The North Rim Made Me Cry

As many times as I have been to the South Rim, hiked down in to and  rafted through the Grand Canyon, I had never been to the North Rim.  I’m so glad we took the time. It is truly hard to explain the experience of such a wonder. We started by just relaxing and mapping out our hiking day at the Grand Canyon Lodge viewing patio. Plan on spending some down time here! 
Someone pointed out a peregrine falcon soaring over head. At one time there were only 70 in existence.  This male peregrine is banded with a metal leg band 7/X black over green.  The band code identified him as breeding 4 miles from his natal territory on Elkins Marsh on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Photo by Barton Paxton.Now thanks to the efforts of the National Park Service conservation there are over 400.

 

 

A tourist bus exploding with nylon tracksuits &oversized  visors  poured out just as we started down the trail  This interesting lady had just the hat for the occasion!

 (Go Dog Go quote “Do you like my hat?”) 
I recommend taking a lunch and eat at one of the high tables on the  observation deck. We did and enjoyed the view and the fresh air.  The lines for the one restaurant can be very long and lots of people were eyeballing my hoagie and pasta salad. We decided to head out to  Cape Royal. On the way we witnessed the devastation of a forest fire from years ago. Young Aspen trees have taken over where Ponderosa Pine trees once stood.  Soon the burned areas of the North Rim will be covered with lush Aspen trees. I was so Excited to see Window Rock!  I have always wondered where it was.  Walking on top of it is interesting. There is a 3′ wide by 4′ long rock to walk over to the point.  Both sides are straight down for a very long way. We noticed many people waiting on more solid ground for their friends.  No matter how their friends coaxed they wouldn’t venture out. Having never heard of Cape Royal I thought it was probably rocks that looked like a castle. I was soooo wrong. Cape Royal made me cry.  We walked along the twisted juniper path bundled in jackets because we were near 9000 feet elevation and there is still snow on the ground.  The people coming toward us on the path were silent.  Most smiled and nodded.  Thinking perhaps it was trail etiquette we stayed quiet too.  About a half mile later we turned a corner to a 270-degree view like I cannot describe.I couldn’t move.  Just as I gasped a cold breeze pushed extra air into my lungs.  My eyes filled with tears while my mind tried to accept this view.  No picture can capture that moment.  I tried.

 

We stayed for quite a while.  I wish I could stay forever.

On our way down we wanted to shout to the people coming up the path -“just wait! It’s so beautiful! You’re gonna CRY!” Instead we were silent, smiled knowingly and nodded.

2 thoughts on “The North Rim Made Me Cry”

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