Day 2: Saturday
|Up at 5:15 am. Breakfast in bed as we watched the sun paint the rocks and buttes around us. We were on the trail by 7:10 am.|
|South rim from lower Cottonwood Creek spur, below Horseshoe Mesa||Grandview Point from lower Cottonwood Creek spur|
|When we reached Cottonwood spring, we ended up following a series of trails to the right of the wash. We thought we were on the trail to Horseshoe but when we pass the break in the wall, we know we are wrong. Doug got out the map and we then bushwhacked north and east out of the streambed and, soon spotted the trail. Looking back, we could see where we'd gone wrong - we should have crossed the stream at the spring, instead of going up the streambed.|
|Cut-off up to Horseshoe Mesa, Cottonwood Creek spur||Upper Cottonwood Creek spur||Final section up to Horseshoe Mesa, upper Cottonwood Creek spur|
|We reached Horseshoe Mesa in 1 hour 25 minutes, in light rain. We broke out our jackets and headed back up the Grandview trail for the rim. We hiked out of the rain in an hour. At the 3 hours 5 minutes point, we met a large group of people, heavily clothed, coming down. They asked us about our wearing shorts and wondered if we weren't cold. We replied that movement provided all the heat we needed. We still had 1,400 feet to go, and soon we knew why they had questioned us. Shortly after leaving them we were greeted by light sleet, which turned to snow, still 1,000 feet below the rim. On went the jackets, hoods and gloves. We reached the rim in heavy, beautiful snow after 4hours 9 minute and 3,800 feet of gain.
The good news--the beer was cold (but not frozen)!
We showered and headed for home. Weather seemed to be ok to take the northern route home. The snows cleared, yet the skies still seemed threatening. So we decided to treat ourselves to a motel. We got to Blanding, Utah around 7:15 pm. It seemed early, so Brian wanted to push on to Moab. Moab was having a car show, so there were no motel vacancies. So on we went to Fruita, Colorado - no rooms there either, because of a "fat tire" truck and car show. We finally reached Grand Junction at 11:10 pm -- a Budget 8 motel had room, after a very long, long day ... At least the following day was a short drive.
But it was worth every minute of driving to experience the Grand Canyon once again.
|Springtime in the Desert - Prickly Pear cactus|