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
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 next few are interesting views along the trail.