The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Grand Canyon

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 in Arizona
Grand Canyon

So far on this vacation, I’ve done little more than sit in the car, play Wasabi Sudoku on my iPad and hobble from one gallery to the next along the length of Canyon Road. Today’s trip to the Grand Canyon involved the first real hike since my surgery and it was a knockout. In a good way. I wasn’t prepared for how tiring it would be to walk Rim Trail. It’s almost completely level for crying out loud. But I had to stop and rest every few minutes. I used my camera as a crutch, pausing to take a picture every time I felt the sudden urge to lie down on the path and go to sleep.

View of the Grand Canyon

Normally, I’d be all excited about the geology of a place like this. I’d be trying to identify every layer in the canyon wall—the Kaibab Formation at the top, the Redwall Limestone in the middle, the Bright Angel Shale further down, and the Vishnu basement rock at the deepest depths. But from behind a fog of synthetic analgesics, the Grand Canyon looked to me like a very large and surprisingly colorful ditch. I soon discovered that on pain killers, I had the attention span of a golden retriever and the intellect of a rock hammer.

Despite how tiring it was for me to hike along Rim Trail, it gave me new strength. I had been needing to increase my activity level and what better place is there to do so than right here? Yes, I was exhausted. Yes, recovering from surgery is challenging. But I was hiking in the southwestern sunshine astride one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Beat that.

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Assortment

Many Parks Curve
Many Parks Curve
During the winter, Many Parks Curve is the end of the line for anyone driving eastward through Rocky Mountain National Park along Trailridge Road.
A Day in Cambridge
A Day in Cambridge
I went to Cambridge for the day to visit with a friend. We had a lovely lunch at La Tasca and then wandered town for a while dipping leisurely in and out of shops.
Lichen Loop
Lichen Loop
Today I made a quick exploratory visit to Heil Valley Ranch. This was my first visit to this park and I was pleased to find that it is yet another nearby area that offers plenty of beautiful landscape, interesting geology, and many miles of trails.