Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grand Canyon North Rim

Way way way back last December my Grandma gave E and I a trip for our Christmas present. We love this type of present, it always seems like an item is forgotten, but a trip never is. My Grandma thought and thought about where we should go. E and I were up for anything. She finally decided that we'd love the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Back in the late '40s my Grandpa spent two summers there being the gardener for the grounds. Later in his autobiography, my Grandpa described those two summers as some of his happiest times. Since E and I hadn't seen the North Rim, or where my Grandpa worked, my Grandma decided this would be an excellent choice.

She booked us a Western Cabin on the rim, where we would stay for our trip. The cabin was nice and spacious, had two beds, a full bathroom, a walk in closet, a gas fireplace and a little porch with two rocking chairs. As you can guess, E and I were thrilled with our gift.

We left on Friday morning and arrived at the North Rim around 4:00, not a bad travel day at all. Immediately we fell in love with the 1930s lodge, remember not that long ago E and I got married in the 1920s sister lodge in Yosemite National Park. We just love historic lodges. This lodge had no hotel rooms inside, all the rooms were located around the lodge either in cabins or two motel buildings. Because of this, the lodge was just there for enjoyment. It housed two fantastic patios that looked directly over the Grand Canyon, a stunning sun room that also peeked over the canyon's rim, a huge dining room and other public places.

E and I were entranced. We walked around loving every detail from the antique Native American rugs to the old Zenith radios (E's favorite, and the first time he'd seen so many in one place), to the most amazing view ever. We decided to sit down on lodge's patio and order drinks. Tonight was just the first night of our fantastic trip.

On Saturday morning we woke to cloudy skies. We loved it, although it cast a very flat light on the canyon, the sky was amazing. The temperature was perfect, not cold at all. We ate breakfast at a window seat in the dining room looking over the grandest canyon in the world. That day we decided we wanted to hike the first part of the North Kaibab Trail, the only trail leading to the bottom of the canyon from the North Rim. The trail was spectacular. As we hiked down the side canyon, Bright Angel, we saw mules on the trail, a shy deer and some dazzling views. That afternoon we hiked a couple of other small trails and enjoyed a turkey sandwich on the patio of the lodge. By late afternoon the sky turned even darker and we retreated to our little cabin looking over the canyon's rim (we were very lucky to get this location) and watched the rain.

Later that evening we decided to have cocktails and appetizers on our little porch. What better way to honor my Grandpa's memory than having cocktail hour in his favorite part of the world? That night we headed to the grand dining room once again and had a fantastic dinner.

On Sunday we woke up at 7 and I looked outside. The morning light was slanted and spilling over the canyon walls. I convinced E to put on his dirty clothes from the night before and take a hike with me while the light was so magical. The morning walk was magic, we were nearly the only ones out on Bright Angel Point and the slanted light and deep shadows were so dramatic. Once back at our cabin we did shower and lead a very fulfilling day. We drove out to Cape Royal and enjoyed the views from there, enjoyed our cabin's porch more than we ever thought possible, and read in front of the fire after a fantastic dinner in the lodge's dining room.

Monday we were sad to say goodbye. We looked around the lodge and enjoyed our cabin one last time before stopping in the visitor center and buying a National Park pin. The drive home was enjoyable, E and I are listening to Odd Thomas on audio book and loving it. We are, however, planning on taking Baby November to the North Rim one day, and telling him how much my Grandpa loved the place.

These photos are horribly out of order, but you'll get the idea.

This was the view twenty steps from our cabin's front door. Yes, awe inspiring.
Here is the patio of the Grand Canyon Lodge. Just look at that! As you can see by the puddles on the patio, this was right after the rain, yet people are still enjoying.
This is the side canyon Bright Angel. This was taken from the North Kaibab Trail.
And here we are! Check out those dark clouds in the distance. Made for really nice hiking weather.
Oh my word, I look huge. This is how I've been looking lately when I'm not sucking in (like in the photo above). Baby November loved his first trip, he was kicking and twisting the entire time.
Cocktail hour on our porch.
Some of the animals we saw.

One morning I woke up at 5:30 and just had to peek outside. The sun was just coming up. I snapped this photo of our cabin before hurrying back to bed.
Inside the fireplace was so nice!
The morning we walked to Bright Angel Point we were the only ones there. I'm still in my PJs.
Another shot. This is E's. Isn't it just lovely?
Another Grand Canyon view, again with the dark clouds.
This was the dining room, huge and stunning. It looked directly over the canyon. We got a window seat twice, and loved it.


  1. Huge? HA! Just you wait, girl.

    I love the idea of giving trips for Christmas. Kyle and I decided a while back that once he gets a real job a trip will be part of every Christmas. I can't wait!

  2. What a wonderful present from your Grandmother, and so extra special since it is part of your Grandfather's history.

    I do love reading your blog and always enjoy your fabulous photos! I'll have to show Phil your critter photos. He especially loves birds and enjoys shooting them himself --that is photos only!

  3. Jean,
    I'm so happy you and Phil love bird photos as well! Here are three of my other favorites I've posted on my blog:



    And the best-


  4. Your photos of the Grand Canyon are so beautiful. I especially love the critter pics. So cute!


Lovely thoughts:

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