Pamela and Lee have been planning a Grand Canyon hike all year. Getting in shape these past 9 months was something they knew they had to do. Based on the research Pamela had done, this was not going to be a walk in the park. Sure they could walk around the rim ( as they later found out); but they wanted to go down into the Canyon and really experience the power of this great landscape. Even though they'd lived in New Mexico for years and passed by every year driving to the Bay Area on highway 40, they never stopped. Now, they told themselves, we are going.
Ah, yes, the Grand Canyon. Thousands of people go every year to visit. The park is well organized, well laid out and the Rangers, bus drivers and service staff were all excellent, making the trip that much more enjoyable.
The National Park Service Brochure says it best:
"A land to inspire our Spirit"
"One of the Earth's most powerful, inspiring landscapes- overwhelms our senses. Its story tells of geologic processes played out over unimaginable time spans as a unique combination of size, color, and dazzling erosional forms: 277 River miles, up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep. Its rugged landscape hosts a fascinating variety of plant and animal communities, from the desert next to the Colorado River deep in the canyon to montane forests atop its north rim. Humans have played parts in the story for thousands of years. Broken spear points, enigmatic split- twig figurines, decorated pots, abandoned mines, and historic hotels suggest some who have have called the canyon home. Today is just the latest page being written, and the Grand Canyon National Park is a gift presented to us. Our responsibility as good stewards is to pass on this gift, pristine and preserved, to future generations."
They decided to stay in Flagstaff so got a suite at the Aspen Inn Suites. Their plan was to hike in for two days, then head down to Sedona and hike there for a day, spnd the night and then fly home from Phoenix. A quick week of rugged, open country hiking, just what they both needed; to get out in Nature, in the desert and breathe some different air, see people from all over the world, enjoy the northern Arizona wilderness landscape ( which is stunning in itself and offeres great hiking everywhere)