Grand Canyon South Rim, Part 1

First, a video of a really nice view along the way and then…one of those iconic places that we’ve heard about all our lives, the mighty Grand Canyon. Even if “rocks” aren’t your thing, this place is still just breathtaking. I’m definitely more of a trees/flowers/anything green/water features/mountains kind of person but you just can’t help but be completely overwhelmed by this place. It doesn’t seem real. Lots of “Wows” could be heard by those walking up and taking their first look from the rim–including from me.

Only a couple hours into my first visit, we also got a special treat — condors gathered on rock outcroppings close to the rim. These birds certainly aren’t popular because of their good looks. Actually they’re pretty scary-looking. When I initially walked up, I stood next to a family for a while as we all watched them. I lost count of how many times we heard passersby’s say, “Look at those turkey vultures”. I talked to the family about it and we were both pretty sure they were condors. A quick Google search confirmed it. Furthermore, they were tagged which was also a pretty good indication they were condors and not common vultures. I intended to ask a ranger if the public could look up their wing tag codes to get more information but ended up finding it online myself. There are several items listed about each condor, the most interesting to me being their age. I found elsewhere they can live as long as 80 years but average about 60 years. The ones we saw were youngsters.

A bizarre thing happened in camp the next day. I was sitting inside my trailer when there was a loud commotion and a big cloud of dust and sand blew in through my open trailer door. I quickly jumped up and went outside but could see nothing unusual. It then dawned on me that I had just been hit by a dust devil! One of my awning poles was bent 90 degrees but the main damage was to my trailer door. It had been propped open and the devil had bent the 3-inch wide bottom hinge so considerably that when I tried to shut the door there was a 24-inch gap! I was astonished the dust devil was strong enough to do that kind of damage. This was a big problem–I couldn’t secure my trailer nor could I tow it. I had to figure out how to deal with this myself. I texted a couple friends and we concluded at the same time I would have to figure out how to remove the hinge. Thankfully, I had the right tool to do so but then I had to somehow bend it flat again. To my surprise, when I stood on it, it did not give at all. (Again – Wow – The strength of that dust devil!). I had the idea of securing it to the part of my trailer tongue that holds my gas can and pounding on it with my 3lb hammer. That did the trick. I reattached the hinge but the door still wasn’t perfect. More on that later.

(Stay tuned for Canyon, Part 2)

On the road between Flagstaff and the Canyon

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