I didn’t like the way travel day ended – I got a headache that was utterly unpleasant. But yes, I did like the way it ended because I was able to get a room at Maswik Lodge and crawled into a comfy bed and slept the headache away. I love my room, and I have it tonight as well.
The scenery here is quite different from my Wisconsin wetlands. There are lots of rocks, and trees that I don’t recognize. It’s a combination of mountains and dessert. One minute we are looking at tall pines and white barked trees, and the next minute we are on a flat plain with short shrubs and grasses that have not had a lot of water. We can usually see one or more mountains with sharp pointy tops covered with snow.
Flagstaff airport is small – the kind where you walk on the tarmack from your plane to the building. I don’t know how we timed it so perfectly, but my brother arrived only minutes after I did, and we were on our way.
It is about 70 miles from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon National Park.Grand Canyon Village is bigger than I remembered, probably because it has grown. There lots of twists and turns as the roads wind from one lodge to another. It is forested, and as you look out into the pines you can see elk grazing everywhere. Unlike our Wisconsin deer who like to startle and dash into the road, these animals are used to the traffic and stand within feet of cars with no alarm.
Most of today was spent in class with our guides Michael and Nina. There are eight of us hikers and everyone is retired. I would say that several are older than I am and one man is 78! All have done quite a bit of hiking except our Elizabeth, and a couple of them have hiked in the canyon a lot.
We spent the time talking about our equipment, safety on the trail. We filled our duffels for the mules and took them over to the barn. And right before we quit we walked out to look at the canyon and talk about the geology. We toured the Kolb house, where the Kolb brothers had a famous photography studio – hanging on the side of the cliff right below the rim.
We start early tomorrow on our descent. Wish you were all going with us! I have pictures but they are failing to upload – not sure why.