Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

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Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby Rambler » Jan Tue 23, 2018 12:32 pm

My wife & I took a long weekend trip to the Grand Canyon. Flew to Phoenix on Friday & drove up. Stayed in one of the cabins at Bright Angel. This is the 3rd time we've done this. I highly recommend Winter there. While there are still people around it's nothing like the crowds you see during the Summer. Lots of folks from other parts of the world - I lost count of the languages we heard.

The government shutdown didn't have much effect. The rangers were on hiatus but because of the importance of the National Park to the revenues of AZ the state picked up the cost of keeping it open. The governor sent the Nat. Guard to provide security. But there wasn't anyone at the gates collecting entrance fees so the feds lost out. Wouldn't effect me anyhow since I have a senior pass that's good until I croak.

When we arrived it was sunny and in the 50s. Friday night & Sat. morning the temps dropped and it snowed. In all the times I've been there (used to backpack into the canyon routinely in the 70s) this was only the 2nd time I've seen it in the snow. And it is absolutely magical.

We hiked the rim trail Saturday afternoon, Sunday and Monday morning. Going down into the canyon wasn't practical due to icy conditions. Don't much feel like taking a spill & breaking something important.
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby Phil6 » Jan Tue 23, 2018 12:37 pm

Wow, Ive heard great things about the canyon in winter. Wish I could experience it. Interesting timing with the shutdown; its good it didnt ruin your trip!
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby vman01 » Jan Tue 23, 2018 1:16 pm

Pictures are great but just don't do it justice. If you have not seen it take some time and enjoy. Thanks Rambler
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby HEDDONFROG » Jan Tue 23, 2018 2:36 pm

Killer photos Rambler. It looks awe inspiring. Been 30+ years since I was there, though we never made it down. Have to put that on the bucket list
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby Rambler » Jan Tue 23, 2018 4:14 pm

vman01 wrote:If you have not seen it take some time and enjoy. Thanks Rambler

HEDDONFROG wrote:Been 30+ years since I was there, though we never made it down. Have to put that on the bucket list

John Wesley Powell summed it up best in his The Exploration of the Colorado River and it's Canyons: "You cannot see the Grand Canyon in one view, as if it were a changeless spectacle from which a curtain might be lifted, but to see it you have to toil from month to month through its labyrinths. It is a region more difficult to traverse than the Alps or the Himalayas, but if strength and courage are sufficient for the task, by a year's toil a concept of sublimity can be obtained never again to be equaled on the hither side of paradise."

As a young man I spent weeks in it. The longest was 8 days down the Grandview Trail and East along the Tonto as far as Unkar Rapids. On top of Horseshoe Mesa I had the only real psychic experience of my life (long story). Another grueling trip cost me all the nails on my right foot (they grew back).

A photo I took at Escalante hangs above our stairway where I can see it every single day as a reminder.

There is nowhere else like it. If you haven't gone you should go as soon as possible.
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby Aux Pleins » Jan Tue 23, 2018 4:36 pm

I'm waiting for a Trump like global warming reference in regards to those snowy Arizona pictures. :wink:

Good winter break indeed sir.
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby Buffleheadbill » Jan Tue 23, 2018 8:18 pm

I've never seen a photo of snow in the Grand Canyon until now, I never looked for one either. :lol: I thought you would of went to Arizona to get away from the snow.
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby vman01 » Jan Tue 23, 2018 10:51 pm

Rambler wrote:John Wesley Powell summed it up best in his The Exploration of the Colorado River and it's Canyons

Sounds like an interesting read, and like you may have enough material for a book or 2 of your own. Good stuff
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby Rambler » Jan Wed 24, 2018 8:26 am

Buffleheadbill wrote:I thought you would of went to Arizona to get away from the snow.

Most of the folks on the plane were golfers. I HATE golf.

vman01 wrote:Sounds like an interesting read, and like you may have enough material for a book or 2 of your own. Good stuff

Powell's book is a classic. I learn something new every time I read it. He taught Earth Sciences at IL State after losing his arm in the battle of Shiloh. Headed the 1st navigation of the Colorado in 1869. Also founded the US Geological Survey among other things. He was a giant.
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby joetrain » Jan Wed 24, 2018 8:59 am

Hey Rambler did you have him as one of your professors? :D
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby DasGoby » Jan Wed 24, 2018 11:05 am

Most of the folks on the plane were golfers. I HATE golf.


Without golf there would be no golf course ponds...

I used to golf casually but wouldn't think about it these days. If I have a few hours free I'm going fishing!
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby Buffleheadbill » Jan Wed 24, 2018 12:34 pm

DasGoby wrote:
Most of the folks on the plane were golfers. I HATE golf.


Without golf there would be no golf course ponds...

I used to golf casually but wouldn't think about it these days. If I have a few hours free I'm going fishing!



I got into golf for about a half year from spring till the summer when standing in the hot sun waiting on people lost its appeal. If I had a say in it I would turn all the golf courses into wetlands.
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby JB » Jan Thu 25, 2018 10:40 am

Awesome pics!
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby Rambler » Jan Thu 25, 2018 1:20 pm

joetrain wrote:Hey Rambler did you have him as one of your professors? :D

HAH! Nope - he was just a bit after my time. :D Anyhow, I went to that other bastion of higher ed - NIU.

OK - one more Grand Canyon story. On a backpack trip in April '77 two of my buddies (both renowned wack jobs) decided it would be a good idea to swim across the Colorado just below Boucher (pronounced booshay) rapids. Like an idiot I decided to join them - as a former lifeguard I figured I was a better swimmer than they were. About mid-stream my balls turned blue and I started swimming in earnest. Got over there only to see the 4th member of the expedition decide to join us. I had no idea how good a swimmer he was. When he was mid-stream he got a funny look on his face. It was clear his balls were turning blue too. Once we were all across the river there was nowhere to go but back.

So we all swam back. Once back on the beach one of my buddies announced that he had a thermometer in his pack. He got it out & put it down in the water about 6' from shore. After a minute or 2 it registered 46. Then he put it on the sand about 10' from the water. It shot up to 120. Nice of him to remember AFTER we'd taken our dip.

Up to that time I thought the swims I took in Lake Michigan during Lifeguard bootcamp (North Ave to Fullerton & back) was the coldest water I could swim in - around 56. You just never know what you can do until you do it.
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby CBatt2 » Jan Fri 26, 2018 7:27 pm

Thanks for posting the pics, and the story!
I had an art instructor that said his favorite part of the country to paint in watercolor, was the southwest. The last of the snow photos would make a nice one.
Took a trip to Sedona a few years ago and experienced a March snowstorm. The white on the red-rock was literally traffic stopping. Even the locals were pulling off the road to snap pics.
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Re: Gov. shutdown at the Grand Canyon

Postby Rambler » Jan Sat 27, 2018 8:40 am

CBatt2 wrote:Took a trip to Sedona a few years ago and experienced a March snowstorm.

Reminds me of just one more. The last time I backpacked the Grand Canyon was in Nov. '94 at the ripe old age of 45. I had a business conference in Phoenix so I went out early & did a solo trip down the South Kaibab & along the Tonto to Indian Gardens. Great time. There's nothing like being on your own in the heart of the canyon.

When I got to the hotel in Phoenix I walked into the lobby where a bunch of colleagues were having a drink. They all looked up in amazement and one of them said, "Holy shit - everybody thinks you're dead!" Turns out another conference goer had taken a hike in Sedona, gotten too close to the edge & fell off. Nice guy too. They don't call it 'slickrock' for nothin'. Somehow the story of his death had gotten confused with my canyon hike.

But to paraphrase Mark Twain, the rumors of my demise had been greatly exaggerated.
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