I've visited the Grand Canyon many times and am always struck by the lack of evidence that just around a corner is one of the natural wonders of the world. My first visit, I rounded a corner, looked to the right and my jaw dropped. So....
....magnificent as Amy's dog Jack, seemed to enjoy the view too. We wanted to escape the heat of southern AZ so a 5 hour drive brought us to the South Rim. No pressure to leave early for an outdoor activity so after visiting the Canyon via car, we returned to our hotel where....
...wild horses were milling around. We got on our bikes and departed Tusayan, a town a mere 5 miles from the South Rim. Reaching the South Rim, we headed west towards Hermit's Rest.
The road is closed to all traffic and with the buses not running until September 1, we had the road to ourselves except for a couple other cyclists. Several spots provide views of the Colorado River, including some of the rapids.
I wore my Ohio State jersey, expecting that to garner a few "Go Buckeyes" from the crowd except there wasn't a crowd. It was almost eerie how few people were at the Canyon. This has to be at least my 20th time here and never have I seen so few people. The buses that disgorge hundreds of people each day are absent too.
It was fun to stop and view from afar some of the trails I have hiked. The main east/west Tonto Trail was visible from many places along with the South Kaibab, Bright Angel and Hermit's Trails. Our ride was much hillier then I anticipated as at mile 16 we reached Hermit's Rest with 870' of elevation gain. Everything was closed but we were able to refill our water bottles prior to returning. Reaching the area where El Tovar Lodge and Bright Angel Lodge are located we......
....paused to take an image of one of the mules. The mule trains are not running as frequently or with as many riders as normal. The bike rental business normally has 28 employees but only 8 are needed to meet the current demand. As we coasted down St. Rt. 89 we saw yellow tape across the road and....
....reaching the scene saw a single engine plane had crashed. The pilot had run out of gas about 1/2 mile from the airport, attempted to land on the road, wing clipped a pole, turned the plane upside down and bam. The cabin appeared to be crushed yet the pilot survived. We finished with 36 miles and 1750' of climbing. Now comes the hike.