Musings of a roaming nature nerd

The Grand Canyon: Week Five

Day 30: Although snow persists, the air feels and smells like spring. Another storm is predicted for the end of the week, but today the warm rays of sun which dance through the junipers make winter feel long forgotten.

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Day 31: Ravens are considered one of the worlds most intelligent creatures (in the same category as primates and dolphins). I watched and listened to this one communicate with another nearby. Ravens are thought to have a vocabulary of upwards of 140 “words.” This one shared its knowledge, chattering for several minutes through numerous sounds before soaring off to meet its cohort. Oh, to decipher their native tongue!

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Day 32: Occasionally in the Environmental Ed office we receive Flat Rangers, ever so carefully tucked into envelopes by school children in the hopes of sending their little friends off on great adventures. This was one of the most adorable Flat Rangers I’ve seen. I hope the little third grader in Georgia who gets her flat friend back, will smile as much as I did at the image of her ranger at the canyons edge.

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Day 33: Oblivious at times to the obvious, I discovered that my office is next to an historic graveyard (in my defense, it has been covered in snow for weeks!). The early settlers and pioneers of the area have found their eternal rest amongst the pines atop the rim. The quotes and stories and names etched into the stones shared so much of what this place has meant to people over the years. I found this one truly captivating.

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Day 34: Into the canyon once again to meet my love! In the twilight, we heard a Western Screech Owl and Northern Pygmy Owl calling quietly to whoever would hear.

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Day 35: Hiking out the Tonto West trail took me to radioactive Horn Creek. Contaminated years ago from a uranium mine (before the Park was a Park) the water flows clear and beautiful but also “hot!” Nonetheless, the area is gorgeous and there is a great campsite near the creek. I also discovered my new favorite backcountry privy EVER! A loo with a view!
Later in the day I joined Jason again and enjoyed some great views of a variety of wildlife. I just can’t possibly chose only one photo for this day so below are my favorites.

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Day 36: Intense winds pushed in with a snow storm that would eventually hit overnight. In the meantime the sun still shone and between 40mph gusts I watched rafters having the time of their lives 1000 ft below.

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Day 37: An extra day for this entry so as to round out the canyon trip. In the wake of the storm, the clouds created textures and colors in the canyon that made it appear as though it were the only way this place should be seen. I met up with an awesome hiking partner, Neale, on the trail and later with my fun and energetic coworker Kaylyn, as well. Sharing the hike out with thoughtful and enthusiastic companions made the experience feel so completely alive and thrilling, even in the face of a seemingly endless 3000 ft trudge. I don’t think there has been a bad day here yet.

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One Response

  1. Dad

    Great pics as always. The cabin with the lights was SO cozy. Loo with a view! Gotta love it. :-) Amazing shot of the canyon in the clouds. So glad you’re posting all these.

    February 10, 2013 at 6:56 am