Day 28 – 10/21/14 Tuesday
Got up around 430 am, a bit earlier than the alarm was set for, but figured I would leisurely get ready for my final hike of the trip to Shoshone Point. This is a place in the Grand Canyon that does not have any paved roads to it, is generally not known about and is used by permit only generally for weddings so it gets only rare visitation. My goal was to hike the dirt road that is protected by a locked gate and arrive by sunrise. My only concern was the sign along the road just before I parked that warned of mountain lions for the next ten miles!
I started out hiking with the headlamp and jangling the bells that are attached to my backpack, originally for bears, and hoped I didn’t see anything moving in the darkness. I wasn’t exactly sure about how long a hike it was because I could not find my notes that I was sure I had, but knew it couldn’t be more than a mile and a half. From the looks on the map, the point offered a rare clear view of the sunrise. Luckily, the ranger at the Visitor Center narrowed down where exactly the “trailhead” was and was able to find that pretty easily and make these plans a reality.
Even though I started earlier than I originally planned, because of circumstances beyond my control, two in fact, I barely reached the point before the sun actually rose, but was happy to see that there was no one else there and I would have the entire place to myself for the morning. It was like the other morning when I was at Cape Royal; total solitude witnessing one of the great experiences of a lifetime: a Grand Canyon Sunrise.
At the point, there is a huge stone, seemingly standing on end which I assume is utilized as an altar for the weddings that occur there. It is like no other that I have seen overlooking the canyon, about ten feet tall and almost perfectly white, I suppose it is limestone. It was an honor to be there and I know that I did not do the place justice with any of my photos. I’m sorry to report that for the first time I forgot the iPhone to take a few shots of this final sunrise and regret not being able to post a photo with it, but I did actually do a selfie with the regular camera to record the moment and that I was actually there!! I lingered there a bit and gave thanks for being privileged to be there, to have the opportunity to experience all that I have on this trip and for its safe conclusion without mishap, injury or illness.
The drive back to Phoenix was without incident and naturally got a bit lost trying to find my uncle’s address and spent a short time visiting with him since he had an appointment with the doctor. But I spent the rest of the afternoon, clearing out the car and repacking everything into the bags so that it would actually fit back into them, a kind of puzzle, getting cleaned up and heading to our friends for a much appreciated dinner and visit with their two wonderful, growing boys, the same family who deserted us in North Carolina to live in a beautiful home just outside Phoenix. Then sadly, I had to leave and it was back to the Motel, barely able to keep my eyes open to set up the navigation for the airport and alarm for in the morning.
Day 28 – 10/21/14 Tuesday