Mile 731, on the East Rim

Surprisingly cold last night, cold enough to freeze most of my water. But being camped on a hill where all the trees have burned down insured that I got the very first rays of sun in the morning.

The plateau hike continues, with blue and englemann spruces gradually replacing the ponderosas. There are chains of grassy meadows in the low areas, some of which hold small duck ponds. They were frequent enough that I never had to carry more than two liters of water.

I am coming to the end of this plateau. The trail abruptly emerged from a dense forest to a sheer canyon – the North Canyon — which opens out to a lower plateau that is riven by the Colorado , backed by risers of red rock mesas and topped by the dome of Navajo mountain. I didn’t know that the Grand Canyon has an East Rim, but it does and I like it.

The upper canyon is densely forested by dark green and blue spruces intermingled with aspens on the slopes and maples on the bottom, both in full color.

When I found a campsite on an overlooking point, it was an easy decision to call it a day. After an early dinner, I sat out on a rocky point with my ukulele and my whisky flask and enjoyed watching the dark shadow of the Kaibab spread over the Colorado plain and the last ocher rays of sunset creep up the cliffs. That’s what I’m here for.