The Grand Canyon

Props to Alex and Kate for driving from Pittsburgh to meet us. We somehow timed it that we only waited about 7 minutes on the side of the road before they were there. We then drove up to the North Rim of the Canyon together from around Tuba City.

These were some real cowboys. Jamie gave a good YEEEHAA as we drove by and they loved it.

My first look at the Canyon. Our campsite was only about 150 yards from it. Although this wasn't the main part, it was still the biggest thing I had ever seen. It was actually dizzying just looking at it. I was fine walking out on the ledge, but had to do the four legged cat walk back, despite it being like 3 ft wide. I was a little scared at that height.

Don't tell Mom, but Alex and I went back out to the ledge at night against Jamie and Kate's permission. It was beautiful out there.

So, while hiking down the Kaibab trail, some F*** broke the Jetta window and stole Kate's purse. This turned out ok however since there was no money in the purse. They also left the laptop the purse was sitting on, the GPS, Ipods, Alex's wallet etc. They only broke into one other car in the lot, out of about 8 cars. The Ranger said this was the only act of vadilism/theft at the North Rim all year. The bad Karma this person got will definitely outweigh the empty Coach purse. Another Ranger also returned our camping fees because he felt bad. Oh, and Alex is smiling while taping the window because he brought yellow window tape just in case a window were to break...

So this black 73' Diesel Mercedes Benz bus rolls up to our campsite at about 9pm. It is pitch black and quiet out. All the Rangers go home in the off season at the North Rim so we were totally by ourselves. We were the only people camped at a site that has over 100 spots. The bus then pulls a U-turn right by our camp and then points its headlights on us. We are now all basically scared stiff. The bus then backs up, pulls forward, backs up, and finally parks a few hundred feet from us. All kinds of bloody murder movies are going through all of our heads, especially after having the car broken into today. So after about 10 minutes of silence a man emerges and hollers across in a heavy accent that there is some firewood left a few camps down. We acknowledge him but keep our distance. I ended up deciding to go over and talk with him. "Colm" ends up being the most laid back cool dude from South Africa who has been traveling the states the last two months running on Bio Diesel. He has seen so much and brings over 4 Coronas to the campsite to tell us about his journey to date. This was a man who was very in touch with the planet, and his advice was taken very much to heart. The next morning he made us all tea and gave us a tour of the bus. He even has a Hydrogen generator. We welcomed him to come and stay in Pittsburgh if he makes it that far, and it sounded like he would... Oh, and the back up turn around to face us thing wasn't meant to be creepy. Colm's starter went out about 1500 miles ago so he has to park on an incline until he fixes it. You should have heard the story about him locking himself out of the bus in a foot of snow at yellowstone right when the starter first broke, wearing a pair of Crocs nonetheless. He definitely had some of the best campfire stories I had ever heard. How about the man who was bit by a Black Mamba while getting wood from the wood pile at a mill. He ran up and put his arm to the chop saw in one hell of a split decision.

Once again, photos do no justice to this place. Hopefully The North Rim Nice shots will give a feel for it.