Leaving Page, we headed west toward the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, a place we have wanted to visit for years.
We have been to the south rim frequently as it is far easier to get to. The south rim is where most Grand Canyon visitors go. True story: Randy, a girlfriend, and I went camping on the south rim of the Grand Canyon the night we first met at Northern Arizona University in 1977. My mother didn’t hear that story until 30 years later!
En-route we came upon the Navajo Bridges. The bridge on the left is the original, built in 1928. It is now a walking path spanning the Colorado River.
A second, very similar looking bridge, was built for modern vehicles and traffic, in 1995.
California Condors frequent and nest in the Navajo Bridge area and we were delighted to see one near the bridge footings. Notice the tag on the right wing. Condors weigh up to 23 lbs, have an average wingspan of 9.5 feet and are the largest land bird in North America. They can fly 80 miles per hour! In 1982 there were 22 known California Condors, now there are approximately 500!
Further down the road we came to the “Arizona Strip,” where six condors were released by the Peregrine Fund in 1996. Condors had not been been seen in Arizona since 1900. Since that initial release, the Peregrine Fund has released an additional 8-10 condors annually.
Adjacent to the condor placard was one about Sharlot Hall. She was important in Arizona history in a variety of ways. The placard highlighted her campaign to ensure that Arizona got separate statehood status. In 1906, she opposed a congressional measure to bring New Mexico and Arizona into the Union as one state. She toured the territory gathering opposition to the bill and wrote a poem describing why Arizona deserved separate statehood. The poem was delivered to US congressman and the measure was defeated, maybe in part, because of her efforts.
We had a beautiful fall drive approaching the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
We were delighted with our little cabin, inside and out!
Although the day was a bit hazy, we enjoyed views of the north rim!
The Grand Canyon Lodge was built on the edge of the north rim.
We enjoyed the warm sun on the lodge verandah.
There were views everywhere, including inside the lodge lobby.
We learned about Brighty, the burro. Burros had been brought to the canyon area by miners and were eventually abandoned. They survived over time. Brighty became a pet of the first lodge owner in 1917. Brighty and family son Bobby worked together hauling water and Brighty received daily flapjacks. Eventually the National Park Service decided to remove wild burros and most were captured and adopted out by 1981.
We ate in the lodge dining room, one of several places to eat on site.
We attended a ranger presentation on the Civilian Conservation Corps. It was one of the best we’ve ever attended.
A view from one of the CCC sites.
The next morning we walked the rim trail one more time looking at the views and trying to find a Kaibab Squirrel. We learned Kaibab Squirrels live only in this area and we wanted to see one. Supposedly they are everywhere but we had quite a challenge finding one! We were searching for a gray squirrel with a white tail….
We saw and heard evidence of this one long before Randy finally found it way up in the tree. The zoom lens and his steady hand got the picture!
After all that effort, we saw this one bounding away as we approached our truck to leave.
Our take away is that we like the north rim very much. Even though it is a bit of a challenge to get there, we were surprised by the amount of visitors and activity. A lot of people like the North Rim of the Grand Canyon! We hope to visit again soon.