Thursday, March 22, 2012
The Coffee Pot was so good our first morning that we decided to head there again for breakfast. This morning we both had the “TakeTwo” ($5.50 each). Two pancakes, two eggs, and a choice of sausage or bacon. We don’t usually eat large breakfasts, but we justified it based on the fact that we’d be hiking and using those morning calories.
Our hike today was a circular route starting at the Soldier Pass trailhead. We went straight out the Soldier Pass trail climbing to Brins Mesa. Then we turned right continuing along the mesa and down the trail, and finally finishing off the loop by hiking the Cibola Pass & Jordan trails to get back to our car. The loop was nearly 6 miles long, and offered varied terrain. The first half climbed through a cool pine forest, the middle of the loop had expansive views, and the second half was a pleasant descent. I think it took us around 3 very enjoyable hours.
We were ready to eat again after the hike, and headed down to Bodacious Burgers. We both order the Basic Bodacious Burger with Sweet Potato Fries. Hubby was annoyed that they didn’t have a liquor license, because he really wanted a beer with his burger. None-the-less, we enjoyed our lunch, but were a bit overly full when we left there. We drove into town to play tourist for a bit. We’re not good shoppers, but went to Tlaquepaque to have a look around. It’s a beautiful shopping/dining area, but we just didn’t need anything that they were selling. We continued south out of town, visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and walked a mile of the trail that starts just below the chapel.
Dinner on this evening consisted of cheese, crackers and fruit that we’d bought at the supermarket. The Bodacious Burgers were so filling at lunchtime, we couldn’t even think about going out to dinner.
Friday, March 23, 2012
We checked out of the Sky Ranch Lodge, and went to our breakfast place – The Coffee Pot. Once again, we had the “Take Two”. We scoped out a hike to the north, as we were heading to the Grand Canyon in the afternoon. The decision was made that the West Fork of the Oak Creek sounded right for the day. The hike along the West Fork is fairly flat and straightforward, with the exception of the first stream crossing that requires some balancing on rocks and logs. After that, there are 12 more stream crossings as you head up the trail, following the stream. The further we got up the trail, the more snow we encountered. Just before the three-mile mark, we made the decision to turn around. The snow was getting so deep at this point, that the hike was becoming more work than fun. We re-traced our morning journey back to the car, and had a picnic lunch at the benches provided near the parking area.
In the early afternoon we headed to the Grand Canyon – our destination for the next four days. We arrived at the South Rim around 3pm, and went straight to a Ranger’s discussion about the California Condor. I wanted to find out where we might be likely to see a condor while in the canyon. The ranger’s talk was interesting and informative. We then went to check in to our Bright Angel Rim Side cabin. We had #6145, a historic cabin with a fairly decent view of the canyon. The room was comfortable with two comfy leather seats and a queen size bed. It was clear that the room had been updated in the last few years.
In the early evening we headed to the General Store to rent hiking poles for our trip into the canyon, get some items for lunch on Saturday, and drove as close to the South Kaibab trailhead as you’re allowed to drive to, and walked to the trail. We were curious to know what the state of the top of the trail looked like, to assess whether we’d need to bring our traction devices with us because of the snow earlier in the week. We made the decision that it wasn’t bad enough to warrant bringing our YakTrax. Having seen the starting point of our hike into the canyon, we returned to the car, drove back to the Bright Angel Lodge, and had dinner in the Arizona Room. The food was fine. We headed to bed early.