This has been a busy, fun week. Our 36 mile trip from Kanab to Jacob Lake, it is really just a pond, was uneventful and quick. Since we were going to be having company, we did a thorough cleaning. You must remember that when you live in 400 sq. ft., a thorough cleaning can be done in 30 minutes or less. Our campground was on the Kaibab Plateau in the Kaibab National Forest, so we were surrounded by towering pines and adorable Kaibab Squirrels. They are black with tufted ears and big white fluffy tails. We were walking a trail to the Jacob Lake Inn one morning and thought we were coming upon a skunk. As it began to move, we realized it wasn’t waddling and that it was a large Kaibab Squirrel. The area around Jacob Lake and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is the only place in the world where these squirrels can be found. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaibab_Squirrel For the first time, we have felt the elevation. We have been around 8,000 ft or higher for the entire week. Tony checked; water boils at 190 degrees. It takes forever to boil potatoes!
Shortly after we arrived, our friends from Wilmington, NC checked into the Inn. we had not seen them since 2007, so we all had a lot of catching up to do. They had already been to the rim, so we played “tour guide” and took them to Antelope Canyon, Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell Recreation Area, and Horseshoe Bend. Together for the first time we saw historic Navajo Bridge which was built in 1928 to replace the Lee Ferry crossing of the Colorado River. Since then a second bridge has been built that is wider and can carry heavier vehicles; however, it was constructed to look exactly like the original bridge which is now used only for foot traffic. There were three tagged California Condors sitting on the bridge structure. Because they are an endangered species, they were attracting much attention [although they are rather ugly]. It was a very full but memorable day.
After a day to regroup, our friends from Minnesota, Dick and Jane arrived. They have done a great deal of traveling in the west, so we spent the evening looking at pictures of places we all had visited. Our full day together was spent at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon; neither couple had ever been to this magnificent location. Although we had threatening weather most of the day, we only had to put up with a few sprinkles. The canyon expanse available for viewing at the North Rim is much less than that at the South Rim, but it is well worth the time to make the trek to see it. The canyon isn’t as eroded, so the formations are more massive and appear darker. The drop-offs to the bottom of the canyon are more severe, so you get a better idea of the depth of the canyon. We hiked the Angel Trail, plus visited Point Imperial and Cape Royal. Cape Royal is the only place you can actually see the Colorado River from the North Rim. One of the best views of the Colorado River is through Angel Window.
It is time to get away from here; tomorrow we expect to wake up to snow so are getting as much done as possible today in preparation for pulling out. We may see snow until we get to Flagstaff. From there we will drop down to the Sedona area for 2 weeks where it will be warmer. Other than spending some more time with Dick and Jane, we aren’t certain what to expect. Many have told us Sedona is beautiful; others have said the area doesn’t hold a candle to what we have seen in Utah and northern Arizona. We will just have to judge for ourselves.