August 3
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August 3rd - A busy morning and a shopping afternoon.  This morning Lesley and Kim and Chris went down Bright Angel Trail to the One-and-a-Half Mile House.  When I say down, I mean down.  I' m not sure of the vertical drop but I would estimate 1,000 feet.  It took them about 3 hours round-trip.  Meanwhile, Dave took the much tamer South Rim Trail to Yavapai Point, about 1.5 miles.  I was resting my Achilles tendon; besides, I don't do well on the verticals.  I took the shuttle bus back and met the rest of the family shortly after they climbed back out of the canyon.  Then we had a surprisingly good and pleasant lunch at the Bright Angel restaurant.  Then, back to the room for a short rest, then about a mile walk to the Visitors Center where Kim and Chris received their Junior Ranger certificates and pins.  They completed several questions based on their observations of nature around the park.  They had done the same type of program at Zion.  Some shopping, and then out of the park to McDonalds and the IMAX theater presentation on the Grand Canyon.  Back in time to just miss the sunset (see almost sunset picture below).  Getting organized to leave early morning - it should be a sparse picture day.  Ciao!

  El Tovar Hotel where we're staying.  Built in about 1908.

  A real live working steam engine for the train that runs, I believe, to Williams.  This one's for you, Art.

  Lesley, Kim, and Chris at the beginning of the trail.  Look closely and you may see the mule scat.

  The ants formerly known as Lesley, Kim, and Chris.

Some nice pix below.

  Sunset reflected in the clouds.