Clyde had teased me about some other place Wendy had probably not been to , it was like Plateau Point but without the railing. So we added this for our afternoon activity that included dinner at Plateau Point. So after settling in to Indian Garden campground and eating some lunch we gathered everyone and headed out.
It was a lovely afternoon and the weather was near perfect. Just would have liked some puffy clouds for some drama but sometimes you just can't have everything. There seemed to be a lot of water running in Garden Creek alongside as we made our way out to the Plateau. We zig zagged a bit as we eventually came away from the creek area and were treated to the ever expansive views of the temples and other Grand Canyon landmarks.
At about the 1 mile mark, Clyde explained the option of continuing on to Plateau Point or coming with us to the Benchmark. All but two decided to go off trail and see what was at this benchmark 3702 area. Clyde led the way following the GPS track. For most of this part you have to find your way around all the flora obstacles, some with needles. It seemed we were doing a snake dance to get to our goal. Noreen and I wandered over to the edge as we got closer before heading over to the point. We could see Plateau Point and could look down into the Colorado from here.
Noreen and I finally got over to the point where the others were. It's just a bit tricky getting out on to the Point but once there, if you look to the west you get a great view of Horn Rapids, muddy as they were. Of course there are other landmarks all around you
. To the right down in the river I spotted some rafters in bright blue boats and two kayaks. I zoomed in and got video and pictures so that was kind of fun.
After crossing back over to the plateau, I saw the four big cairns that are there. I was unable to find any info as to why they are there
. Unfortunately I wasn't able to investigate that particular area more closely as I arrived late and everyone was leaving toward Plateau Point. I did get pics of both benchmarks, one out on the point and one to the other side of these large cairns that said 3708. I guess it could be that it is 8 feet higher than the original one at 3702 that is not marked?
Now, Clyde decided to make a beeline for the Plateau Point trail rather than going back the route we came. Well put it this way, the thought was correct but the route sucked
as we ended up tip toeing through a prickly pear cactus field that was now in the shade.. Oh my gosh! It felt like there was like no way out once we were in. It was actually rather comical watching everyone step wherever there was just dirt. I got it on video and pics. We eventually got out of the trouble we were in and joined up with the cleanliness of the Plateau Point Trail.
From there it was a piece of cake as we hiked our way closer to Plateau Point to join Kate and Marisol. The views are really great from here too; always worth the side trip. My camera doesn't do the best pano so I pulled out the phone for that and tried to send to FB but without success until we got on top of the Rim. We all had dinner and wine as the sun was setting. The sunset was not the best until it was actually down and then finally a few clouds appeared to give us some color to shoot
Several of the others decided to stay and shoot stars. I, on the other hand, wanted to head back so I bid my adieus. It always seems a longer hike at dusk I think. I was able to keep my head lamp for about 1/2 of the trek back. I discovered my light still seemed dim which I found out at my last camping event. Nonetheless, it's what I had for the trail. I am minding my own business until I see a pair of eye. Oh, a deer. Well it was pretty dark at this time so the camera couldn't see. I put on my flash which didn't quite reach far enough. Nonetheless, when I got home to see the several photos I took, it wasn't a deer... it was a
Big Horn. He stayed there for the longest time too.
I would have caught up with the others that had gone back before me but I was distracted by this animal and then I tried to get pics of the lights up on the rim to no avail as well. I was also having difficulty seeing the trail with my dim light but soon I was back at Indian Garden around 7 pm. I hung out with the few that were there as we waited for the others to return hoping that they wouldn't get lost. They did make a wrong turn somewhere along the line but corrected themselves fairly quickly.
All in all, a great day in the Grand Canyon. Here is some video:
Indian Garden to Benchmark 3702- http://youtu.be/N7TNsmWa568
3702 to Plateau Point - http://youtu.be/tMfrHG6EN9M