"I believe in evolution. When I recently hiked the Grand Canyon at sunset, it was really photogenic."- Gabriel Thompson
We decided to go to the Grand Canyon for Thanksgiving (and, more importantly, to celebrate Daniella’s 31st birthday). We arrived without making reservations. A lot of people seem to make reservations weeks or months in advance, and when we arrived we were told that there weren’t any available campsites at the bottom of the Canyon. So we camped out at the rim of the canyon for two nights—doing nice hikes during the day and freezing each evening (low temps in the 20’s)—before hiking into the Canyon and camping two nights. On Thanksgiving we hiked 7 miles down to the Colorado River and spent the evening next to a stream. Then we hiked up halfway and spent the night at the Indian Gardens campground. Then we hiked up.
The trip was fun. And though we’re tempted to give people a thorough run-down of our activities, we’re too young to be that relative in the living room dimming the lights and ruining everyone’s pleasant evening by rambling on for three hours about recent travels, complete with endless slides. So instead, we’re simply posted some photos below, with captions.
Daniella Along South Kaibab Trail
For some reason Daniella really brings out the surreal nature of the place; lots of these shots seem like they've been through the Photoshop ringer. Here she is somewhere near the top, heading down the South Kaibab Trail.
Kaibab Trail #2
Again along the South Kaibab Trail. Daniella had a habit of walking up to the end of whatever ridge we were on and staring, apparently in deep thought.
This is at the top, on our first day at the Canyon during a six-mile hike along the rim. This is also the exact day Daniella turned 31. On this day she was also carded at a local store when purchasing matches. Again, she's pretty close to the edge.
Grand Canyon Wildlife
This is a resting elk. We decided to take a nearby campground on the rim to be near him. At first it was exciting to be near the beast and snapping photographs, but he didn't get spooked at all, which took some of the drama out of the experience. We eventually forgot about each other.
Gabriel as Trip Leader
Gabriel trudging along, getting closer now to the Colorado River. One of the coolest things about hiking the Grand Canyon is that your pants and shoes end up changing colors along the path. In a short period the dust can change from red to orange to white. Here his jeans and shoes are peachy.
Now almost to the bottom. This is the Colorado. We crossed the pedestrian/mule bridge below and walked another half mile to the campground. Following a ranger's advice, we didn't take a tent, which lightened our load and made for some nice sleeping under a full moon.
If we haven't bored you yet, you can check out the rest of our photos (no captions) here.