Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jacob Lake to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon June 16

42.5 miles in 4:07 Pam and I had unfinished business at the North Rim, so I decided that I was going to ride one way, jump in the pay showers at the park, meet her and the Jeep, and we would tool around the rest of the day. I got up and rolling, trying to beat the inevitable wind that kicks up in the afternoons. The first ten miles of the ride was accompanied by warm sunshine , but a cool breeze. I climbed about 1000 ft right off the bat to 8840 ft.

Mike riding along the road in Kaibab National Forest on his way to the North Rim - look at all of the damage from 2006 forest fire!

This is a picture of a Kaibab Squirrel!

Mike's ride to the North Rim was getting up there!

Meadow with fence around the lake.  It's to keep the cattle out but allows the wild animals in!  The cattle have their own place to drink!

See!?  I told you so!

 My legs felt good, my breathing was good, considering the elevation, the road was smooth, and traffic was light. It was a beautiful Sunday morning to be on top of the world. The weight of the world can't weigh you down when you are on top of it. The rest of the ride was rolling hills and meadows at about 8500 ft, until I dropped below 8000 near the rim. I took lots of pictures, even a movie or two, and stopped at all the placards along the road and read them. It was just a nice ride. My excitement came at the entrance to the National Park, as the ranger at the pay station was hesitant to let me go through on a bike because she was told that the herd of bison a mile or two down, was in the middle of the road, and she didn't think it would be wise for me to go through the middle of them. I convinced her that I would be careful, and headed towards them. I had never played 'red rover' with a herd of buffalo, and I thought it sounded like a unique opportunity. When I got near them, they were indeed in the road, so I broke out the camera, and waited for a car to go by and spook them. When the car came, I fell in behind it, and as the buffalo nimbly scattered to the side of the road, I blew through, taking pictures all the while.
Oh give me a home where the Bison can roam....

This guy wanted bicyclist for lunch!

See the white line in the foreground?  They liked staying close to the road.  I think they were waiting for Mike to come back!

With that problem solved, I headed about 9 more miles up the road to the park campground and pay showers. Pam pulled in right on time, and we went to the lodge and had a nice lunch, and sat around in the sun for a while, looking at one of the seven natural wonders of the world. We then loaded up and headed to some far reaching destinations of he North Rim. We went out a 14 mile road to Cape Royal Point, stopping at many pull outs along the way, and hiking several short trails. At several of the vistas, we could see down to the Colorado River, and actually recognized that we had rafted through the rapids that we could see. We also walked out over Angel's Window, and I'll let the pictures describe that. Words can't do it. We hiked a mile trail to Cliff Spring, which was a spectacular journey, but the spring was pretty dried up. We played until almost dark, then went back to the lodge to hear a ranger presentation on John Wesley Powell, the first explorer and documenter of the Grand Canyon. We learned a ton, and enjoyed it. When it was over, it was dark, and we went out to look at the lights that were visible from the South Rim. We could see Grand Canyon Village, as well as 60 red flashing lights on the 60 windmills on the wind farm, that we saw on our train ride to the canyon from Williams Arizona, about a month ago, now. We had a late night ride home, dodging 8-10 mule deer that we saw on the road, two of which decided to run out in front of me.

View from one of our look out points

View from Roosevelt point (named after Teddy, who came to the North and South Rim alot).

Just an old guy sitting on a log!!!

Flowers are just starting to bloom up in the high altitude

Looking down on the Colorado River (it was hazy out) - we rafted that set of rapids!!!

This is Angels Window - you can look across and see the river!

Just one of the locals!

Standing on top of Angels Window - windy again!!

On top of Angels Window

Nice view - above Pam's hand is the river shot that you saw above.

The shadow of Angels Window on the canyon wall.  Mike was being creative!

Even the cactus are starting to bloom up here!

Mike Rose and Cliff Rose (that's the name of the bush!)

Hiking out the Cliff Spring Trail

The cliff walls curled over us!

Here I come!

The Anasazi people (ancestors of current Paiute, Hopi and Navajo peoples) lived in the canyon and on the cliffs.  They raised grain and corn and had these granaries at different places.

Looking across canyon at Angels Window
Just a cool rock formation

North Rim Lodge restaurant where we had a lunch

Indian rugs hanging on restaurant walls

This one was made in 1930's - it's huge!

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