Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim
Today was a tourist day for me as I stopped at many of the viewing spots on the rim. A strong wind was blowing and as the day progressed the temperature dropped to a point just above freezing.
Overhead, clouds were moving in and across the canyon. The result was ever-changing lighting patterns on the many Canyon faces as some parts would be lit by sunlight while others were obscured by low flying clouds. At this time of the year, the roadway to Hermit’s Rest is open to public vehicular traffic. During the busier months the only way to get to the Hermit’s Rest is via public shuttle or via a long walk along a path that skirts the rim.
After some discussion and a review of the weather forecast, I canceled my plans to hike down the Bright Angel Trail to greet and photograph my kayak paddling trio as they passed by on the Colorado River. I figured that even with snow falling the 5 – 6 hour hike down to the river today wouldn’t probably be too bad but hiking back up out of the canyon on dampened trail would probably been about 8 hours and messier than I would have liked so instead, I headed south to the warmer surroundings of Sedona, Arizona.
As I left the park offices, pelleted snow (a.k.a. “GRAUPEL”) was falling pretty steadily. Certainly lessened the fire hazard but unfortunately also increased the chances of traffic accidents. Before reaching the park gate, I found myself waiting in line behind a pink jeep tour vehicle as police and ambulance attended to a two vehicle mishap on the slippery roads. I was not looking forward to two hours of such driving conditions so thankfully the c0onditions somewhat a few miles further south.
I was running a bit low on fuel but not worried since the route from the rim of the Grand Canyon is mostly downhill (great fuel economy :-)). I arrived at Williams without further incident, filled up the fuel tank and took a whirlwind tour of this Route 66 town where almost every establishment included “Route 66” somewhere in their name or advertising.
Once I had filled with fuel, stretched my legs a bit and down the quick tour, I was back on the road again heading to Flagstaff, Arizona. It wasn’t long before I encountered adverse driving conditions once again.
Happy to report that I stayed out of the ditch and ro9ads and skies cleared a bit before I encountered the 3 miles of 7 degree slope and switchback corners on the scenic route south into Sedona. Definitely scenic in the daytime but not on a night like this! Certainly happy to find a motel in Sedona and settle into bed for a good night’s rest.
Photos will be added later.