...... previous day next day ......
Grand Canyon North Rim Grand Canyon South Rim

10th July 2010

An Enjoyable Hike to Widforss Point and Some Old Time Fiddle Music

Panorama from Widforss Point - Notice the Foreground Trees are Burnt      (please use scroll bar)

My Dispersed Campsite
    At an elevation of 8,000', the night was not as stifling hot as it had been in Zion. There had been a short shower in the night, and early in the morning the young lads who had pitched nearby had gone. I ate a leisurely breakfast watching deer graze 40m away from me, and then chatted to a father and son who had parked their pickup truck nearby, and were about to go out on their scramble bikes for the day along the North Rim forest trails.
    It was such a beautiful morning, with a few clouds to keep the sun at bay. I had a wander along the forest track I had parked off, not having any idea how many dozens of miles it went on for. I occasionally loved to just wander down a trail, not knowing what was round the next bend or over the next hill, just for the pure enjoyment of exploring something that I had not planned for. The danger is I can often end up hiking for miles without realising it. But I had to get back because I knew I wanted to walk one of the North Rim Trails, the Widforss Trail (named after an artist who used to paint in the area), out as far as Widforss Point.
    I got to the trailhead and was sorting out my provisions and water supply for the trip, when I met Chris who owned the adjacent van. He had hiked out to the Point the day before, camped out and had just got back. He thought the view was as spectacular as that from Bright Angel Point, but there wasn't a horde of people there. We got chatting about my adventure, and how he would like to have a similar trip, but he was locked into just a few weeks each year until he retired. He was a teacher, and we talked around that subject, and came to similar conclusions that I had with Mimi a couple of days earlier. Many American kids were not receiving discipline at home from their parents, and teachers and police were not given free rein to discipline kids; a mirror of Britain in a way.
    Then along came two couples who Chris had met on his way back from the Point. They had just done a short walk. Once they found out I was from England, Gene said he and his wife had spent some time out there, in Wilmslow to be precise. He had been a civil engineer, and had been employed for some time by Railtrack in the early 2000s, upgrading tracks around that region. He told me all sorts of tales. At one point he had been based at Manchester Piccadilly station, and he used to walk over to my old university, UMIST, for a cheap lunch. He told me he used to end up talking to professors, who must have thought he was a professor too, but when they eventually found out he worked for Railtrack they soon took him to task over the poor rail service. The couple had hiked extensively around Britain. I thought good for them, they had gone out and discovered Britain, and made the most of it.
An Unusual Lizzard
    Time was pressing on, so I bade them all farewell and set off on my hike. The sky had clouded over and it was just the right temperature for walking. The route was straightforward with a few ravines to traverse to help stretch the legs. The trail skirted around the North Rim before heading off across the forest to the Point. A lot of the forest had been affected by a forest fire at some point in time, but this had allowed more ground vegetation to proliferate. There was a species of blue flower that carpeted vast tracts of the forest floor. I did come across an unusual lizzard, its body was oval shaped. The air in the forest had a heady aroma of pine, almost intoxicating, I just adored that smell and gulped it in, or perhaps the thin air at that elevation was getting to me. There were not many people on this trail, but there again 10 miles out was probably too far for the average American.
Wild Turkey
    When I reached Widforss Point, I had it all to myself. There was another stupendous view across the canyon before me and the air seemed a tad clearer than it had been the day before. I sat down and set about my provisions, but the damn flies and bugs were a real nuisance out there. I suppose I was the only person out there to bug, so they all had a field day at my expense. I sat and gazed until I had had my fill of provisions, water, scenery, and bugs, and then retraced my steps back to the trailhead. The temperature had been good and had made all the difference to the very pleasant hike.
    As I was driving past a meadow on the way back from the trailhead, I spotted a wild turkey with a couple of its chicks hidden in the grass; these were quite common all over North America.
    I had time to take a shower at the North Rim campsite before heading down to the North Rim Lodge. I had read that an Old Time Fiddle group was performing on the verandah from 6pm, and I wanted to see and hear them.
Feet Stomping Fiddling
Blazing Banjos
    The group were Old Time, they must all have been in their seventies. There were fiddlers, guitar players, banjo players, mouth-organ players, a bass player. All thoroughly enjoyed performing and they got a few feet tapping and even one or two couples dancing. The MC was a hoot and just reeled out corny jokes, but the way he stumbled through them had everybody in creases. It was an excellent evening's entertainment from musicians who were amateurs but just loved playing music. And all this on a cliff edge above the Grand Canyon, what more could I ask for. During the show, the sun sank lower and lower, and I could watch all the colours across the canyon changing, truly amazing. It was indeed a grand canyon.
Evening Glow Over the Grand Canyon from the North Rim
    It was dusk as I headed back to practice dispersed camping in the forest again. Tonight it seemed I would have the forest all to myself.
...... previous day next day ......
Grand Canyon North Rim Grand Canyon South Rim

Uploaded from Market Plazza, Grand Canyon South Rim AZ on 11/07/10 at 17:45

Last updated 12.7.2010