PumpkinKnitter

The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Morning on the Rim



It's six a.m. on Friday morning. We had planned to take a hike of several miles down into the canyon today, but two things are preventing this. First, the temperature in the canyon today will be well over a hundred degrees, which makes our climb back out in the sun a prohibitively dangerous proposition. Second, I have developed some severe dry skin on my heels, which has split open into numerous little cuts. I can't put regular shoes on, much less hiking shoes. I can see already that I will be spending the day rubbing aloe lotion into my heels and doing a bunch of knitting in whatever shade I can find. But for now, I'm walking out to the rim of the canyon.

The rim at Mather Point is just under three quarters of a mile from the campground. By the way, the campground at GC, at least the RV portion, is one of the best we've ever stayed at. Clean, quiet, well-maintained, and very inexpensive ($22.00 a night), with a bank, post office, and large well stocked grocery nearby. I've been doing a three-mile plus hike along the rim every day since we have been here, either in the evening or early in the morning. I walk from the campground to Mather Point and then either in to the Village with it's lodges and shops, from which I take a shuttle bus (free) back to the campground, or else I walk the rim until the trail leads in to the park headquarters, from which it is easy to finish the loop back to the campground on foot. But this morning I'm only going to walk to the rim and back. My feet hurt too much right now for anything else.



There's no one out at the rim this early. At least, at the point I'm at. I have a beautiful view heading east up the canyon into the sunrise. The sun hasn't been up an hour yet and the canyon is silent, with only a light breeze stirring the air and the trees. Two lizards share my lookout with me. They sit on the rocks and sun themselves, no doubt warming up after the cool night temperatures. Later, this quiet point will be swarming with tourists. They come in by the bus load and the train load, all anxious for a couple hours to peek over the rim, take numerous pictures, and run into the gift shops to purchase their souvenirs. Then they leave again, and by five o'clock in the evening, the rim is quiet and peaceful again. I know that for many people, this is the only chance and the only way they have to see the canyon, yet they miss so much. The deep shadows of early morning or evening, when the native animals come out of hiding; the pervading silence of the canyon, the sun on the red rocks creating a thousand shades of reds, browns, and purples. It's time to be quiet with oneself, and let oneself sink into the depths of contemplation. The lizards and I are content to be where we are. We are one with the canyon.

Before I know it, it's eight o'clock. The first tour bus pulls up and disgorges it's load. A loud, really harsh voice booms out. Obviously it is that of the tour guide's. A mob of eager tourists, cameras at hand, rushes for the rim. They spread out and soon all one can hear is the clicking of shutters and the overwhelming voice of the tour guide, who seems bent on having his voice carry all the way across the canyon. I look down. The lizards have left. It's time for me to leave as well, and pick my slow way back to the campground. The morning meditation is over. But this evening, when my feet have somewhat recovered, I will walk the rim again, and regain the quiet contemplation of the morning.


8 Comments:

Anonymous Dipsy D. said...

Glad to have you back again! Awww, thanks for sharing all these gorgeous photos and your amazing travel story! While reading through it, I got a tiny bit jealous, I'd love to go there one day too and do a little - or big - hiking trip! Such a beautiful view and awesome nature!

12:26 PM  
Blogger jenknits said...

What beautiful photos! I felt so calm and quiet just reading your post, until those pesky tourists showed up.

12:57 PM  
Blogger knitnthings said...

I'm totally jealous! I've been to the canyon once when I was young. I've always wanted to go back & do what your doing! Thanks for sharing your lovely photos - you've got one lucky sock!

1:20 PM  
Blogger knittyref said...

You absolutely described it at its best. I love waking up early and enjoying that "I'm the only person on the edge of the world" feeling.

Try to stay cool and I hope you're able to hike again soon.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Ah, what nice memories you've stirred. The pictures could have been taken out of my own album. Several years ago I stayed in that very campground and hiked the South Kaibab Trail to Phantom Ranch and up Bright Angel Trail. We did it all in one day. There was no time for knitting on that hike! Your hike sounds like one I would want to take today.

Thanks for sharing your photos and your descriptions. I loved being there with you.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I hope you had a wonderful birthday Pat! Thanks for sharing the photos and thoughts and stories of your vacation - you always have such breathtaking photos to show us. :)

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Roxanna said...

Stunning, stunning photos! What an eye you have. No wonder you produce such gorgeous knitting.

Your blog is like a travel show. how lovely.

BTW, try bag balm on those heels. Slather it on heavy at night, put on thick sockies and sweet dreams!

6:17 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Oh Pat

What a fun time I am having following your vacation! Try vaseline on those heels/soles; coat them and put some cheap cotton manufactured socks on overnight while you sleep. It should help. Keep up the great posts, if you dont find them cumbersome. Magnificent blogposts.

8:02 PM  

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