Grand Canyon North Rim, part 4
We started the day with breakfast with my kids, my mom, my Uncle Kevin & Aunt Maryanne and myself eating breakfast at the lodge. The lodge is gloriously beautiful, built in 1928 of native stone, and perched on the very edge of the Grand Canyon. Indescribably beautiful views sweep out the huge plate glass windows, so lovely to behold that it doesn’t seem real. The kids and I had the breakfast buffet. It wasn’t cheap, but it was reasonable, considering the location, the setting (a sit-down restaurant), and the high quality of the items. There were enough g.f. items to satisfy me, and for Wes, we supplemented his mounds of eggs, bacon, sausage and fruit with some GFCF banana bread that I’d made for the trip. The staff was knowledgable about celiac disease, which was a blessing. The buffet came with both a hot drink and a cold drink for everyone, and with tip, the four of us (five, actually, because Audrey was free) feasted for $35.
After breakfast, Uncle Kevin, the kids and I trekked to Bright Angel point and back to the Lodge:
The rest of the day, we picknicked for lunch, attended the ranger talk and completed the boys’ Junior Ranger program… After checking in at the reservation desk literally about 15 times throughout the day, we *finally* were able to secure a cabin for the night. They don’t have a waiting list. Just whenever there is a cancellation, they put the room on the market, so to speak, and whoever asks for it first, gets it. Getting a cabin for the night was a great relief. It meant getting to stay an extra day at the Canyon, and *not* having to hit the road for a long night of driving.
Having secured the night’s lodging, we went back to Kaibab Lodge for dinner, since their dinner prices were more reasonable and no reservation was required. For the 20 miles or so along the way, we counted *literally* more than 70 deer, tranquilly grazing in the dusky meadows.
Audrey was completely out of sorts at dinner again, so I hung out in the lounge, watching the Suns win a playoff game against the Spurs that they would eventually lose, attempting to amuse and placate my daughter, who really just wanted to be home. She did sleep much better that night in the North Rim cabin, waking “just” three times, but sleeping most of the night.
The next morning, we woke to a note on our cabin door that said that Kevin & Maryanne decided to go back down to Flagstaff, so my mom & I were on our own. We breakfasted at the North Rim Lodge again, and tootled around on the East Verandah:
As you might be able to tell from the above picture, the North Rim did not feel packed — this in spite of having 100% occupancy in its 200+ cabins and in the 76-spot campground, plus all the dispersed campers in the National Forest, and all the lodgers at Kaibab Lodge, Jacob Lake and even Kanab, Utah, who were all there specifically for visiting the North Rim. I mean, there were definitely people there, but it didn’t feel overrun, at all.
After our time tootling, we packed up, checked out at 11:00, and decided to take a drive for one last lookout over the Canyon before heading for the long drive home. We picked up more picnic items at the North Rim campground general store, and headed out for Cape Royal.
Conversation was wonderful and the drive was beautiful along twisty, paved, mountainous road. However, we got to Cape Royal and discovered that, while ecologically amazing — as the terrain had changed from alpine to high Sonoran Desert in about two minutes — the view required a hike, which I did not feel up to. I would have to carry Audrey or put her carrying pack, and there at Cape Royal, the terrain was much like what we’d experience at home — deserty and HOT. I was tired from two near-sleepless nights, and not all that enthused with tromping through the desert, so we used the restrooms and piled back into the truck. We, instead, picnicked at the lovely Roosevelt Point under magically cool-again, cloudy skies that sprinkled us just a bit.
We headed home from Roosevelt Point. The trip was long, lovely, and fairly uneventful, all the kids travelling well and mostly without complaint. We didn’t arrive home until 9:30, tired, and happy both from our trip and from our arriving home to a smiling Daddy. 🙂