a far greater appreciation for my barber Michelle. She makes it look so easy, and it’s not.  Good thing a bad haircut is only two weeks.

Mass wasn’t mass, as the service was a deacon led service with communion to follow.  There were twelve congregants, and the deacon was out of St Christopher’s’ Parish in Kanab Utah.  According to the deacon, there is a severe lack of priests in the local dioceses.  There are many catholic converts from the LDS churches, and there are not enough priests to meet the needs.  The diocese of Salt Lake encompasses the entire state and they have about 53 priests for the entire state.

After church, we returned to the campsite.  I was tired and decided not to place the stabilizers in.  We made a nice dinner of chicken with Bob’s special mixture covering sautéed in olive oil, mashed potatoes and green beans Bob with a salad with blue cheese dressing. Tonight it’s a good sleep with the heat on and tomorrow it’s a big breakfast and off to Point Imperial.