Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Big Hike and The Garden Continues Just Fine

It's been a big September for this gardener and her wonderful husband.

A number of years ago, WH and I visited the Grand Canyon.  We saw it from the North Rim and hiked along the top taking in the views.  We talked about returning one day to hike to the bottom.
This was to be the year of the Big Hike.

We signed up with a hiking company.  They provide a guide, the camping gear and the food.  We just had to bring our personal stuff and be ready to hike with backpacks.  We had never back country camped before.  This would be an adventure in many ways.  Our hike would take us from the North Rim across the Grand Canyon to the South Rim.  23.5 miles with some side hikes to waterfalls and view points.  We spent all summer doing extra workouts and hiking around our little city with backpacks full of books and bricks (I'm not kidding) to add weight.  

The week of the Big Hike arrived.  We headed to Arizona.

Along the way, we spent some time in Albuquerque, NM.  Love Old Town.

For you Eagles fans, we stopped in Winslow, AZ.  Everything in this photo makes sense if you know their song "Take it Easy."

We also visited the Barringer Meteor Crater.  That was amazing.

Finally, we were in Flagstaff, AZ where we would meet up with the hiking company.  There were three other hikers in our group, us and the guide.  We all got along so well.  New hiking friends!

I'll give you just a sample of what we saw.  The whole experience was amazing.  We lucked out on the weather.  It did rain on us one morning while hiking, but that cooled it down.  Hiking down into the Grand Canyon was actually the hardest day.  Think about walking down steps for seven miles while carrying a 35 pound back pack.  My knees were wiggly after that.  I was worried they would hurt the next day, but I was good!  Oh, my calves were tight.  So, I still took it easy on some terrain, but every sore step was worth it to see the Grand Canyon this way.  

View from the North Rim after we had cleared the pine trees.  (Yes, the North Rim has pine trees.  It is higher in elevation and the forest goes right up to the edge.)

Ribbon Falls on our second day.  That's WH and I in the second photo to give you some perspective.

The prickly pear cactus had fruits and our guide opened one up and let all of us taste it.  Not bad.

At one point, the walls got very close in Bright Angel Canyon.
The Grand Canyon has the Colorado River at the bottom, but it is also made by tons of creeks that come into the Colorado River and there are many side canyons that are amazing.

We camped near the bottom one night where people who ride the mules down also stay.  These mules were ready for their return trip to the top waiting for their riders as we geared up to hike to our next camp.

We took this bridge across the Colorado River.  You can't see the Colorado River from the rims.  It's amazing how big it is down there.

The sun was just lighting the Colorado River as we crossed the bridge.

For our last night in the Grand Canyon, we went to Plateau Point.  It is an amazing spot to watch the sunset and see the colors of the Grand Canyon.

Our last day was a hike up.  The spot where we got out is at the bottom of the V at the rim you see in this photo.  There is a trail up to that point.  

Here's WH taking in the view as we climb up.

This is looking back down on some of the trail we used.

The view from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is AMAZING!

We want to do it again!!!

Meanwhile, back at the garden, some much needed rain fell while we were away and we had a drastic dip in temperature.  34 degrees Farenheit one night.  Brrr.  Earliest frost recorded for our area on September 6th.  I was glad I had brought in the few houseplants that would have been affected by the cold before we left.  Otherwise, all the remaining plants are still well.  I'm still getting tomatoes, peppers, etc.  I don't think my garden actually got the frost.

This past week, monarch butterflies have been stopping by on their way south.

And, the morning glories have been stunning.

I'm still catching up on life from being gone and enjoying more gardening adventures.

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. What an incredible journey! I have missed you!
    Thank you so much for sharing the photos. I will share your post with my brother and husband who visited the GC a few years back.

  2. WOW, what a glorious adventure you had!!!

    How great that you had rain too, and that your gardens survived the early frost.

    Have a wonderful week ~ FlowerLady

  3. Your pictures are amazing!! Thank you for giving us this tour through your blog.
    (Mildred sent me here because I love seeing far away places).

  4. GoSS, sounds like you had a great trip. I've never really been one to take touristy vacations. My Mom was the traveler. Dad just kind of tagged along just to be with her. I'm very much like that. My traveling has to have either a family event or a project of some kind on the other end. I'm definitely a destination traveler and not a sight seeing traveler. I've not been to the Grand Canyon but have driven by it many times. My idea of a sight seeing trip is watching the discovery channel on TV. I know. I'm not a very exciting guy. The only thing that might tempt me to go tourist traveling would be gardens across the country. One of my favorite bloggers just did that in Seattle which was fascinating.

    I'm glad you had a great time. Have a great day filled with memories from your trip.

  5. I really enjoyed your pictures. Looks like a fascinating trip. That narrow place would have frightened me, I think. Good for you both on making this trip. The canyon must be beautiful...Balisha

  6. LOVE your photos!! I also LOVE the Eagles. .and so the photo of Winslow Az was fun to see too!! Looks like a great trip. .you might have to call me the next time you go back. .although, I doubt my WH would have any interest with the 'old man knees' that he has!!

  7. Your photos of the hike were wonderful to see. I would really like to do the Grand Canyon sometime. It was an interesting sight. The creator is awesome and maybe scary. We haven't had the monarch migration for about four years now. I wish that we get it this year but they may just follow the Missouri River again this year. Great posting.

  8. Oh, that looks marvelous. Sounds like you had a wonderful time--I'm so glad!
    This certainly will go down as an adventure. The waterfall is really really beautiful.

  9. I thank you for visiting the canyon with you. Beautiful trip. Regards :)

  10. Oh My Goodness.... Hubby and I would LOVE to do that --but truly, I couldn't do it (with my bad knees and feet). I wish since it would be a dream for us! That waterfall is gorgeous --and seeing the canyon from below has to have been tremendous. WOW--I'm so envious. Glad you all got to make that big hike.

    Glad everything was fine at home. We've had some cool weather here --but nothing below the high 40's.

    Congrats on your amazing trip.


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