Saturday, October 25, 2008

Clear Creek Trail

Considering that we spent the night in 10-person dormitories, we both slept well.

Like the other women in my dorm, my calves are sore - just the typical delayed-onset muscle soreness. Nothing to worry about.

In the women's dorm, from the time the Phantom Ranch wake-up call (a loud knock on the door) came at 4:30 a.m., there was no more sleeping. People were getting dressed, showering, lights were on, plenty of talking was happening. My brilliant plan of having no breakfast and sleeping in was foiled! Plus, cleaning the dorms happens from 7 - 9 a.m. or so....I had to vacate my comfy bunk bed too early!

We decided to hike a ways up Clear Creek Trail. The trails yesterday were the corridor trails - wide and suitable for mules. Clear Creek Trail is like the majority of hiking trails in the Grand Canyon - narrow and suitable for humans.

We headed up the North Kaibab Trail a bit, and heard lots of rocks falling near the trail.

A group of bighorn sheep was grazing and walking along the canyon wall, sending rocks down below them. Luckily they were on the opposite side of the canyon from us - so rocks weren't falling on our heads!

The junction of the North Kaibab and Clear Creek Trails was a little confusing, but we found a sign and were sure we were on the right track.

The footing is more rocky here, and the trail is narrower.

The views were beautiful, although the early morning sunlight made it hard to capture them in photos.

We hiked up a ways and were passed by several small groups of backpackers.

This picture shows where I was standing when we decided to turn back. When the trail was less than 2 feet wide, the footing was rocky, plants and cacti stuck out into the trail, and there was a drop of hundreds of feet on one side, I just couldn't do it.

But other people definitely do backpack on this trail. People must get used to it. As we were turning back, a couple in their 60's with large backpacks briskly hiked past us.

See what I mean about those steep drop-offs?

There's a bench built into the side of the trail that overlooks Phantom Ranch. We relaxed on the bench for a while.

From the bench back to the North Kaibab Trail, the trail was a little wider.

We decided we'd entertain ourselves at the ranch for the day!

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