North Rim, October 26
I don’t know how else to start this post than by sharing how our day started – Coral’s sunglasses fell into a public bathroom toilet. After I’d retrieved them, she told me that she didn’t even need to go to the bathroom, but had just wanted to try.
Oh yeah, and then we saw the Grand Canyon. We visited the North Rim side, which is way less popular as a tourist attraction than the south rim. But they still have Jr Ranger programs, views, trails to run, and toilets to drop things into…so the fact that it’s less crowded just makes it that much better for us! Because it’s about 1000 feet higher than the south rim, it gets way more snow and closes down for the season October 31. So we got there just in the nick of time to still take advantage of the amazing, knowledgeable park rangers who we just need to pass out small badges to our children.
One of the highlights of the day was a fox who came out onto a canyon wall below a viewing area where we were standing. He just stood there, looked around, looked up at the people at the viewpoint talking & pointing at him, and wasn’t bothered to leave. He even flopped down and sunbathed on a rock for about 10 minutes. We so enjoyed getting the chance to watch this little animal that is generally so elusive, simply enjoying his morning nearby.
I was also super excited that we got to see several Kaibab squirrels, which is a species that only exists on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. They were too quick for me to catch my own photo – but here’s what they look like.
We saw a lot of evidence that the resident bison herd had been nearby (poop….lots & lots of bison poop in meadows along the road). But as hard as we tried we didn’t see bison this day.
Another highlight was the girls meeting a very friendly little girl from California. She let the girls share her binoculars, they played games together on the rocks, and she even drew pictures of them in her travel notebook. As with most people we talk to for longer than 2 minutes, her family got to hear all about our adventure this year, and they were so encouraging and complimentary. It does my heart good to have strangers say things like, “Wow, good job!” Or “Goodness, we wish we could do that.” It helps remind me to be grateful every day that we are living this dream and to appreciate it while we are experiencing it. I think it will all end too quickly.