Mike and Ken explore the Grand Canyon

Mike flew in to Phoenix. He tested out Beth's Canon A40 digital camera at Camelback Mountain in Phoenix while Ken was at school.

Our two adventurers didn't appear to fit the part, so they tried to remedy the situation.



With that done, Mike and Ken drove up to Flagstaff Friday night. Saturday morning they drove to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and were introduced to their challenge. They made their way to the head of the South Kaibab trail. The South Kaibab trail would take them down to Phantom Ranch and the Bright Angel Campground where Bright Angel Creek ends its southward journey and empties into the Colorado River.

South Kaibab Trailhead. Temperature ~35 degrees Fahrenheit:

Ken on the trail:

Mike hitting some switchbacks:

Mike and Ken were by far the slowest people on the trail, stopping often to enjoy the views. They took over 100 pictures during their 6.8 mile, 6 hour descent to the bottom. That averages out to 1 picture every 3 or 4 minutes. The weather was great and they were seeing the canyon for the first time, so who could blame them?

View from where they ate lunch:

A 180-degree panorama with Mike on the right and Zoroaster's Temple on the left:

This photo of Mike and Ken were taken with Ken's Canon S30:

The Tipoff, where Mike and Ken had a snack. The campgrounds can be seen below along Bright Angel Creek:

A cool rock:

When Mike and Ken finally reached the campsite, they were happy to get their 40-lb packs off of their backs. They set up camp and cooked food. Here's a picture of Mike at camp, starting to prepare dinner.

Saturday night it rained. The tent kept Mike and Ken warm and dry. On Sunday, after a breakfast of hot chocolate and oatmeal, the two set out on a 13-mile roundtrip hike to Ribbon Falls. About 15 people out of the approximately 75 who were at the campground attempted the hike, too. However, rain entered the canyon and most turned back. Our two intrepid explorers could not be discouraged, so they pushed ahead.
On the North Kaibab Trail to Ribbon Falls:

A mule deer:

It rained off and on all day. Occasionally when the rain came down hard they were forced to find shelter under rock overhangs or in caves. These rain-induced stops functioned as random snack breaks. As Mike and Ken departed the North Kaibab trail for Ribbon Falls, the rain started to really come down. The two Troop 55 alumni found a pretty large open cave to hang out in during the downpour. Here is Mike, waiting for the precipitation to ease up.

Eventually the rain slowed down enough for Mike and Ken to make it to Ribbon Falls. It was beautiful.

They enjoyed the scene and then made their way back to camp. It turns out that they were 2 of only 4 people that day to actually make it to Ribbon Falls; the other dozen or so had turned back. They certainly missed out. Luckily the rain stopped when Mike and Ken got back to camp. They made dinner as quickly as they could, finishing cooking just as the rains returned. Dinner was eaten in the shelter of the tent.

Monday morning the two woke up, ate breakfast, and then broke camp. There was a 9.3 mile, 4400' elevation change ahead of them. Before they commenced the hike out Bright Angel Trail, they stopped by the mighty Colorado to thank the river for creating such a beautiful landscape.

The trip from 2400' to 6800' started a little after 9 in the morning. Precipitation was periodic throughout the trip; it poured heavily a few times. The weather did create beautiful scenery; time constraints and a concern for how the cameras would deal with the rain meant that Mike and Ken made fewer stops and took fewer pictures.
Devil's Corkscrew:

Ken on the edge of a small riparian canyon:

Towards the end of the trip it rained pretty hard. The trail was reduced to a river of red mud.

When it did clear up, there were a few opportunities for some nice photos. [I can't believe I took this photo.]

Just beyond the spot above is where Mike and Ken got decent looks through the binocular at a pair of California Condors. They dwarfed the ravens that were pestering them.

By the time Mike and Ken made it to the top, 7 hours after they had started, they were back to wearing their warmest clothes again. Snow and hail fell heavily as clouds filled the canyon and reduced visibility to almost nothing.
Bright Angel Trailhead- the end of the hike:

Back in Flagstaff, Mike and Ken found Dan's Italian Kitchen. They happily ate the meatball subs and pizza they had been craving all day.

Thanks for visiting the web site. Maybe we'll put some other pictures up, too. Hope you liked it!