Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Celebration Road Trip - North Rim, Grand Canyon

The second day of our celebration road trip started early in Las Vegas as we headed up through the south east corner of Utah and into Arizona to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  We saw some amazing storms as we got closer to our destination...


We knew that the North Rim of Grand Canyon was at a higher elevation than the South Rim and that there would be trees but we were really surprised at how green and beautiful it is.


We couldn't get reservations in Grand Canyon National Park because it was all booked up.  So, we had reserved a spot at a campground just north of there called, Demotte.  Just as we pulled in and turned off the engine the sky opened up and the rain poured, hard.  We sat in the truck for a while and watched it.  The ground was quickly covered in water and tiny streams began to run.



When it slowed down a bit, we headed out in the rain to get the trailer leveled and set up for our stay.
Our view from the trailer windows and campsite was wonderful.  What a gorgeous area!


Since we live in an area affected by a serious drought, it's always extra wonderful to see rain.


The campground was just off the highway that goes directly to the National Park.  The road runs through the longest meadow we'd ever seen.  It went on for miles and miles.  On each side of it is some of the most beautiful forest we've ever seen.  It's dense with Pine, Fir, Spruce and Aspen trees. 


We saw a few deer along the way but they ran off very quickly as drove closer.


The skies began to open up and sun was shining as we neared the park.


This was the first time my husband had ever seen the Grand Canyon and I was so excited for him!
It's such a spectacular and magical place.  I love it!  And, he does too.



We made sure to get there in time to see the sunset.  The clouds prevented it from being super spectacular but it was still wonderful...especially with my dear hubby.


After hanging out near the lodge and the rim for a while, we headed back to camp for dinner and a good nights sleep.  We enjoyed sleeping to the sound of rain on the roof most of the night.

The next morning, the sun came out for a while and we quickly went out for a walk before it started raining again.  This area was so beautiful and magical...it was like stepping into a Christmas card.  It was amazing!  I realized even more on this day and as the trip went along that there is so much that just can't be captured or preserved with a photo.  Some things and places are too big, immense, amazing and magical.  It can't even be captured in professional photos.  It's something that you just have to experience in person.  This is one of those places!

This is the dirt/mud road that lead to the campground from the highway....
looking toward the highway...


This is the same road looking back toward the campground...


A closer look at part of that huge meadow and some of the bordering forest...


Incredible blue skies!  And, skinny trees like those skinny Christmas trees I've seen.  I'd never seen real ones.  That was pretty exciting!  They're so cute!


I can't remember the name of this flower even though I've seen it many times.  I saw more of them on this trip than ever.  I saw areas along roadsides that had hundreds of them.  This one was especially tall...maybe six feet!  It was just outside of our trailer...


Here's a close up looking up at the top...


After our walk, we headed back to the National Park that was about 25 minutes away.

Here's the lodge at the North Rim.  Just wait til you see the inside!


The moment I walked inside, I gasped!  It was gorgeous!


This is the entry area, looking toward the dining room...


The dining room was huge.  I love the rock walls, wood beams, the beautiful lights and the rug...


And, then there's the view....it overlooks the Grand Canyon!  Spectacular!  The menu looked great too but we tried too late to get reservations for that night.  They didn't have anything until late and we were too hungry to wait.  Next time, it'll be the first thing we do when we arrive...make a reservation!


Toward the back of the lodge was a huge sitting room with comfy leather couches and chairs and...you guessed it...that amazing view of the canyon through huge windows...


Here's a great panorama shot that my husband took...


There were doors on both sides of the sitting room that lead to stone patios...


Both patios were lined with chairs to sit, relax and take in that spectacular view!


In another part of the lodge, there's the "Roughrider Saloon".  It's a cute little place that's quite busy.  We ordered a couple of locally brewed beers and headed over to the patio to relax and stare at that magnificent view.


Here's one of my Instagram photos from that day.  Cheers to the Grand Canyon!


Underneath the dining room of the lodge is a stone room that most people walked right by and didn't seem to notice.  That's ok because we had it all to ourselves for a while.


 And, you guessed it...it looks out over the canyon.



This huge stone fireplace was on the east patio.  The opening was at least six feet high.


On the opposite side of the lodge from the dining room was this room.  It has a stage in it, big windows, and lots of chairs.  They had old photos of entertainment that's been on that stage.  It looked like a great place for weddings too.


Here's a view of the canyon side of the lodge from one of the canyon lookouts...


There's an easel in the lobby with framed letters about the various Native American rugs hanging in the lodge.  This rug was obtained in 1940, took 25 months to weave, and at the time was believed to be the largest Navajo rug that had ever been woven....10 feet by 27 feet!


The lighting in the lodge was interesting and beautiful.


These are the dining room lights at night...


There's a bronze statue of "Brighty" in the lodge sitting room.  He's a burro that was used to haul water from the canyon to the lodge around 1917.  There's even a famous children's book about him called, "Brighty of the Grand Canyon" by Marguerite Henry.


He's so cute!


There are photos of him on the wall nearby...


He was good with kids and he let them ride on his back.


Those wooden canisters were filled with water for him to haul back up.
They say that he was paid each day for his work with a pile of flapjacks.


There are various cabins and motel rooms to stay in at the lodge.  These are the cabins that are closest to the lodge.  They look cute and cozy.  They all had fireplaces and little porches with rockers.


A few of them even have a view of the canyon.  This one is right next to the east patio.


Here's another angle of the same cabin...
If I stayed in this one, I'd have a hard time leaving the porch!
Doesn't this look like the perfect place to hang out all day?!


On our drive back to the campground, we pulled into a rest stop to see the beautiful flowers.
There were picnic tables near and in the woods.  So pretty!



We saw SO many wildflowers on this trip!  And, like many trips, the biggest concentrations and often the ones that I've never seen were along the roadsides where we couldn't pull over.  Luckily, there was a place to stop and get a closer look at these.


This was the only gas station/market for miles.  It was close to the campground and so cute!  They'll only be open for a few more weeks as the North Rim Lodge and Park will be closing for the season.  The gas station/market only stays open for a couple more weeks after that for the hunters.


The rain poured all that night...even harder than the night before.  We even had to hitch up in the rain the next morning.  But, it was still such a treat to see rain that we didn't mind.  It was wonderful!

We needed to stop to get something out of our trailer shortly after leaving and there was a surprise waiting for me....these wildflowers!  I've never seen them before.  They're itsy bitsy and so unique!


The rain continued most of the day as we drove to our next destination.  Here's a photo of a nearby area to where we camped that had burned recently.  The fire had burned for miles and miles.  In it's place are millions of baby Aspen trees.


Our next stop was wonderful and filled with surprises!

Stay tuned!

10 comments:

Kaisievic said...

Wow! Spectacular photos. The Grand Canyon is on my list of must sees. Thank you so much for sharing.

Judy said...

Wow, Cheryl! What a beautiful vacation! I really enjoyed looking at your pictures!
Judy

Cindie said...

Amazing photos - thanks for taking us along on your trip!

Michelle said...

We have been to the GC and it is such a beautiful place. You captured the views so well!

Teresa Kasner said...

I cannot thank you enough for showing me all those grand canyon photos and about the lodge and all. I have never been and want to go so bad - this helps me envision what it's like.. I vow to go as soon as possible. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

mamasmercantile said...

What an amazing trip, it has been wonderful riding along with you.

Delighted Hands said...

So glad you're enjoying your trip! I visited the Lodge on my honeymoon in 1976....the pictures brought back good memories!

thewovenspoke said...

Cheryl, that is the perfect place for any one to see the Grand Canyon! I worked up there about 25 years ago for a season close to where you camped, the Kiabab Lodge in that big meadow. Your photos made me homesick. I am glad you had a great time.

Amy at love made my home said...

Oh my goodness, it is so so so beautiful!!!! xx

111 LaLa Lane said...

Your shots of the Grand Canyon made me gasp. Gorgeous! And now I must go there. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip.