North Rim 2007
Diary of Steve Biro, Helen Biro, and Roger's trip to North Rim of the Grand Canyon, June 2007
6/10/07 Left at 6:30 a.m. for the Grand
Canyon North Rim. After driving about 390 miles, I arrived in Mesquite
Nevada about 3:00 p.m. I checked into the Carta Blanca Casino RV Park.
The temperature was at 104 F. when I first arrived. The 5th wheel
trailer AC worked, thank God, after winter hiatus. Steve and Helen who
are joining me for the North Rim part of the trip arrived about 4:00
p.m. They brought in their night clothes etc. I will give them the
bedroom for 5 nights and I will sleep on the sofa in the living room.
We went to Katherine’s the gourmet restaurant in the casino for dinner.
It was excellent. I had bouillabaisse which was outstanding. For
desert we split a huge homemade cone stuffed with rich Italian homemade
ice cream, topped with crème on glaze, and fresh strawberries &
boysenberries. Yum yum.
6/11/07 Got up at 6:00 a.m. and was on the
road at 7:15 a.m. It was a curvy mostly uphill180 mile drive to the
North Rim. The last 45 miles in the Kaibab NF was lush green and
reached a high elevation of 8,700’. We arrived around noon at the North
Rim Camp Ground. It was beautifully wooded with Ponderosa Pines. We
had site 23 the biggest pull through also on the edge looking out into
the Ponderosa Pine Tree forest. For future reference sites 11, 14, & 15
are big and have partial views of the canyon. There are no hook ups,
but some water faucet stations. We were lucky to be within 40’ of one,
so we could refill our water tank. All of the huge sites and roads were
newly paved with asphalt. The North Rim is way more rustic, less
commercial, and has more lush green as opposed to the commercial South
Rim. We drove a couple of miles to the Rim visitor center and lodge.
We walked a short distance out to Angle Point to get some beautiful
panoramic views of the canyon. We drove back to our camp site to
relax. Helen brought homemade vegetarian lasagna which we heated and
enjoyed with a salad and a bottle of wine. At 7:00 p.m. Steve and I
attended the ranger camp fire talk about diversified plant life of the
6/12/07 Got up about 6:30 and cooked eggs,
sausages, toast, and coffee for breakfast. Steve and I drove to the
Uncle Jim Trail and did the 5 mile loop trail taking about 2.5 hours to
do it. It was through beautiful forest and along the canyon rim with
lots of lupine flowers still blooming. We returned to the trailer for a
ham sandwich lunch. The weather was perfect so, I snoozed in my La Fuma
chair for several hours. I barbecued a rack of lamb served a salad and
frozen corn for dinner. The rack of lamb purchased from Costco was
outstanding along with the Cabernet Sauvignon wine. Yum yum. I
attended an astronomy lecture at 8:00 p.m. put on by a JPL public
relations woman connected with the NASA Cassini project to Saturn.
Afterwards I looked through some scopes set up in the lodge patio area.
The conditions were poor and the lodge itself has lots of light
pollution from patio lights. I decided not to set up my scope as they had
plenty of scopes and the transport of equipment into the patio would be
a long haul. I did enjoy an hour of visiting with the astronomers.
6/13/07 Got up around 7:00 am. and had a light oatmeal fruit breakfast. We all
including Helen with her gimpy knee decided to hike to the Lodge on the
Transept Trail. It was about 1.5 miles along the rim and was a
beautiful hike mostly down hill. We then returned to the camp ground
via the Bridle Trail which was not on the rim but all up hill back to
the camp ground. I crashed for two hours in my La Fuma chair,
occasionally visiting with the Biros. I barbecued tri-tip Costco roast
for dinner with a salad and frozen medley of mixed vegetables for
dinner. At 8:00p.m., I attended another astronomy slide lecture at the
lodge, this time done by the famous John Dobson inventor of the Dobson
telescope. He is a very entertaining speaker still, at 92 years old.
He looks like a 55 year old. I guess monks live healthy lives.
6/14/07 Had another light breakfast. We
all decided to hike the North Kaibab Trail down to Coconino Overlook.
This is the only maintained trail down into the canyon. Its only .7
miles to this overlook but the drop is 800’. This trail is way prettier
than the Kaibab on the south side. I snapped lots of photos. Enjoyed
the overlook for 15 minutes and started the steep trek back. A mule
trip passed us up about ½ way. I want to do the North Kaibab 14 mile
trail down to the Phantom Ranch before I die. Perhaps I can pick up a
raft trip or a mule trip at the bottom so I don’t have to walk out.
After the hike, we were all starved so we headed to the lodge for
lunch. We were too early so we joined an Elderhostel photo lecture in
the lodge auditorium. We got seated at 11:30 a.m. when it opened. This
lodge and Restaurant was designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood
who also designed Ahwahne Lodge in Yosemite, and the Lodge at Bryce
Canyon. It has the 2nd best view of any lodge I have ever attended
(Château Lake Louise is # 1). The ambiance was to die for, food was
average. After resting several hours after lunch, for dinner, I grilled
some huge Costco frozen scallops with peas and brown rice for dinner
which turned out yummy. Steve and I enjoyed a great bottle of
Chardonnay wine and a White Riesling Late Harvest dessert wine to cap
off the last dinner with the Biros.
6/15/07 Did not sleep well at all last
night. The Biro’s left at 5:30 a.m. I got up, had some cereal and
then slept on and off most of the day. Caught up on my diary and
started getting the trailer ready for an early exit to Bryce Canyon
tomorrow morning. I attended a ranger camp fire history program about
the explorers and settlers into the south western states all pertaining
to the Grand Canyon which was very well done. I met an astronomer in
the camp ground who has the same mount as mine. I spent an hour talking
to him as he did imaging with an Orion Star Shooter camera.
Photo's by Roger Zellmer & Steve Biro of North Rim in
||Helen and Steve Biro.
||They had a nice General Store at the
entrance to our camp ground.
||Yours truly with my new North Rim GC
hat, a present from Steve.
||The camp ground had no hook ups, but
it was beautiful, all asphalt huge pads, huge Ponderosa Pine forest, and
very close to several good trails.
||Steve and Helen headed for Angel's
||A photo of
the rustic Lodge from a trail below.
||Brightty the famous mule in the Lodge.
If you rub it's nose you will have good luck. Look how shinny it
||Steve taking a break on the Uncle Jim
5 mile loop trail.
||This was a beautiful trail with lots of
flowers and views of the canyon. The temperature was perfect in
the low 70's.
||One of the scenic side canyons.
||Helen and Steve on the Transept trail
a 3 mile hike from our camp ground down to the Lodge.
||A view on the start of the 14 mile
North Kaibab trail down to the river.
||This was the limit of our steep 800'
elevation drop in .7 mile hike down. It was getting pretty hot
today and Helen did not want to go down any further and definitely not
14 miles to the river.
||Here is a view of the North Kaibab
dropping down into the Grand Canyon. Some day I would like to walk
this one way down and pick up a raft trip out after staying overnight at
the Phantom Ranch