Wednesday, September 1, 2021
What was our choice? Of course, Market. It had shortened hours and we needed stuff. Off we go. Cross the road, walk by the Lodge restaurant – seems to be busy, cross the parking lot, and there is the Market. Very busy. It has 3 distinct sections – Hiking, Camping, and Grand Canyon merchandise section, grocery store section, and deli section. People are everywhere. Some of the grocery section shelves look like Walmart shelves if they call for snow in the South.
Luckily, the wine section is nicely stocked. Unique local brands that I would love to try. We would except – we didn’t pack a cork screw and we’d have to pack bottles in the suitcases which might leak or break open. What to do?
Hidden on a bottom shelf we find merlot and moscato – packs of 4, in small plastic bottles with screw top caps – do they know tourists or what? May not be the unique brands we were hoping for but wine snobs we are not. Sutter Home to the rescue – we buy 3 packs.
Finish our shopping by getting some donuts for breakfast, a postcard, and a Christmas ornament Grand Canyon souvenir. The walk seems longer retracing our steps back to the room – must be the heavy bags of stuff we purchased. I should have probably offered to carry one of them. We check the Lodge restaurant times, and they are open until 9:00. Drop our purchases off and figure out on the map how to walk over to the Rim.
Head in that direction. Ooh – Some more elk across the street. Going to get that Instagram worthy picture now. Nope. Just as I focus, they turn away. No problem. I’ll just move down the sidewalk a little more. Nope. They continue to turn – keeping their backsides to me at all times. And I am not even close to them. I am using my zoom lens across the street and on the sidewalk. How do they know? I give up.
About a ten minute walk past the Ranger Station and we are at the Rim. Sun will be setting in about 30 minutes. Find a nice spot to sit and take some photos as the light changes. Didn’t really get a good one of the sun actually setting behind the canyon. Seemed like too much glare from it. But it was peaceful. Not very many other people at this area. I think there is a more popular spot in the park for sunsets, but I couldn’t remember which bus took you there – orange or red line – yada, yada, yada.
Start the walk back to the Lodge restaurant. Shadows are deepening and I can only hear some crows in the distance. What was it that Al said about mountain lions? Why aren’t there more people on this path? Why does it seem to take longer to get back to the road? Did I hear a branch snap? Can I sit on Chuck’s shoulders to make ourselves look big?
I had myself worked up to a cold sweat. Just great – I know they can smell fear so if they weren’t in the area before they are really heading this way now. I was glad to finally see the Ranger Station.
The restaurant is still busy. COVID protocols dictated that you took a menu, stood in line to wait to order, order, paid, and then took your number and your drinks to one of the outside tables to wait for your food. Actually, very efficient.
A server brought you the food when it was ready. It was a cool evening but there was a fire pit and some standing heaters. The server couldn’t get our heater to work. Of course. Glad we were near the fire pit. We split an elk burger (teach them to not let me get a picture). It was surprisingly good.
Short walk back to our Lodge rooms. So dark now I had to use my phone flashlight to see. I have the flashlight pointed to the sidewalk. Now, I am not as worried about mountain lions jumping on me from a tree as I am about twisting my ankle by stumbling over the sidewalk. I’m playing the odds of which scenario is more likely.
Make it back to the room in one piece. Get organized for tomorrow and face down in the bed by 10:00. Going to be a long day tomorrow – more Grand Canyon and then a drive to Monument Valley. Once at Monument Valley, a tour of the monuments and then a cookout for dinner.
People who are taking the helicopter tour have to be ready to go by 7:00. The rest of us have to be ready by 9:00. Another reason not to get on that helicopter.