August 2
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August 3rd - The day of the hike.  At 9:30 the Baldaufs emerged from their cocoon, I mean the El Tovar, and embarked on an 8.2 mile hike on the West Rim Trail.  All but Dave made it all the way - Dave's Achilles tendon was bothering him so he only did 7.1 miles.  The weather was coolish to warmish.  There were times when it was overcast and drizzling and cool (jacket weather) and times when it was mostly sunny and a little warm.  Overall, You couldn't have asked for much better hiking weather.  The trail was considered to be moderate.  There was not too much verticality (better for Dave as he huffs and puffs on the uphills, especially at this altitude), and the footing was pretty good.  Which was a good thing because there were places where literally, one real misstep would have been bad news as we were within 2 feet of the drop-off with some loose stones on the path.  Everyone was a great hiking partner.  There was no griping and we were all in good spirits.  I think it was an incredible accomplishment.  We ate lunch (bagels, applesauce, apples, sweet potatoes for the kids) along the trail.  The endpoint was a place called Hermits Rest.  From there we took a free shuttlebus back to near the hotel (Dave shuttled the last 1.1 miles to meet the family at Hermits Rest).  Then back to the room by way of Bright Angel Lodge's snackbar where we rested up prior to going out for pizza and salad in Tusayan, 1 mile south of the park.  Now everyone is asleep (except for me) resting up for tomorrow's big day.

The next three pictures are of Bright Angel Trail that leads down from the rim down into the canyon.  This trail is shared by mules and humans.

  The ziggy white line is the trail going down with all of its switchbacks.  It's amazing to watch the little ants moving on it!

  The El Tovar hotel is in the center.

  This was a copper mine in the old old days, then it bacame a Uranium mine in the 50s.  It is now shut down.

  The Powell and Baldauf Monument.

The next few are interesting views along the trail.

  See the Colorado River way down there!

  A closeup of an interesting dead tree along the way.