Up early this morning at 5:30 to see the morning sun rise over the Grand Canyon, by myself, the girls did not want to get up. As luck would have it where we parked the car last night was right in front of a lookout to the east. Unfortunately there was still a lot of cloud cover form the previous night so it was not too spectacular. It was nice, however to be up that early with very little people milling around.
Took quite a few pictures while I was out by myself until about 7 and then headed back to the cabin via the lodge.
While the girls slowly awoke I downloaded this morning's pictures to the laptop something I usually wait until at night to do. I'm not sure why I did it but am glad I did because of what happened later. After everyone was up we went into the lodge for a buffet breakfast and then took them around to all the spots I had went to this morning and a few more. A few hours later we decided it was time to start the long drive to Sedona and stop at a few points on the way down. I would have really liked to have taken the drive out on the Walhalla Plateau but that was an out and back and would have added a lot of time to the day and drive. Something to come back for at another time. So instead we stopped at where the North Kaibob Trail starts and go out to Uncle Jim Point via the Ken Patrick Trail. On the trail and the descent started down quickly which didn't seem right as the trail was supposed to be on the plateau. A quick look at the map and we were instead heading down the North Kaibob Trail which is the trail the hikers and donkeys use to get to the bottom of the trail. A short jaunt back up the trail and over to where the keep the donkeys and we find the trail. Nakita and I start off on it but after a 100 yards or so we turn around as the stench and piles of donkey dung take a lot away from enjoying the hike. Back to the car and off to Sedona.
Back onto Route 67 and this is one long strange stretch of road. After passing through the park entrance the road changes dramatically from the normal 2 lane with trees lining the sides of the road to a road with wide open meadows on both sides 100-200 feet wide and then the forest begins. Later on we turn onto 89A at Jacob Lake and this time we get to see what we drove up through last night. It doesn't take long and we start driving through the switchbacks that we did not see the night before and then we pop out onto an opening that offers a grand view to our left and straight ahead.
This is not one of my pictures as I had to borrow it off the 'net. As we continued down and then finally on the flat straight road I stopped a few more times to take pictures. Then on one stop as I was taking pictures the inevitable. I had bought a 16GB card for this trip keeping all the photos on it to preserve the metadata and just copy them every night onto the laptop as a backup. At first I thought it must be full which did not make sense because I was nowhere near capacity figuring it would hold about 4-5000 pictures. So I just ended up swapping out the card with my old 8GB and continued on. That is why there have been no photos in this story since the sunrise. Everything from this mornings walk with the girls up to now are lost and I have yet to find any software to recover them. If and when I do I will post them here. The following is the first pick with the old card.
A short time later and the mystery form the night before of the large boulders beside the road is resolved and we were both wrong in our assumptions. They are rocks/boulders/formations some from the cliffs that fell and the road is right next to them and others evolved through erosion. Quite an amazing sight in the middle of nowhere the area is called Cliff Dwellers.
Onward with the long very scenic drive to Sedona and finally around 4-5ish we arrive at our motel in the Village of Oak Creek just south of Sedona on Route 179 with a great view up the road of the Courthouse Butte.
Another great day with the exception of the memory card and a chance to get a little rest before tomorrow as we are heading to Africa!