Oh, deer.

Because it’s not always about rocks.

imagesQ7G7M6EI

(I have no idea what that means, but I’m running out of rock memes)

As we started to drive out of the Grand Canyon National Park…

IMG_3352

We passed a mule deer.

IMG_3375

And then a whole herd.

IMG_3377

They’re sweet little things.

Much smaller than what we have here in Maine….

Did you know there’s a village inside the park?

IMG_3368

Complete with lodges…

IMG_3142

And cottages…

IMG_3143

That need carpet cleaners?

I didn’t. It never occurred to me that there would be anything other than natural, pristine wilderness.

IMG_3141

But there was a train station…

And studios, an amphitheater and a market.

IMG_3364

There were also some pretty impressive icicles.

Told you it was cold!

IMG_3363

Having been dutifully warned of the traffic…

IMG_3383

We turned on Desert View Drive, where we didn’t view any desert….

IMG_3385

But did run into frozen fog….

Which, when it sticks to the trees and bushes?

IMG_3388

Is almost magical.

Monument Creek Vista and hermit reunions.

 

IMG_3334

 

This was the last scenic pull off we visited on the Hermit Road at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

 

 

Don’t get too excited, the saga isn’t over yet.

 

=-09

 

This particular spot was stunning.

The grandeur…

 

IMG_3335

 

The colors…

 

IMG_3342

 

The hermits.

 

IMG_3332

 

h7277B111

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But it was cooooold.

So cold.

 

IMG_3346

 

And though there were captivating things to read about rocks…

 

IMG_3339

 

I took my last picture… and jumped into the warm car.

But wait.

Could it be?

 

IMG_3349

 

Had I really found it…?

 

ger

 

The official site of Hermit reunions!

Who knew.

The abyss….

 

c07cf82fdf2079409aedba7dde5d9d77ddb037cfeb9f1a50c083d54c3189f26d

 

Creepy meme aside, I meant this abyss.

 

IMG_3315

 

South Rim, Grand Canyon.

 

IMG_3329

 

Was it deeper than any of the other chasms we saw that day?

I don’t know.

When you’ve seen one giant gaping hole….

 

h3D9FA7F4

 

I have to admit, as grand (and impressive, and majestic, and awe inspiring, and wondrous) as it was… and it really was! After an entire day ducking in and out of scenic vistas and taking pictures of holes and rocks in the frigid wind, my mind’s eye was looking elsewhere.

 

IMG_3325

 

Trees?

Sure…

 

IMG_3314

 

Placards about ravens?

Why not.

 

IMG_3328

 

Obligatory cell phone panoramic?

Check.

 

IMG_3323

 

Husband walking?

Yeah, I only have 11,786 of those.

 

 

Short video clip?

Sorry, that too.

 

IMG_3330

 

Because Hell, when it feels like 4 below and you can no longer feel your feet? Sometimes rocks are just…

Rocks.

 

0076c256d821d261ea698e2650db25589d80371079aaa4a0bc2f7d0a78e05411

 

Well, yes.

There is that.

Chatting up an elk at Hopi Point

Did I mention the Grand Canyon was cold that day?

Well, it was.

rtfghnjm

And hour after hour we were jumping in the car… not nearly long enough to warm up…. and then jumping out of the car to explore the next site.

When we hit Hopi Point?

IMG_3286

I sat in the car for a while and conversed with an elk while I got some circulation back in my fingers.

IMG_3306

Not the greatest conversationalists, elk.

But to be fair, this one had his (her?) mouth full, so I might have missed key parts of the witty repartee..

IMG_3287

After a while I ventured out…

IMG_3309

And was struck speechless by the sheer grandeur.

lkjhg

Alright, I wasn’t speechless.

But there was no one around and the elk wasn’t listening… so cut me some slack.

IMG_3297

This section of the canyon was majestic.

IMG_3296

If you’re into wide open, vast chasms of rock that could swallow you whole.

IMG_3289

It wasn’t pretty, per se….

IMG_3321

But raw, stark beauty is striking in its own right.

A guy named Powell….

Powell Point Memorial.

IMG_3244

At the end of Powell Point.

IMG_3245

Named for a guy named Powell.

IMG_3266

Who says my posts aren’t educational?

Well…okay.

But they do have pretty pictures.

IMG_3268

Walking out to the end of Powell Point was a frigid experience….

The wind was frigid, snapping my hair into my face like a whip. It felt like it was 4 below.

And I could no longer feel my nose.

IMG_3270 (2)

Whew.

Red… but still there.

IMG_3261

I scurried around, taking pictures.

Thinking, yeah… if it was 50 degrees warmer I’d sit a spell.

IMG_3265

But the husband was happily climbing around.

IMG_3274

Exploring every last square inch.

IMG_3269

And that’s the thing about the Grand Canyon….

There are lots of inches to discover.

IMG_3305

Including this fuzzy elk butt that was pointing at the car window when I got in.

Damn.

I love nature.

Man eating squirrels and elk poo.

Next stop at the Grand Canyon was Powell Point, where we were greeted by a miniature snowman…

IMG_3170

And a terrifying sign.

IMG_3129

Most dangerous creature in the canyon?

Are-You-Talikng-to-Me-Funny-Squirrel-Meme

Who knew…

IMG_3225

Powell Point is like a small park.

IMG_3224

With spectacular views.

IMG_3229

Which apparently the elk like as well….

IMG_3234

As evidenced by their footprints…

IMG_3239

And their…

IMG_3238

Well, just watch where you walk.

IMG_3241

Powell Point is aptly named as it juts out into the canyon like a point.

And even there…

IMG_3243

The husband couldn’t escape the machines that plague his every waking hour at work.

MzqXRBj

Don’t tempt him Heston.

Really…. don’t.

And then there were elk.

Because there’s more to see in the Grand Canyon than just rocks…

There are elk.

We were driving down the road, and there they were.

IMG_3172

Happily munching away.

IMG_3181

And not paying us a bit of attention.

So close I could have reached out and touched one.

IMG_3184

But they tend to frown on that…

So I just happily took pictures.

IMG_3209

Sometimes of myself.

IMG_3193

Elk are impressive, if somewhat goofy creatures.

IMG_3194

Though hard to take seriously when they have that giant target on their butts.

Roads and fences don’t stand in their way…

So neither did we.

IMG_3197

But come on….

IMG_3199

Those big fluffy butts are really begging for a pat.

IMG_3203

I could have happily spent all day watching them…

IMG_3216

But there were more rocks up ahead.

hCAB1778B