Leaving Mather Campground, I hiked about a quarter of a mile to the free shuttle bus stop. The buses come by every 7-10 minutes or so and it allows me to not only save gas but also avoid the crazy insane wait/fight for parking spaces closer to the Canyon. Earlier I had a cute old Asian couple stalk me throughout the parking lot at the Visitor’s Center to try and grab my parking spot and I didn’t want to have to do that.
The bus dropped me off at Mather Point, but instead of lingering there again, I started hiking the Rim Trail heading in the direction of Hermits Rest. I walked for a little over 6 hours, not trying to race past people, but really just enjoying and appreciating the spectacular view along the way.
A few things I found a tad odd:
- The number of parents who let their children stand and play on the edge of the cliff while they took pictures. I just wanted to yell at them “This is seriously dangerous! They could fall and you’d have no way to catch them!”
- I had cell service the entire time, which is really odd for a National Park. I actually walked along the Rim and chatted with my Mom for awhile after she got out of Jazzercise.
- The number of foreign languages I heard. Obviously I recognized some, like Spanish, French, German, Italian and what I believe was Korean (I had a South Korean roommate in college), but I also heard even more languages I couldn’t even begin to identify. Lots of non-romance languages. My favorite tourists, though, was this group of French teenagers. Their chaperone was trying to take a group picture, counting “Un. Deux. Trois” and every single time he got to “Trois” someone messed up on purpose, whether making bunny ears behind someones head or grabbing the person beside them in a headlock. The chaperone kept getting more and more upset, talking louder and faster with these huge hand gestures. It reminded me of some of my college friends and made me smile.
- The less than half a mile from Mather Point, there was hardly anyone on the trail. By the end of the day it was just me a handful of older couples. I guess I just don’t get it. If you’re coming all the way to the Grand Canyon, paying the entrance fee and goodness knows what else, why not explore some? Why just stay in one point the whole time? Blows my mind.
I took a ridiculous amount of photos, many of which I’m posting here, and journaled some so I could capture my feelings in the moment. One of my repeating thoughts was a conversation I had with a coworker before leaving. She said that the Grand Canyon was something you go to, see once, and then are good for the rest of your life. I couldn’t disagree more. With every cloud that went over head, with every change in the angle of the sun, the light and colors in the Canyon changed, making it a gorgeous and different view every time I looked. Don’t get me wrong, I would probably get bored working and living at the park all the time, but visiting periodically and doing different trails every time would be pretty cool.