Saturday, April 20th – Sunday, April 21st, 2013
We attempted to drive to the South Kaibab trailhead, but we couldn’t get there without taking the bus. During the bus ride, we passed a “Mountain Lion Crossing” sign and I really hoped we’d see one (from a safe distance, of course).
The trail was steep with amazing views and we passed some pack mules returning to the rim on our way down. We took a snack break at Cedar Ridge then hiked down to Ooh Ah Point (No joke, that’s what it’s called).
We met plenty of friendly people along the trail, but there were a few annoying people I was tempted to push off the cliff:
- A pair of bratty kids throwing rocks.
- A group of obnoxious, singing teenagers.
- A grumpy, old man who nearly ran us off the trail when he passed us.
We took the bus back to the visitor center and watched in horror as the driver almost ran over an elk, then a pedestrian, then almost plowed into the back of someone’s car within a 10 minute span. We drove back to the village to stroll through the shops, grab groceries and got to check out a Native American ritual dance outside of the Hopi House before returning to camp. I made citrus cumin rice with spinach, corn and tuna for dinner before we went to sleep.
Trevor checked the fluids in the van in the morning and found a mouse munching on some seeds on top of the battery. It scurried away behind the van’s motor and hopefully escaped otherwise he became a “Mice” Crispy Treat once we drove away. Sorry. I know. That was a horrible joke. We took Desert View Drive and stopped at the Tusayan Museum and Ruins, and every viewpoint along the way to the Desert View Watchtower National Monument. We took one last look at the Grand Canyon before taking Route 64 out of Kaibab National Forest.
We stopped at a scenic viewpoint and I browsed through the Navajo jewelry on display there by the locals. When we stopped for gas, Trevor was harassed by a drunk Navajo man who wanted money and to sell him weed (Sorry sir, your approach is too strong. Good day).
The poverty on and around the reservations would make us equally sad, angry, and annoyed. To be perfectly honest, the begging was a bit bothersome. We may be privileged enough to travel (after a good deal of discipline), but we weren’t the rich, white tourists that they thought we were. However, the begging was an unfortunate outcome from unfortunate events. Our government has pulled the rug from underneath of the Navajo (as well as other tribes of Native Americans), and centuries of suppression has never resulted well for the suppressed. The situation they’ve been put through historically and even up to the present day is truly shameful.
We had to take a detour route to Page, AZ via Route 160 East and Route 98 North rather than continue along Route 89 since there was a landslide that had destroyed the roadway. As we approached Page, we passed by pink desert sands, large red, round boulders, and Lower Antelope Canyon (which we would visit 2 days later). We enjoyed our new favorite local radio station called “Undercurrents”, along the way. We sucked up some free WiFi at McDonald’s before heading to the Walmart to sleep. That particular parking lot had unusual yellow lights illuminating the lot which made everything in it look black and white at night. I’m not sure why that was, but it was strangely satisfying!
Jump Back to Part 17: Squirrels, Horror & Fan Mail
Jump Ahead to Part 19: Spilled Soda, Shutterbugs & Canyons