16.07.2011 - 17.07.2011
Today was the last day of our grandkids trip and we had lots to pack in.
1st off, catch the 8a.m. shuttle bus to Hermit’s Rest for the Junior Ranger/Family Hike. We haven’t been to Hermit’s Rest in many years and think that we just stopped and looked much like yesterday, but we didn’t even know about the trail so this was all new.
We got to the trail and found the ranger, there was only 2 other people, a father and his son so we were lucky to be in such a small group.
The Hermit’s Rest trail is mostly unmaintained which means that it is rocky and uneven. It is really a beautiful trail but steeper than the Bright Angel with many steps carved out of rock that are tall. I think that it would be very difficult to hike with a large backpack on. The trail does meet up with the Bright Angel but again I don’t think that I’d hike this one with a big pack on. The kids had no problem with this trail though.
We spent time at the Hermit’s Rest after the hike and were so amazed at the structure. It was designed by Mary Colter who also designed the Bright Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio and Desert View. There is a huge fireplace that is lit, as per the staff, during the winter on very cold days. I think we will try to go there during the winter. They also welcome dogs during the winter, purchasing dog biscuits for our furry friends.
From Hermit’s Rest we thought that we’d stop along the way so that Christabel could finish up her Junior Ranger book. I had the big idea that we could stop at the Lookout Studio, we would enjoy the view and some coffee while Christabel completed her last page, a drawing.
Dale and I were sitting when Bel rushed up crying, she had placed her book on the ledge so that she could get her pencil when a gust of wind blew her book right off the ledge and down into the canyon. What a catastrophe!
I hurried Bel to the ranger at the Vercamp’s, now mostly a visitor’s center, thinking that the ranger on staff would help. We found Ranger Eric and I explained what had happened; Christabel had finished everything but one page including the Junior Ranger Hike (Charlotte brought her book along as proof). Ranger Eric listened to poor Christabel’s tale of woe and told her that it was ok. Ranger Eric gave Bel the pledge and the badge and we were able to obtain the Hike Patch after all. We got ice cream floats in celebration!
We then took the kids to see the Ancient’s ruins and Desert View before returning to the RV.
For our last evening I put into a large pot, sliced potatoes, sliced carrots, chicken thighs and dumped in leftover chicken broth. We then packed up a table cloth, napkins, our picnic basket and pack then took off again to one of the rim overlooks.
At the overlook we backed the pickup up to the rim walkway and put the tailgate down. We got the camp stove out and I put on the pot of chicken stuff. We set up our foldup picnic table, put on the tablecloth, poured some wine and enjoyed the evening. When our dinner was ready we all sat down and ate by the rim.
Wow, what a way to enjoy our last night together!