Grand Canyon of Arizona

Pam and I just returned home from what has become a yearly trek down to Phantom Ranch for an over night stay with friends. We took the Roamer this year and camped on the Rim the night before and after the hike. No trip to northern AZ would be complete without a stop at Beaver Street Brewery in Flagstaff.

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We had lunch there on Friday and on our way home on Monday. We never get tired of that place.

Tom, our eldest son, is changing jobs that will take him initially back east and who knows after that so he made the trek with us this year.

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It was the first time we had three in the Roamer. The bench seats make into another bed so it worked out pretty well for the night. The weather Friday and Saturday was perfect for hiking, and unseasonably warm.

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The 10 of us headed down Bright Angel on Saturday.

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And dropped down to the river past Indian Gardens.

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It was beautiful down at Phantom Ranch for February. Some of us made it to happy hour at the Ranch but enjoyed a few drinks at a picnic table waiting for the dinner bell.

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We also lucked out with some last-minute cancellations to score 3 cabins at the Ranch instead of sleeping in the bunk houses.

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We hiked back out on South Kaibab trail that has a nasty switchback section right from the river up to the first plateau. Looks like there was a river boat trip also docked there for the night.

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The weather was predicted to get wet and because the north rim is a 1000 feet higher than the south rim it hit there first and followed us out of the canyon. This was looking back towards the north rim on our way out.

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The rest of the folks headed south after the hike, including Tom, but Pam and I stretched our legs on a walk, had a couple of glasses of wine, some homemade turkey soup and camped for the night as the snow started. We woke up to different world in white.

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Drove over to the rim this morning and the canyon was covered in snow and clouds. The El Tovar hotel is on the Rim and covered in white. We had a great meal there Friday night before our trek down.

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The drive home was very nice too. All snowy and not much traffic. The roamer in 4 wheel drive eats this up so I was a little bummed that we didn’t see someone off the road that would allow me to use its winches to pull them out.

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There were a lot of folks coming north that slid off the interstate south of Flag once they hit the snow and ice, but there were just as many tow trucks busy at work getting them out of the ditch.

Safe and sound at home again in the sun. Wow, what a great state.

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