Hiking & Biking On The North Rim - July 2004

Exploring the North Rim - July 2004

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Looking Through the Angel's Window
Angel's Window is famous rock outcrop and natural arch on the North Rim near Cape Royale. The Colorado River can be seen as a dark line running through the 'window'.

Cape Royale
Cape Royal juts out into the canyon a few miles to the east of the North Rim lodge. Wotan's Throne is the rocky ridge in the foreground. Horseshoe Mesa (a favorite destination of mine) can be seen in the distance below the South Rim.

End of the Day Looking West From Cape Royale
I watched the spectacular sunset from Cape Royale. Increasingly dark shadows fill the canyon bottoms like a fog and contrast against the light of the exposed upper walls.

Cliff Spring Canyon
The pretty little Cliff Spring Canyon was a favorite camping spot for Teddy Roosevelt during his visits to the area. The curving walls and thick vegetation remind me of Walnut Canyon near Flagstaff.

"Red on Black, No Threat to Jack; Red on Yellow can Kill a Fellow"
Unfortunately I could not remember the details of that helpful little rhyme when I came across this guy on a narrow section of the Cliff Spring trail and so was not sure if he was just a harmless King Snake or the deadly Coral Snake. I did however remember my own little verse of "If it has stripes, it probably bites' and gave him plenty of room.

Riding the Rainbow Rim
The newly opened Rainbow Rim hiking and biking trail offers some amazing views of the western canyon (and some great incentives to practice sharp turns and quick stops). I did a good ten-miles (round trip) on the southern portion without a single flat!

The View from Swamp Point
Swamp Point is the trail head to reach the Powell Plateau - a large mesa cut off from the North Rim and covered with one of the large untouched pine forests in the southwest. A trail leads down to the old cabin at Muav Saddle and up into the pathless wilderness of the Plateau.

The Great Fourth of July North Rim Water Fight
There is a tradition at the North Rim that every Fourth of July the Park Service employees put on a parade in front of the lodge. Visiting children are allowed to take water guns and hoses and attack the 'floats' as they go by the lodge courtyard. The housekeeping van led the way and the poor maids trapped inside were completely massacred by the onslaught of water-wielding kids.

The Park Service Fights Back
Little did the children know that the final vehicles in the parade were the giant trucks of the fire department and road cleaning crews who let loose with the high pressure hoses just as the children were starting to run low on water. In less than 30 seconds they had blasted half the little beggers clean out of the courtyard.

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