Thursday, January 23, 2014

2013 Throwback - Arizona road trip part 2

Yesterday, I started reminiscing about my trip to Arizona last year, so today I'll finish off the recap of the Grand Canyon and then take you through Sedona and Scottsdale. 

After doing part of the Kaibab Trail, I had a really long debate with myself about whether to go back and finish the trail (to Skeleton Point) or to try out another trail. I ended up choosing to do another trail and this one started right outside of the lodge I was staying at, so as soon as I finished breakfast, I was able to get my pack ready and head out the door. Since I had all day, I decided to hike the Bright Angel Trail and head down to Indian Garden (4.5 miles down). The layers of snow made for some beautiful pictures. The top left picture shows the first of two "tunnels" through the rock that the trail takes you on. The bottom right picture shows a wide angle view from near the top of the trail where there is still a lot of snow, but the bottom left picture shows what happened as I continued on the trail - the farther I went down, the less snow there was and the more the temperature rose. I started out hiking in my ski jacket, but as I descended, I was able to shed that layer and stay warm enough. Right before I got to the 1.5 mile rest house, I saw some horses coming up the trail, so I moved off of the trail into a little stone building that sheltered me from the weather. Unfortunately, one of the horses was not happy on this section of trail, so I had to wait quite awhile before they were able to pass. Luckily, the rider was able to keep the horse under control enough that no one got hurt and they were able to continue on their journey as well. The top right picture is a view as I was getting closer to the Indian Garden. By this point, all the snow was gone and the trail had flattened out. 

One thing I learned is that my camera does not like to be dropped in the snow (who knew?) but if you do that sometimes you end up with some really interesting effects, like this picture:

From the Grand Canyon, I headed south toward Scottsdale by way of Flagstaff and Sedona. I didn't spend too much time in Flagstaff, but it was cheaper than staying in Sedona, so I spent the night in Flagstaff and then left early to check out Sedona before I had to be in Scottsdale. After seeing Sedona, I wish I would have spent the extra money to spend the night there - it was beautiful! Because I had left so early, I was able to get the sun coming up over the red rocks and even caught the moon in a few of my pictures. 

In Scottsdale, I was able to get some more hiking in at Pinnacle Peak. The weather was much warmer in Scottsdale and the scenery is completely different! The cacti are huge! The one in the top right picture is probably over 100 years old and maybe even over 175 - there's a growth chart on the trail that shows an estimation of how big a cactus is at various points in its lifecycle. 

I hope you've enjoyed my trip down memory lane through Arizona. Have you ever been to Arizona? 


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