Four years ago, I was off again to Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Kansas to hike in the canyons of the West and to visit the last of the 52 states. Each departure is bittersweet—always the lure to see, to do, to learn—yet leaving family is difficult. I am fortunate to be an adventurer, a long way from where I began. Not until after I graduated from college had I traveled very far: only by train to Boston and Worchester, Massachusetts. Dreams become reality with all that is taught and learned: hard work, perseverance, restraints, and honesty—all make life worthwhile.
I flew from the Portland, Maine jetport to Las Vegas; the next day, I was to join a small group with two guides for a week of hiking. We loaded a U-Haul attached to our van and drove to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Many years ago, I had been to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is scenic and majestic, but there are far more tourists. Our group stayed in rustic cabins and had our meals in the historic National Park lodge.
After settling in, our first hike was up onto the Kaibab Plateau. We changed directions and went south across the high elevation meadows toward the North Rim of the canyon. The North Rim is 1,500 feet higher than and receives 60% more rainfall than the South Rim. It is more remote, with fewer people, and the area has green forests and alpine valleys filled with wildflowers, in contrast to the enormous red abyss of the Grand Canyon. We walked to Point Imperial and stopped for a picnic lunch. At 8,803 feet, the views were spectacular overlooking the Grand Canyon, as you can see from the photos in this blog post. We took the Transept Trail back to the Grand Canyon Lodge, where we stayed two nights.
(posted December 22, 2015)